Tips for making the perfect, grilled burger!
One of the best parts of summer is eating outside, whether on the deck, at a park, or by a lake. And a grill makes everything taste better. We have found that grilled lamb and goat burgers delight both family and guests and have become a favorite summertime meal. Our preference is to use natural hardwood, lump charcoal but a griddle will also provide good results. Burgers are an American classic. Quick and easy to eat–yet juicy and delicious. There are a variety of ways to successfully prepare them. Here are some grilling suggestions for a simple burger garnished with your choice of lettuce, tomato, onion and/or mushrooms.
- Choose grass fed. Grass fed lamb and goat has better flavor than its commodity-lamb counterpart and is lower in fat than grain or corn fed meat options.
- Handle the meat as little as possible. Do not stress or over-work the meat.
- Skip fillers such as egg, breadcrumbs and the garlic often recommended for lamb meat. Quality lamb does not require excessive garlic.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- For a delicious appearance form the burger to fit the bun. Small buns look best with small burgers just as large buns need an appropriately larger burger.
- A thumb print, also called divot, in the center of the patty will help keep it from bulging in the middle. Flattening a burger with a spatula while cooking forces the juices to run out and dries out the patty.
- The juiciest burger will be grilled to rare and allowed to rest to medium rare if desired.
- Build a fire with natural hardwood charcoal. Place the patties on the edge of the fire to sear. If the ground lamb is fatty (20 or 25 % fat) it will drip and create sooty flare-ups. To prevent flare-ups, move your patties farther from the flames.
- Before removing the patties from the grill shift them over the hot fire for 30 seconds a side to develop the crust.
- Top with a slice of tomato and/or onions and mushrooms (wild if available). These can also be grilled very quickly over medium/low direct heat until charred, sweet and soft.
Optional: Instead of melted cheese substitute a teaspoon of seasoned butter (see recipe below).
Seasoned Butter Recipe
1 stick salted butter, room temperature
1 Tablespoon minced parsley
1 Tablespoon finely minced shallots
1 Tablespoon minced tarragon spice
½ teaspoon ground white or black pepper
2 Tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon dry ground mustard
Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir.