The recipe you are about to read was inspired by several things. I love, love, love lamb and think that in general it is meat that
American’s are afraid to embrace. Maybe it’s bad memories of a holiday dinner where the leg of lamb was cooked into dry tasteless ashy oblivion, or a memory of strange gelatinous green jelly smelling vaguely of toothpaste mashed up next to greasy pan-fried chops, maybe it’s just that we aren’t used to the taste. The reason why lamb tastes different is because most lambs are pasture fed, and their walking for their dinner of alfalfa, clover and other grassy goodies increases a level of a compound called skatole in their meat which is what gives lamb their flavor. Here is the U.S. lambs are often feed a milder grain diet a month before they go to slaughter to mellow out the taste of the meat. I highly recommend buying lamb that is grass finished. Either the sign should say, or ask the nice butcher. I encourage all eaters to let go of those bad memories and give lamb a chance again.
These Indian Spiced Lamb mini patties were inspired in part by Anjum Anand who was making lamb burgers as I was watching/obsessing over the Cooking Channel (shocking I know.) I wanted to stay with the Indian spice genre, and I wanted something that I could mold into smaller patties that I could them place in a lettuce cup or in a pita. You can mold these on a stick and grill them as well. This is what I came up with.
Indian Spice Lamb Mini-Patties with Yogurt Sauce
2 lbs ground lamb
1 large yellow onion minced
2.5 inch ginger root peeled and minced
4 large garlic gloves minced
3 green chilies (I used serrano anything will do, go as hot as you like!)
2 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon salt
½ cup cilantro/coriander roughly chopped
(1/2 cup minced mint, optional)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt
8 oz goat yogurt (or any high quality yogurt like greek yogurt)
Pepper to taste
For Lettuce cups
1 head of Boston Butter
2 ripe tomatoes chopped
Turn oven on to boil.
Put the minced, onion, ginger, garlic and chilies in a bowl. Add the ground lamb, cumin and salt and mix thoroughly with your hands. It’s important to massage the ingredients into the meat for an even spread. Grab slightly larger than golf ball size handfuls of meat and flatten them into oblong patties, place on broiling pan and broil for 3 minutes per side.
While the meat is cooking, put the chopped cilantro/coriander in a bowl with the minced mint, chili powder and cumin, and top with yogurt. Stir thoroughly, add salt and pepper stir again. Done and done! Remove meat from oven, serve with just the lettuce and tomatoes or stuff a pita with the lamb, sauce, lettuce and tomatoes, and if you have any left over, I love to scramble some eggs with the lamb the next morning.