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January 10, 2006

Lamb Mushroom Burgers

I picked up some ground lamb yesterday, and came home from work tonight with a mind to cook it for dinner. I was in the mood for something relatively quick and simple, so I ended up adapting a recipe for "Peppery Mushroom Burgers" from the Weight Watcher's Five Ingredient 15 Minute Cookbook. Made with ground lamb instead of lean ground beef, these burgers are probably no longer ideal Weight Watcher's fare, but they sure are tasty.


  • 0.8 lb. ground lamb
  • Approximately 8 oz. cremini mushrooms (you could also use white mushrooms, or shiitakes would probably be delicious. Then again, shiitakes are pretty much always delicious.
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup red wine (I used Zinfandel)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cooking spray

The Steps

  1. Coarsely chop about 1 cup of the mushrooms. Slice the rest and set aside.
  2. Mix the chopped mushrooms in a bowl with the lamb and 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce. I find the best way to mix the stuff up is with your hands. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Shape the mixture into 3 fairly thick patties. Give the surfaces of the patties a liberal dusting with fresh-ground black pepper.
  4. Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat it over medium high heat. Cook the patties until done (5 minutes per side for medium). Remove to a plate and keep warm.
  5. Add wine, water, and sliced mushrooms to the pan. Stir and cook until the liquid is reduced and the mushrooms are tender. Add salt, pepper, and additional Worcestershire sauce to taste. Serve burgers wtih mushrooms and sauce spooned over them.

I served these with brown rice (alas, it was Uncle Ben's quick-cooking brown rice, and it might as well have been pellets of wallpaper paste for all the flavor it had; yuck), and a salad of mâche, tomato, olives, red bell pepper, and avocado, dressed with a creme fraiche and shallot dressing (made up for the disappointing brown rice).

(And yes, I know, the tomatoes are so not seasonal right now. But they looked lovely when I saw them at Mollie Stone's, and when I picked them up and smelled them, they had a beautiful tomato smell, so I bought some. They were tasty - much tastier than your ordinary supermarket tomato. Next time I'm there, I'll have to see if I can figure out where they got them.)

This was a really nice dish. The burgers got brown and crusty on the outside, but were pink and juicy inside, and the mushrooms cooked in the red wine were succulent. Mmmm.

It also occurs to me, that with its meat, mushrooms, red wine, and Worcestershire sauce, this recipe could have been inspired by Barbara's recent post on Umami in the West over at Tigers and Strawberries. I didn't consciously have Barbara's post in mind, but her recent posts on the subject have sure got me thinking about ways of using umami to boost flavor in my cooking. Get some glutamate on your plate!

Posted by spaceling at January 10, 2006 09:21 PM

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