9.15.2016

Coffee Rubbed Lamb Burger with Bloody Mary Aioli


After a summer filled with restaurant leftovers, takeout, salads, and microwaveable meals, (we have a tiny apartment with no AC, so the stove sees very little action during the hot weather months), I've been itching to get back into kitchen and actually cook something. Fortuitously, just as the weather took a slight turn toward fall, the fine folks at Superior Farms (aka the nation's largest lamb producer) reached out to see if I would be interested in trying my hand at creating a recipe with their products. That was just the push I needed to dust off the sad stovetop, pull out the neglected chopping board and measuring spoons, and get to cooking!

When I sat down to think about how I wanted to use their products, I realized that most of my experience cooking lamb had been limited to special occasion dishes. Determined to change that, I decided the perfect way to incorporate lamb into my repertoire was with lamb burger... even better, a brunch-themed lamb burger as a nod to my favorite meal of the day. As I discovered during my recipe testing process, lamb burgers are just as simple to cook as any other type of burger, but the meat is definitely more bold and flavorful. Paired with a smoked Gouda and some spicy Bloody Mary aioli, this recipe is sure to convert you to the world of lamb, as it is one baaaaad-ass brunch burger!

Coffee Rubbed Lamb Burger with Bloody Mary Aioli
(yield: 6-burgers, depending on thickness of patties)

INGREDIENTS
For the burger:
1 package Superior Farms ground lamb
1 package bacon
Smoked Gouda cheese
Mushrooms
Salt & pepper
Hamburger buns/sandwich rolls

For the coffee rub:
2 teaspoons freshly ground coffee
1 teaspoon packed golden brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

For the Bloody Mary aioli*:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons horseradish
1 tablespoon tomato juice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
Salt & pepper to taste

*if you don't want to make the aioli from scratch, you can combine your favorite spicy Bloody Mary mix with mayo or combine Bloody Mary ketchup with mayo for similar results.

DIRECTIONS
1) Make coffee rub: mix all ingredients in a small bowl


2) Make Bloody Mary aioli: whisk all ingredients in a small bowl. If you like your aioli more on the drippy side (I do!), add some extra tomato juice.


3) Finely chop mushrooms (or dice in food processor). I usually just eye the measurements - typically I keep the meat to mushrooms ratio on a 3:1 scale. The mushrooms are there to keep your burger from drying out and to add a bit more of a savory flavor - it's all about the umami!


4)  Combine lamb, mushrooms, and a heavy dash of salt & pepper and form patties (I shoot for approximately 3 1/2 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick). Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of coffee rub on each side. Grill until slightly charred, usually about 3-4 minutes on each side for medium rare burgers.


5) While the burgers are on the grill, cook your bacon (or pre-cook in the oven), lightly coat buns with butter, and then toast. I prefer to use buns from my favorite local bread company, Turano.


6) Melt a healthy dose of smoked Gouda on each patty, assemble your burger, and enjoy!
Just look at this oozy, gooey, and completely fantastic brunch burger! Yessssssss!

Disclosure: I received a complimentary product to facilitate this post. Review and all opinions are my own.
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