Lamb burger with blue cheese butter

Blue cheese butter adds an interesting slightly ‘wild’ fungic note to grilled meats such as steak or lamb. Since it also has a strong umami taste, it will automatically make the meat taste sweeter. To play with the concept of wildness, serve with a salad that contains bitter salad leaves such as rocket and watercress. If you want to be utterly adored by those you are feeding, add a portion of home-made salted chips, see ‘click here for other recipes’. The umami in the blue cheese will make them taste irresistible. This recipe comes from my book Citrus and Spice A Year of Flavour which explores how flavour (smell) works in cooking.

Serves 4

For the burgers:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 shallots, finely diced

1 clove garlic, finely diced

1 small bunch parsley, finely chopped

leaves from a handful lemon thyme

1 lemon, finely grated

500g lean minced lamb

salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the butter:

30g unsalted softened butter

30g Roquefort or Stilton

2 tablespoons finely sliced chives

To make the burgers, heat one tablespoon oil in a small frying pan and fry the shallot and garlic for 8 minutes or until soft. Finely chop the leaves from the parsley and lemon thyme. Tip into a bowl and mix in the lemon zest, minced lamb, softened shallots, salt and pepper.   Fry a nugget of the mix and taste to test the seasoning. When you are happy, shape and mix into four burgers. Cover and chill until needed.

Make the blue cheese butter by beating together the softened butter and blue cheese. Once well mixed, beat in the chives with a wooden spoon. Season to taste with black pepper and form into a sausage on some greaseproof paper. Roll up the paper and gently roll under your fingertips until the butter forms a smooth cylinder. Chill until needed.

Preheat an oven top griddle pan over a medium high heat. When ready to eat, brush the burgers with one tablespoon olive oil and grill for 6 or 7 minutes on each side for medium well cooked burgers.

Slice the butter into rounds, place on the hot burgers and serve immediately.




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