SPICED LAMB PATTIES
Complete Idiot’s Guide® to Grilling
by Don Mauer
Prep time: 30 to 35 minutes
Cook time: 12 to 16 minutes
Serving size: 1 patty
• 3 TB. grated onion
• 2 TB. chopped fresh parsley
• 2 TB. chopped fresh basil
• 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
• 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
• 1/4 tsp. salt
• 1/4 tsp. ground cayenne
• 1 lb. ground lamb
• Thinly sliced cucumber
• Lemon wedges
1. Fire up the grill:
For a charcoal grill: Open the bottom vents. Ignite 6 quarts or 2 1/2 pounds charcoal briquettes or hardwood charcoal. When the coals are hot, set up for a one-level medium-heat fire (so you can hold your hand 5 inches above cooking rack for only 4 to 5 seconds).
For a gas grill: Turn each burner to high and ignite. Cover the grill. When hot, set the burners to medium heat.
2. While grill heats, place ground lamb in a large mixing bowl, add parsley, basil, cumin, cinnamon, salt, and cayenne. With clean hands, lightly mix seasonings into meat. Gently shape into 4 (1/2-inch-thick) patties, being careful not to press too hard.
3. On a charcoal grill: Grill patties on the grill rack, uncovered, directly over medium coals for 12 to 16 minutes, turning once halfway through, until an instant-read thermometer inserted halfway into the center registers 140°F for medium-rare or 150°F for medium.
On a gas grill: Grill, covered, 6 to 8 minutes per side or until an instant-read thermometer inserted halfway into the center registers 140°F for medium-rare or 150°F for medium.
4. Serve patties on a bed of cucumber slices, and garnish with lemon wedges.
Note: Lamb is just like any other meat: if it's grilled too long over too high a heat, it will turn gray and dry out. Lowering the heat of a grill—in essence slowing it down—extends the cooking time only a minute or two but gives you time to make the right decision as to when lamb or any other meat's done.