Thursday, July 7, 2011

Lamb Burgers with Fresh Mint

Tap your heels together and repeat after me...

I wish I had a lamb burger...
I wish I had a lamb burger...
I wish I had a lamb burger...

No? Hmmm...well try this recipe using fresh mint and ground lamb, serve it up to 6 of your friends and swoon on a cloud in the summer heat with a glass of your favorite vino.
Not convinced about lamb? Too Barn-yard for you? Well try these facts on for size:

-Lamb is commonly included as a meat consumed in Mediterranean diets, which have repeatedly been shown to help lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
-Despite the fact that about one-third of the fat in lamb comes from saturated fat, lamb (especially when pasture fed)* can be a significant source of omega-3 fat and is also contains a large amount of monounsaturated fat (40% of its total fat). Both omega-3 fat and monounsaturated fat have been associated with decreased risk of cardiovascular disease.
-While pasture-fed lamb can naturally contain small amounts of trans fat, one of the trans fats it contains is vaccenic acid, a precursor for conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA intake is associated with decreased risk of cardiovascular disease.
-Lamb is a good source of vitamin B12 and also provides important amounts of the B vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, folate, biotin, pantothenic acid and choline. Vitamins B6, B12, folate and choline are especially important for healthy metabolism of homocysteine and can help prevent unwanted accumulation of excess homocysteine in the body. High blood levels of homocysteine are a key risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
-Trimmed lean cuts (like loin and leg) from pasture-fed lamb provide a ratio of omega-6:omega-3 fat of approximately 5:1. According to repeated research findings, this ratio falls into an ideal range for lowering risk of heart disease.
-Lamb provides antioxidant minerals that have been shown to help lower risk of cardiovascular disease by reducing unwanted oxidative stress. Lamb provides a very good amount of the mineral selenium and good amount of the mineral zinc.

*Enjoy your Lamb Responsibly*
Pasture feed lamb is significantly better for you that indoor fed-lamb, for a few obvious and not-so obvious reasons
-Recent studies have shown pasture feeding to be especially important for optimal nourishment from lamb. In research comparing indoor feeding on hay and nutrient concentrates with outdoor pasture feeding, pasture-fed lamb was found to contain significantly lower levels of trans fatty acids with the exception of a single trans fatty acid called vaccenic acid. Trans fats are a type of dietary fat that we want to avoid in large amounts due to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, but vaccenic acid is one specific type of trans fat that we do not want to avoid since it's the building block for a cardioprotective fatty acid called CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). In terms of total trans fat content, vaccenic acid content, and CLA content, we encourage you to select pasture-fed lamb over indoor-fed lamb.
-Changes in 2010 by the U.S. National Organics Program requiring at least 120 days of pasture feeding for all ruminant animals including cows and sheep, another great option for assuring pasture feeding is to buy organic!
-Support your local farmer and find one near to you that can provide fresh lamb, that you can freeze.
-Support farmers who practice organic and sustainable farming. Spending an extra few dollars on meat that was raised responsibly is a small price to pay for your health, the health of the community you're supporting and the environment.
-Enjoy lamb and all meats in moderation.

Lamb Burgers with Fresh MintServes 4-6

1.5 #'s of Pasture-fed/raised ground Lamb
1/3 of a cup of fresh mint, chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Couple twists from your pepper mill, set to semi-coarse

Place your lamb and the rest of the ingredient's into a medium bowl. Have a platter ready to transfer your burger patties to. Wash your hands well and be prepared to handle lamb and only lamb until you are done. When done wash your hands and everything else that touched lamb with hot soapy water.
Mix well using your hands until all ingredient's are well incorporated. Fight the urge to add more salt. Form into 6 patties about 1 inch think to 3-3.5" wide. If you have lamb left over equally divide the remaining to each patty.

Fire up your grill...proceed with grilling, or hand off your grilling to someone else (S does this part!) Grill for desired doneness, medium to medium well tastes best.

Serve with your favorite toasted buns, sliced cucumbers, this coleslaw and mayo. Plus some fresh vegetables on the side such as green beans.

Ba! Lamb info taken from here