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Raising the Tailgate Culinary Bar

Tuesday, 08 October 2019 18:40

By Dan Clarke

If you just wanted a burger, you could probably buy one after you entered the stadium, right?  

But we think elevating the culinary level at tailgate parties is a worthwhile goal. You’re going to put some meat over those coals—why not treat yourself and your pals with something a bit different?

We obtained this recipe from the American Lamb Board. It doesn’t look much more difficult than prosaic versions of the typical beef burger and it may broaden the horizons of your crowd. Serving your lamb burgers in grilled pita will probably make them easy to manage if you’re not sitting in front of plates at a table.

Beverages? Well, it’s a given that beer will be available and anything from Rainier Summit to big Washington IPAs could work. If you’re going to pull a cork or two, we think something derived from the Rhône playbook might be the direction—maybe a Barnard Griffin Syrah (and it’s well under $20).


Grilled Lamb Burgers with Green Onions in Pita




2 pounds ground certified halal American Lamb

1/2 cup finely chopped green onions

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

8 medium pita breads, whole wheat or regular, cut into halves

Olive oil for brushing

Cucumber Yogurt (optional)

2 cups finely chopped or shredded cucumber

2 cups plain yogurt

1 tablespoon crushed dried mint

1 clove garlic, finely grated

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper




In a large bowl combine lamb, green onions, cumin, cinnamon, lemon juice and salt.

Preheat grill or grill pan.  Stuff the pita bread halves with the lamb mixture, spreading and filling to edges.

Brush the pita on each side with olive oil and grill until the filling is cooked through and the pita brown and crispy, 5-7 minutes per side.

Let cool 5 minutes before serving with cucumber yogurt sauce, if desired.


Cucumber Yogurt Sauce:


Drain cucumber of any liquid and combine with the yogurt, mint, garlic, salt and pepper.  Serve chilled.

Last modified on Tuesday, 08 October 2019 19:23


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