Magazine article Sunset

Where's the Beef? Try Lamb

Magazine article Sunset

Where's the Beef? Try Lamb

Article excerpt

It's tempting to fall back on tried-and-true quickies - like broiled hamburgers - when time is tight.

But ground beef isn't your only quick-burger alternative. Ground lamb cooks as quickly as beef, and it has its own unique character that teams well with a different spectrum of seasonings, including a refreshing touch of mint in the Greek fashion.

Ground lean lamb is available in most supermarkets. Its fat content varies, but it's usually similar to that of ground beef chuck. If the ground lamb is already shaped into patties, just break them up, season, and re-form.

Like any ground meat, ground lamb has a short storage life. So for freshest flavor, cook within 24 hours of purchase. Or, for future quick meals, season, shape, and freeze up to three months.

For moist, juicy results, broil lamb just until it is barely pink in the center. Otherwise the meat will be dry.

Greek Pocket Bread Sandwiches with Lamb

Prep and cook time: About 15 minutes

Notes: To slice cucumbers quickly, use a food processor.

Makes: 4 servings

1 1/2 pounds ground lean lamb 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tablespoon minced fresh or 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves About 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 2 cucumbers (each 3/4 lb.) 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt 3 tablespoons minced fresh mint leaves 2 tablespoons lemon juice 4 pocket breads (about 6 in.), cut in half crosswise

1. In a bowl, mix lamb with garlic, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Shape mixture into 8 equal oblong patties, each about 1/4 inch thick. …

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