These lamb burgers by James Strawbridge are perfect on the BBQ and then served up in focaccia buns.
James is trying out one of our brand new tapenades which will be launching very soon. Keep your eyes peeled for more info shortly…
For the burgers:
400g lamb mince
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp shawarma spice
1 tsp paprika
2 tbsp smoky harissa tapenade
1 tbsp of each mint, oregano, fennel tops or dill, finely chopped
1 preserved lemon, finely chopped
Pinch of smoked sea salt
For the La Verde focaccia buns:
500g strong white bread flour
7g sachet easy-bake dried yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp soft butter
100g La Verde olives, sliced
For the pickled veg:
1 carrot, grated plus carrot tops
1 red onion sliced
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tsp smoky harissa tapenade
1 tsp olive oil
1 peach or apricot, roughly sliced
4 focaccia or bread rolls
150g feta cheese, crumbled [optional]
Mix the flour, yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a dip in the centre of the flour and pour in almost 300ml hand warm (cool rather than hot) water and 1 tbsp olive oil, with a round-bladed knife. Then mix in enough of the remaining water and a bit more if needed, to gather up any dry bits in the bottom of the bowl, until the mixture comes together as a soft, not too sticky, dough. Gather it into a ball with your hands.
Put the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 mins until it feels smooth and elastic, only adding the minimum of extra flour if necessary to prevent the dough sticking. Place the ball of dough on a lightly floured work surface. Cover with an upturned, clean, large glass bowl and leave for 45 mins-1 hr or until doubled in size and feels light and springy. Timing will depend on the warmth of the room.
Knock back the dough by gently kneading just 3-4 times. You only want to knock out any large air bubbles, so too much handling now will lose the dough’s lightness. Shape into a ball, then cover and leave for 10 mins.
Cut the dough into 10 even pieces. Shape each into a ball and sit them on 2 baking parchment-lined baking sheets. Cover with a clean dry tea towel and leave for 40-45 mins, or until about doubled in size.
Finish by using your fingers press a wide indent in the middle of each roll. Scatter over the sliced olives pressing down quite firmly into the indents. Drizzle with most of the remaining oil and season.
Put a roasting tin in the bottom of the oven 20 mins before ready to bake and heat oven to 230C/210C fan/gas 8. Put the risen bread in the oven, carefully pour about 250ml cold water into the roasting tin (this will hiss and create a burst of steam to give you a crisp crust), then lower the heat to 200C fan. Bake for 20 mins or until golden. Remove and cool on a wire rack. If you tap the underneath of the loaf if should be firm and sound hollow. When baked, drizzle with a little extra olive oil and set aside before making the burgers.
To make the burgers, mix the lamb mince with your spices, fresh herbs and tapenade together with preserved lemon and a pinch of salt.
Form into large patties and cook on the BBQ, grill or a ridged skillet in a pizza oven for 6-8 mins. Flip halfway through cooking.
For the pickles, add grated carrot and sliced red onion to vinegar with a little spoon more of the tapenade and some carrot tops. Warm through for 4-5 mins with a little drizzle of oil and a pinch of salt.
Add your sliced stone fruit to the BBQ or grill with your patties and allow to char for 2-3 mins to soften.
Build your burger by spreading a generous amount of tapenade on the base of your focaccia bun and then adding your spiced lamb burger, some crumbled feta cheese, quick pickled veg and charred peach or apricot.