Grass-finished Lamb Burgers with a Mission

Our adventure began with a desire to unpack the trends that have transformed livestock agriculture into an industrial afterthought. In our view, it simply quite difficult in the current market to obtain retail-sized portions of animal protein with the full knowledge that the animal has been raised to produce a premium product on the table, alongside a confidence that its life was handled according to standards of humanity. 

So when we met the proprietors of Green Field Farms in Rogers, Texas, you might say we were blown away. While we could only move meat from supplier to customer, here were the cream of the crop, living the very creed we had set out to pursue. 

When Green Fields Farms decided to raise lamb, they knew they had to give back to the land. "Regenerative agriculture" refers to practices that help nourish grasslands and restore the working land of the rancher, a priority for Green Fields. Their mission centers on producing an ecosystem healthier than when they started, in near-complete contradiction of large-scale ranching operations. 

Plus, their lamb is grass-fed, grass-finished and they never use hormones or GMOs. Taste the difference. 

The recipe is adapted from Lucky Peach Editor Peter Meehan and printed in the New York Times.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil, like canola
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • ½ cup plain yogurt 
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  •  Toasted hamburger buns, for serving
  •  Cilantro leaves, for serving

Steps

  1. Gently combine the lamb, cumin, chile flakes and salt in a large bowl, then form into four equal-size balls.
  2. Bring a cast iron skillet to medium heat and drizzle the neutral oil to coat the pan.
  3. Place the balls of meat in the skillet. Use the spatula to smash the balls into flat patties, approximately 1/2 inch thick. Cook until the bottom of each patty is well browned and the meat is opaque about halfway to the top, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Flip each patty, and cook through, approximately 3 minutes for medium.
  4. While the burgers are cooking, make the sauce. Combine the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.
  5. Place the lamb patty on the toasted bun and drizzle with your sauce. You may add extra herbs here as well. Serve with a feta watermelon salad or make more yogurt sauce and drizzle it over finely chopped cucumbers. 

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