We've all had the standard Super Bowl party food: sandwiches, chili, and buffalo wings (or some variation of the three). But this year, I'm shaking it up a bit and making Lamb Sliders instead. These spicy mini lamb burgers are packed with garlic and spices and topped with a Middle Eastern yogurt sauce - a tasty change from ketchup and mayonnaise. (You can find ground lamb in almost every supermarket.)
And we can't forget the beer. I'm a microbrew girl, and my go-to brew is Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA. Dogfish Head, a brewery in Delaware, makes this rich, malty, hoppy brew. (The "90 Minute" refers to a brewing process that is much too beer-geeky to explain here.) And it's the perfect pairing to the spicy, tangy lamb burgers. Check out the Dogfish Head website to see if it's available in your area, or order online from Internet Wines & Spirits.
SLIDERS WITH CUCUMBER YOGURT SAUCE
- 1 1/4 pounds ground lamb
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons salt
- A few grindings freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon turmeric (see Note)
- About 15 slider (mini hamburger) buns, for serving
- Crumbled Feta cheese (optional, for serving)
- Olive tapenade (optional, for serving)
- Roasted red peppers, sliced (optional, for serving)
Cucumber Yogurt Sauce:
- ½ cup peeled, seeded, coarsely grated English cucumber
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped mint
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the sliders: In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground lamb, egg yolk, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and spices and mix gently. (Overmixing will make the burgers tough.) Form the meat into golf-ball-sized balls, and then gently flatten them and place them on a platter. (You can make the lamb patties up to 8 hours in advance; just keep them in the refrigerator.)
For the sauce: Combine the cucumber, garlic, yogurt, mint, and lemon juice in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Cook the burgers for 3 minutes on each side side for medium-rare; about 4-5 minutes per side for well-done. Warm the slider buns on the grill or in the oven. Serve immediately with feta cheese, olive tapenade, roasted red peppers, and Cucumber Yogurt Sauce.
Makes about 15 sliders
Note: Turmeric, a bright yellow spice from the ginger family, stains clothes and countertops so be careful!