Grilled Lamb Burgers with Avocado Mayo

by Liz Caskey on May 23, 2011

[vimeo 24119556 w=400 h=225]

Summer is just around the corner in much of the US (cold, rainy weather just a detail) and grilling seems to be synonymous with warm weather. This coming weekend, Memorial Day, officially inaugurates the picnic and barbeque season. Ahh, the smells of charcoal and seared meat fill the air. If you want a twist on your typical hamburger cook out, try these “lamb burgers” for some South-of-the-equator flair.

In the windblown pastures of Chilean Patagonia, the ratio of sheep to humans is 10 to 1. Sheep have a relaxed life munching on the coirón grasses which infuse the meat with an herbal, almost floral taste. While lamb in Chile is traditionally spitted whole and slow cooked over flames for hours, in this recipe, we fuse the pleasantly gamey, sweet ground meat with the traditional North American hamburger.

Lamb is also the perfect pairing for a hearty Carmenere, the base of the exquisite wine blend we are pairing it with, Novas. Earthy spices, like cumin and ground cilantro, are kneaded into the patties. The earthy flavor tangos with the spiciness coming from the Carmenere as well as the other grape in the blend – Cabernet Sauvignon. The grill imparts a smoky, charred flavor to the meat and explodes the intense flavor of the lamb and wine combination.

Chileans are passionate about their sandwiches, adorning them with thick layers of mashed avocado, homemade mayonnaise and topping off with fresh tomato slices. With the Avocado-Mayo, we’ve fused two key ingredients. Heaven? My mouth thought so!

Watch on and feel free to share your grilling tips and wine pairings in the comments section.


Lilani May 24, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Where in Santiago can I find these fabulous burgers?? I find it hard to even buy lamb in the supermarkets – any tips?

Liz Caskey May 26, 2011 at 9:02 am

You can find ground lamb at Lider Puente Nuevo in La Dehesa. I just buy very fresh lamb from Marchigue from a Syrian butcher in Patronato or in la Vega Chica. I use leg of lamb. Clean it up removing the sinew and excess fat. Then I grind it up in a food processor. If you’re going to do that, I recommend buying it and freezing several portions. So worth the effort. Otherwise, you can buy lamb in Jumbo but it’s much more $$ and the flavor seems flat to me.

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