Monday, 28 March 2011

Lamb Burgers with Apricot Cous-Cous

Lamb and cous-cous, always a delicious combination! Especially on these slightly chilly spring evenings, when you've been warm all day but as the evening draws in, you definitely still want a hot meal. The lamb is from the market butcher and as I only bought it yesterday, I decide to cook it in burgers, thick and rare in the middle. A little spice and garlic in the patties, some sweet cous-cous, and a warm green salad are a perfect closing note for a delightful weekend.


  • 300g lean minced lamb (preferably from within your own country!)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 medium clove of garlic
  • 1 egg
  • A handful of fine breadcrumbs
  • dried cous-cous
  • a few dried apricots
  • a small handful of almonds
  • a thin slice of butter
  • 1/2 tsp of vegetable bouillon

In a mixing bowl, combine the lamb, spices, egg and breadcrumbs, and grate over a good seasoning of black pepper. Mix thoroughly and shape into four 3/4" thick patties. If you prefer your meat cooked to well done, make them half as thick. Fry in a heavy-based non-stick frying pan, to which you should add a barest trickle of oil to stop them sticking at the start. They'll need about 4 minutes per side, or until seared and brown.

Roughly chop the almonds and dried apricots; add the latter to a pyrex bowl with enough cous-cous: it will double in size when cooking, and only you know how hungry you are! Pour boiling water over the cous-cous in a 2:1 ratio and stir in the slice of butter and bouillon. Microwave, covered with a small plate, for two minutes, then leave to the side until needed; the grains will absorb any remaining water and it can be fluffed up at the end with a fork, at which point you should stir in the chopped almonds.

Tonight we served this with a couple of pita breads and a broad bean & pea salad; some yoghurt, hummus or tzatziki would also go beautifully alongside.

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