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May 20, 2013 at 9:10 AM

Local man wins best ‘Better Burger’

Indian Lamb Burger photo courtesy of Sutter Home Build a Better Burger contest

Indian Lamb Burger photo courtesy of Sutter Home Build a Better Burger contest

One of our better burgers was also one of the best.

That was the ruling of judges at the Sutter Home Build a Better Burger contest, one of the biggest cooking competitions in the nation, where Mark Richardson’s “Indian Lamb Burgers” won the $15,000 ‘Alternative Burgers’ category in the May 18 cookoff. Richardson was one of five finalists in the category. Katie Sherrill of Edmonds had been one of five finalists for the $100,000 beef burger prize with her “Korean-Hawaiian Taco Truck Burger” inspired by Marination Mobile. (Erin Evenson of Brooklyn took that prize for her 7 Train Caramelized Green Curry Burger.)

One of the judges said she was “bewitched” by the flavors in Richardson’s burger, which was topped with tahini pistachio mayo.

Richardson said earlier this year that his entry had been inspired by a neighbor from his college years who introduced him to Indian food. Richardson loved it, started cooking it on his own, and began thinking that a filling commonly used for stuffing samosas could be worked into a good burger.

Here’s his winning recipe, which we also featured earlier this year:


Indian Lamb Burgers

Recipe by Mark Richardson
Snohomish, Washington

Ingredients

PATTIES
• 2 pounds ground lamb
• 2 tablespoons minced shallot
• 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
• 1 tablespoon seeded and minced serrano chile
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• 1 1/2 teaspoons garam marsala
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon ground coriander
• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

TAHINI PISTACHIO MAYONNAISE
• 1/2 cup mayonnaise
• 1/4 cup cream cheese
• 2 tablespoons tahini
• 1/3 cup ground pistachios
• 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
• 1 tablespoon minced shallot
• 2 teaspoons minced garlic
• 2 teaspoons seeded and minced serrano chile
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
• 6 pita breads, top third removed
• 3 cups shredded romaine lettuce hearts
• 18 slices (1/8-inch-thick) English (hothouse) cucumber
• 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped into 1/4-inch dice

Directions

To make the patties, combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the pitas. Cover and refrigerate until grilling.

To make the mayonnaise, combine the mayonnaise, cream cheese and tahini in a small bowl and mix until smooth. Add the pistachios, cilantro, shallot, garlic, chile, lemon juice, sesame oil and salt. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate until assembling the burgers.

Heat a gas grill to medium-high.

Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 4 to 6 minutes on each side for medium. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the pitas on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly, turning once.

To assemble the burgers, spread 2 tablespoons of the mayonnaise on the inside of each pita pocket. Place the patties inside the pita pockets. Divide the romaine, cucumber, and tomato evenly among the pitas and tuck around each patty. Serve.

Makes 6 burgers

Suggested Wine Pairing (the contest is sponsored by a winery, after all): Merlot

Comments | Topics: Build a Better Burger, cooking contest, Indian Lamb Burger

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