RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Basque Lamb Burgers with Wine-Simmered Apple Compote

Reno's culture is strongly influenced by the Basque, people who emigrated from a small area in the mountains of southern Spain to herd sheep in Nevada's high desert. I can buy Basque chorizo in many markets – a fresh sausage similar to Mexican/American chorizo, but a bit milder, with its own unique spices. I combined the chorizo (the familiar one is good, too, as is mild Italian sausage) with ground lamb, a staple in Basque cooking for a flavorful burger, then I topped it with my take on a favorite Basque dessert: fruit simmered in wine.

Ingredients 

1 lb. ground lamb
1 lb. Basque chorizo (or local chorizo or mild Italian sausage)
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
6 Mediterranean flatbreads (if not available, use pita bread or flour tortillas)
Wine-Simmered Apple Compote
½ to 1 cup mild wax pepper rings (depending on taste)

½ cup Sutter Home zinfandel
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped
1 Tb sugar
1/8 tsp lemon zest
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

Instructions 

Preheat a gas grill to medium-high. Squeeze sausage from casings and mix gently with lamb. Form into six patties, handling gently, making them oval or semi-circular to fit the break. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, and freshly-ground black pepper. Brush preheated grill with vegetable oil. Cover and cook, turning once, 5 to 7 minutes per side, until burgers are done to preference.
Heat flatbread on grill, 1 to 3 minutes, turning once. Place burgers on bread, and spoon on a couple tablespoons spiced apples and sprinkle on wax peppers to taste (1 to 2 tablespoons). Fold over. Serve with remaining zinfandel. Makes six burgers.

Wine-Simmered Apple Compote

½ cup Sutter Home zinfandel
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped
1 Tb sugar
1/8 tsp lemon zest
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in small saucepan. Place over grill and heat gently, 10-20 minutes, depending on heat level, until apples soften and wine is nearly simmered away.

Comments 

Make the Wine-Simmered Apple Compote first to give it time to simmer down into deliciousness.