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Lamb Burgers with Bacon Tomato Jam, Goats Cheese and Fennel Mint Slaw

27 August 2014

Don't like lamb? No problem! Make this recipe using good old fashioned beef burgers. Tip: Make extra bacon jam and use it on gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, put it on turkey club sandwiches or even savory scones!

SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS
Lamb Burgers
1½ pounds ground lamb
½ teaspoon minced garlic
⅓ teaspoon dried oregano
LoSalt and pepper
4 burger buns- preferably ciabatta rolls (scooped out so there isn't too much bread)
Butter
Bacon tomato jam
Fennel Mint Slaw
4 ounces creamy goat cheese

METHOD
1. Preheat your outdoor barbeque, indoor grill pan or George Forman grill.
2. Using your hands, mix together the ground meat with the garlic and oregano. Make 4 equal-sized burger patties that are about ¾ to 1-inch thick. Sprinkle both sides with LoSalt and pepper.
3. Grill the burgers for about 5-6 minutes on each side or until they are just slightly pink inside (or however you like them!). While the burgers are grilling, spread a little butter on the inside of the burger buns and place them on the grill as well. Get the buns nice and toasty on all sides.
4. Spread about 1 tablespoon of the Bacon Tomato Jam on the inside of each bun half.
5. When the burgers are cooked, place the burgers on the jam coated buns and top each one with about 1 ounce of goat cheese. Top the goat cheese with a nice little mound of the Fennel Mint Slaw and place the top of the bun on top.

INGREDIENTS
Bacon Tomato Jam
⅓ pound of raw bacon diced into small pieces
2½ cups ripe tomatoes -diced small (about 5 medium tomatoes)
½ large vidalia onion - diced small
¾ cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon LoSalt (or more..taste it)
⅛ teaspoon black pepper

METHOD
1. Cook the bacon in a deep skillet or medium saucepan until it is crispy and brown. Using a slotted spoon remove the bacon, drain it on paper towels and set it aside. Reserve about 1½ tablespoons of the bacon fat in the pan.
2. Put the pan with the bacon fat on low-medium heat on the stove. Add the onion, tomatoes, brown sugar, vinegar, LoSalt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring often.
3. Add the bacon back to the pan with the tomato mixture.
4. Simmer stirring with a wooden spoon pretty frequently (making sure it doesn't burn) until it starts to thicken and the onions get soft and caramelized. You will cook it for about 30 to 40 minutes or until most of the water evaporates and you are left with a thick jammy texture.
5. Put in mason jars or a bowl and refrigerate.

INGREDIENTS
Fennel Mint Slaw
1 large fennel bulb
2-3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
½ teaspoon LoSalt
1½ to 2 tablespoons fresh mint chopped fine
2 teaspoons shallot minced (or red or white onion)

METHOD
1. Using a knife or a mandolin, shave or thinly slice the fennel into ⅛-inch slices starting from the bottom of the bulb. Do not use the green, "hair" or "fronds" at the top of the fennel bulb. Fennel has this great anise flavor and its texture is like celery meets an onion.
2. In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, whole grain mustard, LoSalt, pepper and shallot.
3. Toss the fresh mint with the fennel in a big bowl.
4. Toss the fennel with the dressing and then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight so the fennel can really marinate in the flavors.