Lamb burgers in a creamy red sauce made with no tomatoes but infused with Mediterranean herbs… How does it sound to you? The idea came to me while working on an old recipe by my late father. He loved lamb burgers and always tried to add something new to the sauce. Well, since I am a Ketonian, I simply had to make a Keto version of the spicy red sauce of my childhood. Naturally, a simple solution would be to reach for tomato purée and finish it with some traditional Mediterranean herbs. However, that would be just another Bolognese sauce, right? No, I wanted something more exotic to modern humans, yet so well-known and old-fashioned.
The fountain of healthy nutrients
All lovers of Mediterranean cuisine know that ground lamb is very versatile and delicious. You can prepare meatballs, kebabs, or burgers with many different sauces and still enjoy the tenderness and mildness of lamb. Let’s not forget, on 100g of lamb you will get 25.6g of protein, 16.5 g of fat, and zero carbs. Lamb is a top-quality protein source, maybe the healthiest one available to humans today. You will get all the essential amino acids your body needs for muscle growth and health maintenance. Furthermore, lamb is a great source of vitamin B12, Selenium, Zinc, Niacin, Phosphorus, Iron, Creatine, Taurine, etc… When it comes to L-carnitine, nothing will give you more than lamb. In a solid portion of lamb, you can get up to 350mg of this vital nutrient!
Lamb burgers in the herbal infusion
Whenever we prepare something with minced lamb, meatballs or lamb burgers with different sauces our guests ask for the recipe. Let’s be honest, since it’s much better to eat your burgers in a sauce than in any type of a bun, why not play with the ingredients? Tomato has been over-popularised by different types of Bolognese sauces and salsas, but you will be surprised how much magic is hidden in the forest! Rosehips, as we wrote on so many occasions, are Keto-friendly little bombs of minerals and vitamin C. To my surprise, the flavour of rosehips with salt and pepper resembles the flavour of the tomato sauce. I am not saying it’s identical, but it’s quite similar. With the addition of red paprika powder and hibiscus, this sauce will be your next favourite red sauce for any type of meat.
A small tribute and the British connection
Ever since I read the story about the rosehip collecting campaign in Great Britain during WW2 I started exploring this valuable wild fruit in my Keto recipes. And to my surprise, Rosehips can taste sweet or savoury when mixed with different spices. Furthermore, rosehips are not giving that much sugar as tomatoes usually do! So what’s not to like? Since my late father was a huge Britophille. He was in love with British literature, culture, history and started teaching me English when I was 5 years old. In his memory, I decided to consult some of the native speakers on Twitter about naming this recipe. Well, on this occasion, I would like to thank Tami for her time and advice on how to properly name my lamb burgers and sauce in English!
British Rosehip collecting campaign: The national diet was at some risk of a shortage of Vitamin C due to the cessation of importation of fruit such as oranges during the war. The solution was to ask the public to collect rose hips from wild or cultivated bushes, the harvest then to be processed by commercial companies into a syrup which could then be made available in the shops. The details and success of the campaign are eloquently told in two articles in The Times [London, England] in autumn of 1941, and mid-winter 1942.
Using yolks for the creaminess
If you take a look at our meatballs in avgolemono sauce, you will understand that nothing can replace the nutrient richness and creaminess of yolks. This is why this particular rosehip sauce feels better than any tomato sauce! Let’s not forget, a good amount of micronutrients in every meal is the main principle of the Ketonisation process! Before we proceed to the recipe, I’d like to remind you about our three postulates of Keto Mediterranean Diet: Try to make everything at home, with healthy ingredients, some positive vibrations and feelings!
Lamb burgers in rosehip sauceCourse: main courseCuisine: Keto MediterraneanDifficulty: Medium
- Lamb burgers
1 kilo (35 oz) minced lamb
1 large egg
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried peppermint
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper (or juniper berries)
1 tsp sea salt
- Rosehip Sauce
6 large yolks
1 tbsp butter (I used goat butter)
150 ml (5 fl oz) rosehip-hibiscus tea (strong infusion)
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp red paprika powder
1 tsp smoked paprika powder
1/2 tsp Ceylon cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp rosemary powder (or ground rosemary)
- Place one whole egg with all the spices and garlic cloves in a food processor. Pulse to unify and mince the garlic. Now, pour this mixture over the minced lamb and mix it with your hands. Create 16 medium-sized burgers.
- Preheat a non-stick pan or use a little bit of tallow for a regular pan and cook the burgers for 5 minutes from each side. Remove them from the pan.
- In the same pan where you cooked the burgers, pour the tea prepared from a strong infusion of reships and hibiscus. Add butter and heat it to boil.
- Mix the yolks with red paprika powder, smoked paprika and the rest of the spices in a bowl. When the tea boils in the pan, add a little bit of the hot tea, using a spoon to the yolks and keep whisking. Now, remove the pan from the heat, and slowly pour the yolk mixture into the hot (but not boiling) tea where you also melted the butter. Using a wooden spoon, energetically mix so that the sauce thickens. Now, return the burgers into the pan and cover them with the sauce.
- Serve immediately sprinkled with some more dried parsley or oregano and grated hard cheese such as Graviera.
- The principle of thickening this sauce is the same as for Avgolemono sauce. You have to work quickly, but also not expose the yolk to boiling liquid. For best results, before adding the yolks to the tea, make sure it’s at least 5 minutes away from the heat.