Seasonal Meat

Seasonal Meat

There’s no ground lamb in town right now. You don’t think of meat as being a seasonal product, but around here, lambs are slaughtered in the early fall, and last years supply seems to have run completely dry. I was looking for lamb because it’s also that time of year when we all look into our freezers and see what’s lurking in there. It’s time to clean out/use up last year’s stuff before we put up this years vegetables and meat. So I was downstairs last week looking at the:

  • glut of chicken carcasses. It’s still too hot to think of making stock, so they’re going to lurk in there a little longer
  • mystery packages of frozen leftovers — most of those went in the trash
  • dearth of salmon — I have one package of salmon left — like meat, the salmon comes in in the fall when Chris and Posy get back from fishing off the Alaska coast
  • random packages of ground elk, venison and antelope — both plain and sausage meat

I was thinking I’d make up a batch of “Greek” burgers — they’re good to have in the upstairs freezer (the one attached to my fridge) because if you haven’t planned ahead, they thaw out pretty quickly for dinner. I usually mix equal parts game and lamb, since the game is too lean to be much good on its own, and the lamb can be pretty fatty. Half and half is about right. Then I add in some finely-chopped onion, garlic, mint (although I have a lot of nice oregano out there right now, and some lovely summer savory that might be good), salt, pepper and a generous sprinkling of the Baharat spice I bought in at The Spice House in Chicago last year (although, come to think of it that Zahtar from World Spice in Seattle might be good too). As you can see, this is an improvisational process. I like to crumble in a generous handful of feta cheese into the meat mixture as well, before mixing it all together, forming patties, and freezing them for later.

But there’s no lamb right now. At least not in the stores. Tonight is our Farmer’s Market, so I’ll have to see if anyone has any lamb. If not, perhaps I’ll buy a nice fatty piece of Miller Farms Pork and make porky-game burgers … I haven’t tried that mix yet, but really, can anything be too bad with a lot of nice clean local pork ground into it?

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