Colorado Lamb Burger

Menu PartSandwich/Wrap
Cuisine TypeAmerican

Chef Jennifer Jasinski

At Rioja in Denver, chef Jasinski sources local lamb for several signature entrees. The Rioja burger repurposes lamb scraps from other cuts, making for a cost-effective and waste-reducing menu item. For the buns, the kitchen proofs 4-ounce balls of pizza dough, flattens the balls slightly, sprinkles them with olive oil and Parmesan cheese and bakes them at 550 F until toasted. If pizza dough is unavailable, substitute potato buns.


2 lb. lamb scraps or shoulder meat
1 lb. bacon scraps
1 lb. fatback
1 oz. oregano leaves
1 oz. sage
Baby arugula leaves
Olive oil
Lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp. chipotle in adobo sauce, chopped
2 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
16 large potato buns, toasted


1. In meat grinder, grind together lamb, bacon, fatback, oregano and sage. Place mixture back in grinder and grind again. Form mixture into 16 burger patties, each 5 ounces.
2. Toss arugula with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper until leaves are lightly dressed; set aside.
3. In small bowl, combine mayonnaise and chipotles; mix well and set aside.
4. Per serving, grill burger patty to desired doneness. Place on bottom of bun; garnish with a small handful of baby arugula. Top with 2 tomato slices and 2 mozzarella slices.
5. Spread chipotle mayonnaise on bun top; place on burger.

Photo courtesy of American Lamb Board

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