Skip to main content

Bunless Lamb Burgers + Northstar 2014 Merlot #MerlotMe #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Northstar Winery, one of the #MerlotMe event sponsors.
Complimentary wine was provided for this post and this page may contain affiliate links.
However, all opinions expressed here are my own.

October has arrived. That means the air has a little bit of a chill in the morning; I actually dug jeans and a sweater out of my closet yesterday. It means squash and apples are in the markets in full force. It means I have roasts and soups on the brain. And, mostly importantly for this post, it heralds the official start of #MerlotMe month. Yes, that's right: an entire month filled with Merlot-food pairings made all the more fun with the samples of Merlot from all around that keep appearing on my doorstep!

Besides getting to play with food and wine, I love that every year I receive wines from winemakers that I have never tried before. This is the perfect case in point. I received a bottle of the 2014 Merlot from Northstar Winery* this time around.

In My Glass

I am a little surprised to realize that I don't pour wines from Washington very often. It's strange because those that I have found the opportunity to try have been lovely. And this one is no exception.

Because Northstar Winery was new to me, I did some reading and watched some of the video clips on their website. Winemaker David "Merf" Merfeld talks about how he sources from vineyards all over the state because each vineyard has its own personalities and brings something different to the table. And he thinks that the Washington climate allows Merlot to thrive. He also details what he strives to achieve. He explains, "I’m looking for layers of flavors. Fruit upfront maybe spices... and chocolate. ...Full with a long finish. I like balance."


With a blend of 76% Merlot and 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, this 2014 Merlot from Columbia Valley was smooth and silky. "It's a little too smooth," said Jake. He just meant that he was more inclined to drink it more quickly rather than sip and savor. There definitely was that!

I enjoyed the aromas of nutmeg and vanilla with more savory notes on the tongue of juniper and mint. It was silky and supple. This wine retails at $41.

On the Plate

The warm spices and woody evergreen made me think of pairing it with lamb. But, on a busy weeknight, I didn't have time to do a roasted leg of lamb. So, I looked to the ground lamb I had in the fridge and decided to whip up some quick burger patties instead. Jake and I are cutting back on breads and carbs, so our burgers were bunless; the boys got brioche buns with theirs.

Ingredients
Burgers makes 4 servings
  • 1 lb minced lamb
  • 2 T fresh cilantro
  • 1 T fresh parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 t fresh lemon zest
  • 1/2 t ground cumin
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • pinch of ground cardamom

Salad Topping
  • 1/4 C chopped organic tomatoes
  • 1/4 C crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 C pitted kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 T fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 t fresh mint, chopped
  • freshly ground salt
  • splash of olive oil
Procedure
Burger
Add all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Mix until well-combined. Form the meat into 4 equal size patties. Place on a parchment-lined plate and set aside until ready to cook. Cook, as desired, on a grill or on the stove with grill pan.

Salad Topping
Blend everything together in a small mixing bowl.

To Assemble
Place cooked patties on a plate. Spoon one-quarter of the topping over the burger. Serve immediately with a green salad on the side.

Find the Sponsor
on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter

*Disclosure: I received compensation in the form of wine samples for recipe development and generating social media traction. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organizer and sponsors of this event.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Jamaican Stew Peas #EattheWorld

  Here we are at November #EattheWorld event. What a year this has been! This challenge has been one that gave us some excuse for virtual travel as we've been sheltered-in-place with the coronavirus epidemic for most of 2020. So, we've been able to read about different parts of the world and create a dinner, or at least a dish, with that cuisine. This Eat the World project is spearheaded by Evelyne of  CulturEatz . Read more about  her challenge . This month, Evelyne had us heading to somewhere tropical: Jamaica. I have actually been to Jamaica, but it was almost thirty years ago...and it was just a jumping off point for the rest of our Caribbean exploration. I don't remember eating anything at all! Pandemonium Noshery: Pumpkin Rice   Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Jamaican Stew Peas  Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Jamaican Chicken & Pumpkin Soup   Palatable Pastime: Jamaican Jerk Chicken Burger   Sneha’s Recipe: Jamaican Saucy Jerk Chicken Wings With Homemade Jerk Seas

Quick Pickled Red Onions and Radishes

If you've been reading my blog for even a short amount of time, you probably know how much I love to pickle things. I was just telling a friend you can pickle - with vinegar - or you can ferment - with salt - for similar delicious effect. The latter has digestive benefits and I love to do that, but when I need that pop of sour flavor quickly, I whip up quick pickles that are ready in as little as a day or two. I've Pickled Blueberries , Pickled Asparagus , Pickled Cranberries , Pickled Pumpkin , and even Pickled Chard Stems ! This I did last night for an upcoming recipe challenge that requires I include radishes. Ummmm...of course I'm pickling them! Ingredients  makes 1 quart jar radishes, trimmed and sliced organic red onions, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a mandolin slicer) 3/4 C vinegar (I used white distilled vinegar) 3/4 C water 3 T organic granulated sugar 1 T salt (I used some grey sea salt) 6 to 8 grinds of black pepper Proce

#comfortfood: Jamie Oliver's Ossobuco with Bean Ragout

As one of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day Ambassadors ( I'm the Monterey #FRD2014 rep! ) I will be sent a copy of his latest cookbook - to cook from and write about. I can't wait. I do have to laugh though, because its title is  Comfort Food . And, according to a good friend:  I only make uncomfortable food . Oh, well. I can learn! To celebrate launch day - today - I'm sharing one of the recipes. Here's Jamie Oliver's Ossobuco alla Milanese recipe from his new cookbook, Comfort Food. And here's my adaptation. I typically don't eat veal, so I went to our local butcher for some lamb shanks sliced into an osso buco-style cut; but they had just sold their last shanks. Darn. But then I noticed the "never tethered...free to roam" on the veal package and decided to go for it. I added in shelling beans to make a ragout and served it over wild rice instead of risotto. Also, I used lots of different herbs in my gremolata instead of just pa