Where’s the beef? 6 alternative burger recipes for Fourth of July cookouts


Main dish

Great Aussie Burger

12 ounces ground Australian lamb

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 small onion, finely diced

salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoon olive oil

2 slices cheddar cheese

4 bacon strips

2 eggs

2 hamburger buns, split and toasted


2 lettuce leaves

1 tomato, sliced

4 slices pickled beets

2 pineapple rings


Combine lamb, garlic, onion, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Using clean hands, massage the burger mix until combined. Shape the mixture into two patties, place on a plate, cover and refrigerate about 20-30 minutes. Heat oven to 300 degrees. Heat olive oil in a large, nonstick pan over medium heat. Cook the burger patties for 3 minutes on each side or until almost cooked through. Transfer patties to a baking sheet and top each with a slice of cheese. Place in the oven for 3-5 minutes or until cheese melts. Meanwhile, cook bacon and eggs in frying pans. To assemble the burger, spread the hamburger bun base with butter then layer lettuce, tomato, beets, lamb patty, pineapple, ketchup, bacon and egg. Cover with bun tops. Makes 2.

Per serving: 509 calories (32 percent from fat), 23 g fat (9 g saturated), 346 mg cholesterol, 40 g protein, 34 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 1170 mg sodium.

Source: Meat & Livestock Australia

Main dish

Heritage Turkey Burger

8 ounces ground turkey breast

1 ounce dried apricots

1/4 cup thinly sliced onion

1 clove garlic, sliced

1/2 teaspoon chopped parsley

1/2 teaspoon chopped sage

1/4 teaspoon fennel seed

1/4 teaspoon cumin seed

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon coriander seen

1 teaspoon lavender flower

1 ounce pepper jack cheese

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 ounce canola oil

salt and pepper

2 tablespoons champagne vinegar

1/4 teaspoon chipotle in adobo

1/4 teaspoon harissa

5 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 avocado

1 Fresno chile, finely diced

1 jalapeno, finely diced

1 scallion, thinly sliced

1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1 brioche bun

2 slices jack cheese

handful of arugula

1 pickle spear

1 pepperoncini

In a large mixing bowl, combine first 13 ingredients (through the onion powder), then pass through a meat grinder and form into a patty. Heat oil in a small sauté pan. Season turkey patty with salt and pepper and add to pan, cooking for 2 minutes per side. Finish turkey burger in a 350-degree oven for 5 more minutes, until cooked through.

In a small bowl, use a fork or whisk to blend together champagne vinegar, chipotle, harissa and mayonnaise; set aside. In a small bowl, make a quick guacamole by mashing the avocado, peppers, scallion and cilantro with lime juice; set aside. Toast the bun and add harissa aioli to top and bottom. Add cheese to the turkey burger and cook for another minute, until melted. Place turkey burger on bottom bun, top with guacamole, arugula and top half of bun. Skewer pickle and pepperoncini for garnish. Makes 1.

Per serving: 1268 calories (55 percent from fat), 77.0 g fat (19 g saturated, 26 g monounsaturated), 230 mg cholesterol, 80 g protein, 62 g carbohydrate, 5.2 g fiber, 1595 mg sodium.

Source: Michael Mina 74 in Miami

Main dish

Lamb Burger with Whipped Feta and Marinated Cucumbers

3 pounds ground Australian lamb

1/3 cup panko crumbs

1/4 cup whole milk

3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

3 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 tablespoon chopped mint

3 tablespoons dried cumin-garlic-herb blend like La Boite Kibbeh N. 15

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

zest of 1 lemon

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/8 cup grated Parmesan

1/2 red bell pepper, roasted

5 garlic cloves, roasted

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1/2 cup pureed tomatoes

1/4 cup breadcrumbs, toasted

3 ounces almonds, toasted

1 tablespoon chile powder

1/4 cup water

1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon rocoto paste

1/4 pound feta cheese

1/8 cup Greek yogurt

1/8 cup sour cream

zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced

2 dill pickles, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons chopped dill

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon chopped mint

2 tablespoons pickle brine

juice and zest of 1 lemon

6 whole wheat hamburger buns

2 cups arugula

1/4 cup sliced red onion

In a large mixing bowl, combine first 11 ingredients (through the Parmesan) without over-mixing. Cover and let mixture rest in refrigerate for 2 hours before forming into 6-ounce patties. To make a red pepper spread, combine next 11 ingredients (through the rocoto paste) in a food processor and blend until smooth; set aside. To make a whipped feta spread, combine next 6 ingredients (through the olive oil) in a food processor and blend until smooth; set aside. In a small bowl, toss the cucumbers with pickles, dill, parsley, cilantro, mint, pickle brine, and lemon juice and zest; set aside.

Season lamb patties with salt and pepper, and grill to desire temperature, letting rest 3 minutes before serving. Toast the burger buns, then spread bottom halves with red pepper spread and top halves with whipped feta. Place burgers on bottom buns, top with marinated cucumbers, arugula, onion slices and top bun. Makes 6.

Per serving: 893 calories (58 percent from fat), 57.6 g fat (19.7 g saturated, 27 g monounsaturated), 167 mg cholesterol, 56.4 g protein, 37 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 867 mg sodium.

Source: Chef Aaron Brooks of Edge Steak & Bar in Miami

Main dish

Ahi Tuna Intracoastal Burger

8 ounces fresh ahi tuna

2 ounces Asian-style cole slaw

1/2 avocado, thinly sliced

1 tomato slice

1 brioche bun

Shape tuna into a bun, and season both sides with salt and pepper. Sear on a hot skillet about 1 minute per side, long enough to form a crust on the outside and leaving the inside rare. Toast bun, then place slaw, tomato and avocado on bottom half before topping with tuna and top bun. Makes 1.

Per serving: 658 calories (30 percent from fat), 21.7 g fat (4.1 g saturated, 11.3 g monounsaturated), 152 mg cholesterol, 64 g protein, 49 g carbohydrate, 4.5 g fiber, 448 mg sodium.

Source: Rok:Brgr in Miami and Fort Lauderdale

Main dish

Duck Duck Quail Sliders

3 pounds ground duck

4 eggs

2 cups panko crumbs

8 brioche hamburger buns

1/2 cup clarified butter

8 quail eggs

1 cup thinly sliced shallot rings

1 bunch Italian parsley, stems removed

1 head frisee lettuce, sliced 1 1/2-inch thin

1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette

1 cup foie gras butter (see note)

In a medium bowl, combine duck, eggs and panko until well mixed. Form mixture into 8 patties, then season with salt and pepper, and grill until desired doneness. Brush the cut side of each bun with melted clarified butter and grill briefly, just to warm buns and leave grill marks. In a small, nonstick skillet, cook each quail egg sunny-side up; reserve on a paper towel. Toss shallots, parsley and frisee with balsamic; set aside. Spread 2 tablespoons of foie gras butter on the bottom of each bun. Place one duck patty on top of each buttered bun. Arrange parsley salad on top of duck patties. Top each burger with quail egg. Lean bun top against the burger for presentation. Makes 8.

Note: To make foie gras butter, sear 1/2 pound of 1-inch Grade A foie gras slices on both sides. Remove foie, and add 1 1/2 tablespoons clarified butter to the residual fat in the pan. Caramelize 4 thinly sliced shallots in the fat and butter, then add 4 ounces of cognac and 4 ounces of port. Bring to a boil until reduced slightly. Allow to cool. In a food processor, add the reserved foie, shallot-port mixture, 1 pound cubed butter, 1/4 cup fresh thyme, and salt and pepper to taste; pulse until smooth. Makes 1 quart; leftover butter will keep in freezer up to 6 months.

Per serving: 800 calories (47 percent from fat), 41.3 g fat (15.6 g saturated, 11.6 g monounsaturated), 540 mg cholesterol, 50 g protein, 54.4 g carbohydrate, 2.5 g fiber, 828 mg sodium.

Source: Chef Todd Erickson of Haven in Miami Beach

Main dish

Portobello Burger

2 portobello mushroom caps, about 4-5 inches each

4 ounces balsamic vinegar

3 ounces Boursin cheese

2 ounces tzatziki or cucumber-yogurt sauce

1 focaccia bun

2 tomato slices

1 onion ring, thinly sliced

2 ounces baby arugula

Clean out vents on bottom of portobello caps, then marinate for 24 hours in balsamic vinegar. Drain off marinade, then grill portobellos for 3-4 minutes per side. Spread cheese over mushrooms, then stack together. Spread tzatziki on bun, add mushrooms, and top with tomato slices, onion and arugula. Makes 1.

Per serving: 545 calories (48 percent from fat), 30 g fat (18.5 g saturated, 4 g monounsaturated), 45 mg cholesterol, 25 g protein, 48.7 g carbohydrate, 5.2 g fiber, 775 mg sodium.

Source: Stout Bar & Grill in Fort Lauderdale

When it comes to Fourth of July food, it’s lamb burgers, not beef, that will be on chef Aaron Brooks’ grill at Edge Steak & Bar in downtown Miami.

And when it comes to the lamb’s origin, Brooks has no qualms proclaiming his preference.

“Being an Aussie, some would say I’m pretty biased to Australian lamb,” he said. “It does have a special place in my heart, and every time I get to eat or work with it, I am reminded of home.”

Nostalgia aside, Brooks said he finds the flavor and quality of Australian lamb to be superior to domestic or New Zealand versions.

“The racks, for example ... so big, clean and consistent with just the right amount of marbling,” he said. “I joked with someone that the Aussie lamb I’m getting here in the States is better than the stuff I grew up with.”

And ground lamb, Brooks said, makes a great grilling choice.

“I particularly love the char you get when the fat renders over the grill, creating a fantastic smoky flavor,” he said.

Brooks’ lamb burger with whipped feta and marinated cucumbers will be on his menu at Edge through Saturday.

In the spirit of changing things up this holiday weekend or the next time you’re grilling, we’ve compiled recipes for six non-beef burgers, including turkey, tuna, duck and mushroom versions from several Miami and Fort Lauderdale restaurants: Edge, Michael Mina 74, Rok:Brgr, Haven and Stout Bar & Grill.

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