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Blue Cheese-Stuffed Lamb Burgers

Years ago, an English friend described a lamb roast he'd stuffed with fresh mint and blue cheese. He didn't have a recipe, but it sounded delicious, so I developed one. Last summer, I taught a cooking class on lamb and wanted to serve the roast, but didn't have time in the class to make and cook it. My solution was the lamb burgers below. I like to serve these stuffed in pita halves to catch the juices and cheese that inevitably leak from the patties.

Makes 4 servings

4 ounces blue cheese, at room temperature

1 1/2 pounds ground lamb

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

3/4 teaspoon ground pepper

3/4 teaspoon salt

Divide cheese into 4 pieces and form each into a 2-inch round.

Thoroughly combine remaining ingredients in a bowl. Divide the mixture into 4 portions and flatten into patties about 5 inches in diameter. Place a piece of cheese in the center and fold the edges of the patty up over the cheese, pressing to seal. You should end up with a patty that's about 4 inches in diameter and 3/4 of an inch high. Place patties on a baking sheet or plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour to allow burgers to set so they'll hold together while cooking.

Grill over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes per side, or cook in a skillet or on a griddle, either non-stick or lightly brushed with oil, over medium-high heat for the same amount of time.

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