Casablanca Lamb Burger: Cashew Cheese, Apricot Chutney, and Merguez Curry Gravy

Adapted by
Yield: 4 Servings


Apricot Chutney
2 pounds dried apricots
2½ cups golden raisins (optional)
3 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
2 cups white wine vinegar
2 cups water
1 tablespoon ground mustard seeds
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon nutmeg
Cashew Cheese
5 pounds cashews
Whole milk
Merguez Curry Gravy
¼ pound butter
2 ounces oil
3 merguez sausages, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1 large onion, roughly chopped
6 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
2 ounces curry powder
1 cup Port
2 cups water
4 ounces all-purpose flour
white pepper
Lamb Burger
1 pound lamb
2 merguez sausages
To Assemble and Serve
4 Portuguese-style hamburger buns
Baby spinach leaves


For the Apricot Chutney:
Soak the apricots in enough water to cover for 30 minutes. Drain and put them into a large saucepan with the raisins, brown sugar, vinegar, water, mustard seeds, salt, ginger, coriander, and nutmeg. Simmer the mixture on low heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring frequently, until the mixture has thickened.

For the Cashew Cheese:
Blend the cashews in a food processor in small batches, adding a little milk to help the blending process. Blend until smooth. Add a little butter to a pot over low heat. Allow the butter to melt, add the cashew purée, and cook until it thickens. Season with salt and pour the cashew mixture onto greased sheet trays (the yield will fill up to 2 to 3 trays), and pat flat. Refrigerate until firm, and cut into squares.

For the Merguez Curry Gravy:
Heat a pan over high heat for 10 seconds, and add the oil and half the butter. Add the sausages and cook until caramelized. Remove the sausages from the pan and reserve. Add the carrots to the pan and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onions and cook until they start to brown. Add the garlic and cook until everything is caramelized. Remove the vegetables from the pan and reserve. Turn the heat down to medium, add the rest of the butter and curry powder to the pan, and cook for 5 minutes. Pour in the Port and simmer until the mixture is reduced by half. Add 2 cups water to a blender, along with the caramelized vegetables and sausage, and blend until smooth. Add the blended sausage-vegetable mixture back to the pan, and stir in flour as needed to thicken the gravy. Cook the gravy over medium heat until the raw flour taste is gone. Season with salt and white pepper.

For the Lamb Burger:
Grind the lamb and sausage together. Form the ground meat into 5½ ounce patties.

To Assemble and Serve:
Preheat a plancha to 500°F and sear the Lamb Burger patties until medium. Put the Lamb Burger onto the bun, and top with a square of the Cashew Cheese, Apricot Chutney, Merguez Curry Gravy, and some baby spinach leaves.