Butternut Hash with Lamb Burger

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Have I mentioned how much I adore butternut squash?  What I don’t love is peeling it; the skin is so thick and it’s awkward to hold this beautifully shaped and colored squash.  I’ve noticed that more stores and farmer’s markets are offering butternut already peeled and cubed so I created this recipe using cubed squash from a local NH farm.

First I cooked the squash in a pan with half olive oil and half butter, and salt and pepper too of course.  Then I transferred it to a bowl because I cooked everything in one pan.  This makes clean-up easier and also allows all of the different flavors to meld together.

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Next I cooked a mixture of half ground lamb and half ground lean beef.  I bought organic grass-fed meat because I don’t eat a lot of it and I want what I eat to be quality ingredients.  I like the mixture because I love the taste of lamb but it’s got a lot of fat so I make it a little leaner with the lean beef.

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I transferred the beef to the bowl with the squash and sautéed onions, red peppers and garlic in the remaining beef juices and oil/butter mix.

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While this cooked I made a sauce to kick up the flavor.  I whisked together Dijon mustard, honey, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.

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I transferred the veggies to the bowl with the squash and lamb and added a little butter to the pan for the final touch – fried eggs!  I like mine cooked gently so the yolks are still runny and coat the hash as I cut into them.  Just make sure the whites are cooked through.  But feel free to cook them to your own preference, just don’t leave them off because I think they’re the perfect touch.

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I removed the eggs and combined the squash, meat, veggies and sauce into the pan to get them hot and let the sauce cook into and coat everything well.  I added some frozen peas here also and stirred gently until they were cooked.   Then I plated it up, topped the hash with an egg and a fresh green tasty garnish of micro chervil.

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Butternut Hash with Lamb Burger (serves 2-4, depends on portion size)

1 1/2 pounds of butternut squash peeled and cubed

1 pound ground meat 1/2 lamb and 1/2 hamburger (you can do all of one or the other, whatever your preference)

2-4 eggs (depends on if you want one or two)

1 red pepper seeded and diced

1 onion diced

1/2 small bag of frozen peas

3-4 cloves garlic minced

micro chervil – enough for garnish (or you can substitute baby arugula or kale)

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon honey (local!)

4-6 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

salt and pepper to taste

In a medium hot skilled combine 1 tablespoon olive oil with 1 tablespoon of butter and saute the squash with salt and pepper until browned and tender to the bite.  Transfer to a large bowl.

Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and add the ground meat with 1/4 of the garlic and some salt and pepper.  Stir it around and cut it into smaller chunks with your spatula until no longer pink.  Transfer to the bowl with squash, trying to leave most of the juices in the pan.

If you need to add more oil and butter do so and then saute the onions, peppers and stir in half of the garlic in when the veggies are almost done.  While this cooks make the sauce by whisking the mustard, honey, vinegar, salt, pepper, 1/4 of the garlic and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Remove the veggies, add butter if needed and fry the eggs until the whites are cooked through and the yolks still soft.  Remove the eggs to a plate and combine all the veggies, squash and meat in the pan with some sauce and the frozen peas.  Add the sauce a little at a time – you may not need all of it, you just want to moisten the hash and give it a kick of flavor.  If you have any left it’s a delicious salad dressing – you could even double the recipe if you know you want some leftover.

Now plate the hash, add the eggs on top and a nice pinch of micro chervil.  I hope you enjoy the slightly sweet butternut and balsamic with the garlicky meat, the kick of mustard, the fresh bite of greens and the soft yolky egg coating it all.  Gorgeous, simple and flavorful.

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