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waiting for snow

Recipe: lamb burgers

It’s that time of year when the weather becomes volatile with raging windstorms, except it has been pretty calm as autumn goes for the past few weeks. That’s why Colorado’s fiery gold aspen leaves remained on the trees for so long. It was really pleasant (because windstorms around here can be so unpleasant). It’s taken me several days, but I’ve finally culled and processed my photos from the fall shoot. It was a long trip for me, even with Jeremy’s weekend visit. Clothes started to smell bad and then they smelled worse. There was mud and dirt everywhere (kinda like when you get peanut butter on your sleeve without knowing it and then suddenly there is peanut butter all over the place). I talked to myself a lot.

self-portrait, because it’s just me, the trees, and the camera

I met some great people toward the end of my trip though – other Colorado (and out-of-state) photogs chasing the fall colors, sharing stories, talking gear, making plans. I appreciate how lucky I am to live in a place with access to so much wilderness and beauty and I feel like these guys get that too. Once home, I forced myself to slog through the images, because if I don’t then it just spirals out of control. So here’s what the rest of the trip was like.

You can find more photos on the photo blog: Crested Butte Sampler, southwest Colorado, more Crested Butte, and the San Juans. This mellow weather couldn’t hold out forever though, and our winds kicked up something fierce earlier this week sending showers of yellow aspen leaves flying sideways. The winds always rage ahead of a front – and this one is going to bring snow! Ah, but autumn also means the elk are in rut and Rocky Mountain National Park is a great place to view them. So my shooting partner, Jason, and I grabbed some big glass from Pro Photo Rental to see what was what yesterday morning.

that’s what


You can see the rest of the set on the photo blog.

It’s good to be back in my kitchen and cooking, even if it’s only for a couple of weeks. I easily tire of road food and it’s not uncommon for me to start obsessing about recipes while I’m driving or hiking or standing around waiting for sunrise or sunset or clouds to move in or move out. For the last 300 miles, these juicy lamb burgers at The Kitchen kept dancing about in my noggin. So it was the first thing I made when I got home.

simple: roasted red peppers, ground lamb, fresh rosemary

chop it up, and don’t forget the salt and pepper

I was never a huge fan of lamb until moving to Colorado. Colorado has excellent lamb and The Kitchen serves up the best lamb burgers anywhere. That’s what got me hooked… lunch at The Kitchen with some friends. I ordered the lamb burger and it arrived tender and juicy. Also? I always get a side of garlic fries, because that is possibly the best combination ever. EVER.


form patties

Luckily for me, I didn’t have to search far to find a way to replicate the lamb burger because the recipe was printed in an old issue of Sunset magazine, courtesy of Hugo Matheson – the chef at The Kitchen. All you need is lamb, roasted peppers, rosemary, salt, and pepper. So easy. Oh, and you need to have a little patience because the burger patties rest in the refrigerator for 2 hours. But once the 2 hours are up, you are six minutes away from a great meal.


mmm, some tomato jam

The recipe suggests 6 minutes (3 minutes a side) for medium-rare burgers, which is what we did. I also topped mine with a little of that lovely tomato jam in place of ketchup. Excellent burger! It is super juicy and the flavors are nice and fresh thanks to the rosemary and the roasted pepper (yes to the roasted pepper). If you’re looking to change up your burger routine, I think a lamb burger might be right up your alley.

ideal for après ski!

Lamb Burgers
[print recipe]
from Sunset March 2008 (courtesy of Hugo Matheson of The Kitchen, Boulder)

1 lb. ground lamb
2/3 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1/4 cup roasted piquillo or roasted red bell peppers, chopped fine
1/2 tsp salt
black pepper, ground to taste
hamburger buns
tomato jam

Place the lamb, rosemary, peppers, salt, and black pepper in a medium bowl and mix together. Form four burgers. Place the patties on a plate, cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours. Lightly oil your grill grate. Grill the burgers on high heat to desired doneness. Use 6 minutes (3 minutes each side) as a benchmark for medium-rare. Serve the burgers on hamburger buns with tomato jam or anything you like on a burger. Makes 4 burgers.

29 nibbles at “waiting for snow”

  1. irenalana says:

    Food looks great and photos of nature are even better.My english is pretty poor so don’t laugh when you read this but i simply had to comment.

  2. Julia @ says:

    Your photos are beautiful. How do you capture the animals in your pictures? and I love everything lamb.

  3. Debbie says:

    I love the pictures of the elk. They are beautiful!!!

  4. Kristin says:

    Oooh, ahhh…love the photos!

  5. Bobbie says:

    Those photos are exceptional, even for you. I think they are some of your best. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Mary says:

    I always love your pictures and recipes, but I have to say, the picture of the bugling elk just stopped me in my tracks. What a beautiful capture! The lighting is so pretty in the foreground, and the sky/mountain(?) in the distance is so dramatic and dark. Can you tell us more about this picture?

  7. Laura Levy says:

    Awesome photos! Loved the elk shots! They are probably some of our neighborhood elk as they usually spend the summer down in our area before heading into Estes during the fall. I always look forward to seeing the results of your Colorado shoots – you always manage to capture its beauty in a very unique way.

  8. Kathy H says:

    These burgers look amazing! Really dig the simple recipe.

  9. Villy @ For the love of Feeding says:

    Stunning photos!
    I want that burger!

  10. Sharla says:

    Your blog rejuvenates me always. Kick A looking burger & no words to describe the beauty of your photos. Thank you for being you!!!

  11. keiko says:

    Everything looks amazing Jen!

  12. Donna says:

    Stunning photos!

  13. Nicki says:

    You’re a wonderful photographer and I always have so much fun reading your posts! Thanks for what you do.

  14. Margie says:

    I’ll take two burgers and an order of fries…


    I’m off to look at your photos, lucky me!

  15. Eileen says:

    Lamb is my favorite burger of all time. I love it!

  16. Trolleira says:

    wow, you´ve done it again! What marvelous fotos!

  17. JulieT says:

    Do you ever shoot with Bryce Bradford? His Colorado shots are wonderful and amazing and so are yours. I couldn’t get out of Boulder to see the high country this autumn. Thank you so much for bringing it to my door (computer) step.

  18. Rocky Mountain Woman says:

    Lamb and jam…doesn’t get any better than that!

  19. Jo says:

    I’ve always wanted to visit Colorado and your photos just are so lovely. I can’t wait to visit such a beautiful place!

  20. Lisa says:

    Jo, go ahead to plan your trip to Colorado. We visited there several times and love the enviroment, and we bought a place there. Thanks, Jen.

  21. laning says:

    stunning photos !!!! … and will try the lamb burgers very soon.. daughter loves lamb.

  22. Irene from Rollinsville says:

    Beautiful pictures! Great shooting.

  23. Kelley says:

    Your photos literally socked me in the gut ….. I am so homesick for northern climates now!
    (Signed, A Northerner Exiled in Florida)

  24. jenyu says:

    irenalana – no laughing!! Thank you for your sweet comment xo

    Julia – thank you. Well, capturing wildlife is a whole beast in and of itself. In this case, we went to a national park where they are protected. You can’t (nor should you) get too close to bull elks during the rut – it’s dangerous and the poor guys are pretty stressed as it is competing with one another. We use pretty long lenses (400mm in this case) to keep a safe distance and out of respect for the animals.

    Debbie – thanks!

    Kristin – thank you :)

    Bobbie – you’re very kind, thanks xo

    Mary – that photograph was shot as the sun broke over the local horizon (some jagged hills) on this valley. The background is the side of the valley, forested in dark pine trees. It was still in shade (that’s why it’s super dark) except for a small sliver of sun that was lighting up these short bushes on the far side of the valley floor from where I was.

    Laura – aww, thanks hon!

    Kathy – I was also surprised at how simple it was. Really good burgers, though :)

    Villy – thanks :)

    Sharla – xoxo

    keiko – thank you, my friend! xo

    Donna – thank you.

    Nicki – you’re very sweet :)

    Margie – :)

    Eileen – yay!!

    Trolleira – thank you.

    JulieT – I rarely shoot with anyone. I’m usually solo these days. There are actually a ton of really talented photogs out there. Hopefully I’ll get to meet more in the future :)

    Rocky Mountain Woman – ha ha!

    Jo – you should totally visit

    Lisa – love you, Mom.

    laning – thanks!

    Irene – thank you.

    Kelley – I think people in Florida should leave in the fall to experience autumn properly :)

  25. Randi Lynne says:

    I just moved to Pagosa Springs and am on the edge of the San Juan forest. Beautiful, beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing!

  26. Rod Simpson says:

    Mary and I had a great time chatting with you at Kate’s and it looks like you got some really great photos! I just wish I had found your blog sooner! You have some really tasty looking recipes and I hope to try them soon.

  27. Andrew says:

    You always have the best pictures, recipes and accompanying stories. not necessarily in that order ;). Happy to know that there’s someone like you out there writing blogs like these

  28. Rachel Wong says:

    That picture where the mountainside is mirrored on the water is unreal… makes me want to move to Colorado TT^TT

  29. Mrs Ergül says:

    OMG This looks so yum!!!! And the ingredients are so straight forward! Am going to make this one day (soon!)

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