Sheep Happens: What to Do With a Farmers’ Market Meat You Didn’t Know Existed

by August 7, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,904 0

From Kim Vu. He also has his own food blog, DC Wrapped Dates. Follow him at@dcwrappeddates or email him at kim[AT]

It’s a little bit of a ritual, honestly. For some, it’s jumping out of bed at single digit hours on Sunday to combat the hordes at Dupont Circle for the best of the batch. For us, it’s the thrill of removing decision making out of Saturday breakfast, rolling into the 14th and U Farmer’s Market to see what’s left over, and try to come up with something to do with it.

Sometimes though, that decision making is hard. Exhibit A: two Saturdays ago when our quest for chicken breast was left wanting, and our eyes were instead drawn toward the lamb meat at Daniel Shirk’s Pecan Meadow Farm booth. Our imaginations were racing: maybe a Greek mix with feta and mint, or a stew with plums or figs. Unfortunately, they had just run out. “We do have some ground sheep though. It’s a little gamier, but it’s also good. Maybe some burgers?” That’s brilliant we thought, and we snapped it up.

The problem, however, is that ideas usually are really good in theory and harder to execute in practice. What do you put on a sheep burger? If it’s even gamier than lamb, can we really even put Kraft singles on it? Getting the sheep meat was like going to the rental car place to find they’ve upgraded you to a Mustang… except finding out it’s a stick shift; so many possibilities, but not one we knew how to do anything about.

Our salvation came in an otherwise innocuous sign at Whole Foods for black apricots, the one that ended “great with lamb.” That easily missable phrase sparked exactly what we needed to come up with something delicious. Recipe shared below:


Sheep Burger with Black Apricots and Goat Cheese. (Kim Vu)

Sheep Burgers with Black Apricots and Goat Cheese (makes 4)


  • ½ lb ground sheep
  • ½ cup diced onions
  • ¼ cup minced garlic
  • black pepper, salt
  • 2 black apricots
  • ½ cup soft goat cheese (we used Monocacy Silver from Cherry Glen at 14 and U Farmers Market )
  • hamburger bun (we used potato bread buns, which were delicious)


  1. Caramelize the onions and garlic in some light olive oil.
  2. Mix into ground sheep meat with black pepper and salt, and form four small patties.
  3. Cook to desired doneness.
  4. Wash and peel apricots, and cut them into eighths. Lightly grill apricots for 10 to 20 seconds, and then place atop burgers with goat cheese.

Get an RSS Feed for all Borderstan stories.


Subscribe to our mailing list