O'Connell's Restaurant and Bar
112 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Colin Abernethy - Executive Chef
(yield two 8 oz. burgers)
1) 1 lb. Very Lean Ground Lamb
2) 8 tbs. Unsalted Butter
3) 1 tsp. ground Cumin
4) 1 tsp. ground Coriander
5) 2 tsp. fine ground Black Pepper
6) 1 tbs. cracked Fennel Seed
7) 2 tsp. Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
8) 1 tbs. whole grain Mustard (Lakeshore Guinness Mustard works best)
To accompany the Burger
1) 2 oz. Cashel Blue Cheese (crumbled)
2) 2 Burger Buns
3) Whatever toppings you desire
1) Mix the lamb and all the spices, salt, and pepper thoroughly either by hand, or through a
meat grinder (this provides better distribution).
2) Using a box grater or vegetable peeler, grate the butter. It is easier to do this with very
cold butter, so you may want to throw it in the freezer for a few minutes before
3) Using only your hands, mix the butter into the ground lamb until it is evenly distributed.
You want it to be well mixed, but without breaking it into super small pieces.
4) Grill or pan-fry the burgers to the desired temperature. We heartily recommend medium
rare to medium at most as more well-done temperatures tend to dry out the very lean meat.
5) When close to the desired temperature, place the crumbled cashel blue cheese on top and
allow it to melt.
6) Place the burgers on the buns and top however you like. At O'Connell's we like to serve
these with a garlic mayonnaise which can be easily made by mixing roasted garlic paste or
simple garlic powder with regular mayonnaise, and salt and pepper to taste.
Coconut Crusted Grouper
(Yield: Two 6 oz. Fillets with Rice and Chutney to accompany)
For the Grouper
1) Two 6 oz. Red Grouper Filets
2) 1 Egg
3) 3 tbs. Water
4) 1 cup All Purpose Flour
5) 2 cups Shredded Sweetened Coconut
6) Oil for pan frying (about 1/2 cup)
7) Salt and Pepper to taste
1) Preheat oven to 450 deg. F.
2) Lightly salt and pepper the grouper fillets.
3) Dust them thoroughly with flour and remove excess by patting them gently.
4) Combine the egg and the water, mix well to make an egg-wash.
5) Dip the floured fillets into the egg wash coating well, and then allow excess egg-wash
to drip off.
6) Put coconut on a plate or piece of wax paper, place fillets in the coconut and cover with
remainder of coconut.
7) Gently press the coconut into the grouper to coat it, but don't allow it to cake up. You
should still see the egg and grouper under the coconut.
8) Using either an electric skillet, or a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, bring the oil to
around 350 deg. F.
9) Gently place the fillets in the oil and fry them on each side until lightly brown. It is normal
for some of the coconut to come off in this process.
10) Drain the fillets on a paper towel and place them on an ungreased oven-safe pan (a cookie
sheet is fine) and bake until done (140 deg. F.).
For the Rice
1) 1 cup Jasmine Rice
2) 1 1/2 cups Water
3) Salt to taste
4) 3 slices of peeled Ginger
1) If using a rice cooker, combine all ingredients and let the rice cooker do its job.
2) If not, combine the rice, water, salt, and ginger in a medium sauce pan that has a tight
3) Stir once, place on stove over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil.
4) Once at a boil, turn down to a low simmer, place a lid on the saucepan, and allow to simmer
until all the liquid is absorbed.
5) When the liquid has been absorbed, remove from the heat and let sit with the lid on for
about 5 minutes
6) Remove the lid and fluff with a fork.
For the Chutney
1) 1 Mango
2) 1/8 Honeydew (the pre-cut wedges you can get at the store are great for this if you don't
want to use a whole honeydew)
2) 1/2 "European" or "Seedless" Cucumber
3) 1/2 Red Onion
4) 3 tbs. Malt Vinegar
5) 2 tbs. Honey
6) Salt and Pepper to taste
1) Peel the cucumber, melon, red onion, and mango.
2) Cut each into a small to medium dice.
3) Toss in a bowl with the vinegar and honey and add salt and pepper to taste.
1) Place the rice in the center of the plate, place the grouper over top, and finish with the
chutney by placing it on top, and around the plate.
2) You may also use an Irish-style curry-sauce with this dish which is available in many
large or specialty grocery stores like Wegman's or Whole Foods.
3) If you can't find curry-sauce, you may recreate it by using a regular curry sauce recipe
which can be found almost anywhere online. Cut back on the curry spice and add in
brown sugar until you reach the desired taste.
In the Studio Kitchen with Lindsey
Gustin (left) and Colin Abernethy (right)