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It's my 1st attempt at making my own lamb burgers. Any suggestions?

Googs May 16, 2009 11:52 AM

I'm pretty open to any kind of seasoning and have good access to hard-to-find ingredients. I probably lean more towards Greek style, but again since it's the first time I remain very open-minded. Delicious is the only thing that matters. Thanks in advance.

  1. d
    doughreme May 25, 2009 08:26 PM

    Not sure if you already made your lamb burgers, but they were something that my family ate quite often. For what its worth, we always used parsley, onions and bulgar. The combination is fantastic with lamb. Even though the bulgar may not be a necessary filler, like bread, the texture makes them incredible.

    1. Wahooty May 20, 2009 06:17 PM

      Hey, Googs, how'd the burgers turn out?

      1. lynnlato May 20, 2009 04:58 AM

        Friday I made lamb kofta on pitas w/ a yogurt mint sauce (recipe from Martha Stewart Living Cookbook: The New Classics). They were delicious.

        The next night I had a lb of leftover ground lamb to use up. I remembered these delicious lamb burger sliders I had at my favorite restaurant here in Charlotte (Lulu) and used that as my inspiration. I seasoned them w/ the moroccan spice blend I had made the night before from the MS recipe. I kept it simple, pan-fried them, and served them on small brioche buns and topped w/ harissa and mayonaise blended w/ farm fresh goat cheese. These were the most amazing little things I've had in a while. Yum! Here's the original recipe and a photo of my burgers:

        Lamb Kofta
        - serves 6 to 8 -

        Kofta can be prepared up to 30 minutes before serving; place the patties on a baking sheet, cover with aluminum foil, and keep warm in a 250°F oven.

        Ingredients
        1 pound ground lamb
        4 teaspoons Spice Mixture (recipe follows)
        1 teaspoon paprika
        1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
        1 large egg
        1/2 onion, grated on the large holes of a box grater (1/2 cup)
        1 garlic clove, minced
        1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted and chopped
        1/3 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
        1 teaspoon coarse salt
        1 tablespoon olive oil
        Yogurt Mint Sauce, for serving (recipe follows)

        Procedure
        1. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the oil and yogurt sauce. Mix thoroughly with your hands or a wooden spoon. Form the mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls, and flatten the balls into ovals or football shapes, about 1/4 inch thick.

        2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1/2 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add half the lamb patties. Cook until the first side is golden brown, about 3 minutes; flip the patties, and cook 2 minutes more. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.

        3. Wipe the skillet with a paper towel; heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil. Repeat the process with the remaining lamb patties. Serve warm or at room temperature with yogurt sauce on the side.

        Spice Mixture

        - makes 1/4 cup -

        4 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
        4 teaspoons ground cumin
        1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
        1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
        1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
        1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

        Mix the spices together in a small bowl or container. Store, tightly sealed, at room temperature up to 3 months.

        Yogurt Mint Sauce
        - makes 1 cup -

        8 ounces plain whole-milk yogurt, preferably Greek-style
        3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
        1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
        1 small garlic clove, minced

        Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, and stir well to combine.

         
        3 Replies
        1. re: lynnlato
          alkapal May 22, 2009 04:35 PM

          lynn, that lamb burger you made looks so delicious. thanks for the recipe.

          1. re: alkapal
            lynnlato May 24, 2009 04:26 PM

            Thanks! I don't know if it was just the moment, but i cannot wait to make those again. :)

            1. re: lynnlato
              alkapal May 24, 2009 04:27 PM

              makes fer a real purty picture, too!

        2. Robj May 20, 2009 04:41 AM

          I am from Australia so we use a lot of lamb and I prefer it for burgers. In my recipes I generally use forequarter of lamb for mincing(grinding). With this I use very fine diced onion, an egg for binding and 1 to 2 day old bread and run it through a blender to a coarse crumb but not chunky, Thyme, salt and pepper and that is it. You need to be able to taste the flavour of Lamb and Thyme. Keep it simple

          1. Googs May 18, 2009 09:44 AM

            Hey everyone, I'm really enjoying all of your suggestions. I'm going to make a composite of a few of them. Tonight's the big night.

            I feel compelled, though, to say all opinions should be respected. kchurchill5 is suggesting 1 piece of bread in 1.5 pounds of ground lamb. I wouldn't call that heinous. We're Hounds gathered here to share tips. Even when we disagree, we can learn from each other as long as we're listening.

            19 Replies
            1. re: Googs
              k
              KTinNYC May 18, 2009 09:50 AM

              kchurchill5 uses the bread to keep the meat from drying out but the majority believe this is not necessary because ground lamb tends to be fatty. Unless you grind a very lean piece of meat you will have no issues with dried out meat if you cook it properly.

              1. re: kchurchill5
                k
                KTinNYC May 18, 2009 11:30 AM

                I'm going to try and respond but the first part of your first sentence makes no sense to me.

                Dry and bland are two different things. You say you add bread to make burgers less dry but my contention is that this is not necessary to add moisture because ground lamb is inherently moist if cooked properly. You go on to say you do not like bland burgers. How does adding bread and milk to ground meat increase the flavor?

                1. re: kchurchill5
                  c oliver May 18, 2009 01:26 PM

                  We both got deleted earlier so let's see if I can say this in an appropriate manner. There seem to be two separate discussions. One is flavoring and everyone is offering all sorts of suggestions. Some go in the burger, some on it, some before cooking, some after, some on the bun only. Those are "recipes." And we all have our preferences. The other is the addition of bread and/or egg to make it not too dry. That, to me, is where it becomes nothing to do with a recipe but rather the raw ingredient and how that is cooked. Lamb that has the correct amount of fat in it won't be dry unless it's not cooked properly and, to me, anything more than medium rare is going to run that risk whether it's lamb or beef. So one would add seasoning for flavor but I don't know why bread would add flavor and I don't see how it could add moisture. And "good" lamb and "good" beef are generally not what one wants for a burger. Just too lean. In my first try at grinding beef, I incorrectly bought a tritip roast. I took one look at it and knew it was too lean. Went back to the butcher and he gave me some fat to grind in with it. So those are the two things. No one is attacking you or your recipe. There does seem to be disagreement about the addition of filler with most thinking it does nothing positive and others thinking it does. Some months ago I was advised by a poster that I was way too thin-skinned and he/she had seen this in other of my posts. I took that to heart, got over my hurt feelings and have had a mostly wonderful experience on Chowhound. Perhaps that's some advice I can pass along to you.

                2. re: Googs
                  LindaWhit May 18, 2009 10:03 AM

                  I think the point people are making is that ground lamb burgers need a "filler" with bread. That's where most of the dissent is coming from - most of us are saying ground lamb doesn't need a filler to make sure it holds together.

                  1. re: LindaWhit
                    Googs May 18, 2009 12:27 PM

                    Forgive me if this question is off the mark, but wouldn't we all have to be staring at the same ground lamb to know what it needs? I think k's use of top grade beef for hamburgers may explain why she feels the need for moisturizing filler. The cheaper the better for burgers.

                    bigfellow suggested panko. Is panko somehow more acceptable than milk-soaked bread?

                    1. re: Googs
                      LindaWhit May 18, 2009 12:38 PM

                      And I disagree with using panko as well. My opinion, and that of many others who have posted here, is that no filler is needed when making lamb burgers.

                      Most lamb sold in the supermarkets is rather fatty already - it should have enough fat in it to provide enough moisture to keep the lamb burger tender and moist - unless it's been overcooked to death.

                      http://www.chow.com/ingredients/210 - "Much of the ground lamb available in supermarkets is quite fatty;" and "Ground lamb and lamb patties may come from fattier parts such as the breast or belly".

                      http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1216/is_n4_v198/ai_19325593/ - "Ground lean lamb is available in most supermarkets. Its fat content varies, but it's usually similar to that of ground beef chuck."

                      http://recipes.wikia.com/wiki/Categor... - "Usually made from shank and neck meat, as well as other trimmings, ground lamb may contain considerable fat. "

                      If lamb is like ground chuck, it should have enough fat mixed throughout the ground meat to keep the patty moist while cooking.

                      1. re: LindaWhit
                        greygarious May 18, 2009 12:47 PM

                        Thanks for all the research, Linda! I don't feel that chuck or lamb burgers need extra moisture, but if I were using a ground cut of meat that did, a simple fix would be adding a little ice water or putting a small ice cube in the center. Both are popular methods for keeping ground meat tender, without competing flavors, and the cube has the benefit of keeping the interior from overcooking.

                        1. re: greygarious
                          LindaWhit May 18, 2009 12:52 PM

                          I've not tried the ice cube/chip idea, but it certainly makes sense to add something like WATER to add moisture rather than a dry item like panko or bread (even soaked in milk).

                          1. re: LindaWhit
                            MMRuth May 18, 2009 01:23 PM

                            I do add bread crumbs soaked in cream to my Swedish meatballs - have never tried them w/o it, as that's the recipe I always use. The meatballs are very soft, as a result.

                            1. re: MMRuth
                              LindaWhit May 18, 2009 01:28 PM

                              But aren't Swedish meatballs cooked in stock or water before making a sauce that they're then reheated in? (Every recipe I've ever seen is done that way.) And often an egg is added, the way a lot of meatloaf recipes are made. I can then understand adding a binder (bread crumbs) in that case. But that's a bit different from grilling a lamb burger.

                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                MMRuth May 18, 2009 01:34 PM

                                The ones I make get sauteed in butter. And I think there is an egg as well - I'll check. They really are tender that way. I agree, in any event, that it's not the same as grilling a lamb burger.

                                1. re: MMRuth
                                  LindaWhit May 18, 2009 01:39 PM

                                  And I'm now craving Swedish meatballs. :-D

                                  I think I've made them once in my life; and while I enjoyed them at the time, they didn't WOW me (probably because it was early in my "cooking life" and I wasn't all that adventurous back then. it's time I made another go at it as I'd be more willing to try different flavors. (As long as there's no dill in the ones I make.)

                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                    MMRuth May 18, 2009 03:32 PM

                                    I think I've posted the recipe before - happy to find the link for you if you like. They really are delicious - I don't even make gravy for them - just add some lingonberry sauce and mashed potatoes. They freeze well too. No dill in them - all spice is the key, in my mind, to making the taste Swedish - like the ones I had as a child in Malmo. "Kottbullar", I think!

                                    1. re: MMRuth
                                      k
                                      KTinNYC May 18, 2009 03:46 PM

                                      Here's the link to MMRuth's recipe http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/2827...

                                      1. re: KTinNYC
                                        MMRuth May 18, 2009 04:16 PM

                                        Thanks! I'm now hoping it stays cool enough here for one more round of Swedish meatballs and mashed potatoes. I actually made Goin's beef stew a la Nicoise yesterday - I really love that dish, and used boneless shortribs that I found at Costco, and they were so tender.

                                        1. re: MMRuth
                                          k
                                          KTinNYC May 19, 2009 03:21 PM

                                          I hope you're done cooking your meatballs. It's going to be 80 F tomorrow!

                                          1. re: KTinNYC
                                            MMRuth May 20, 2009 04:17 AM

                                            Unfortunately, I had already planned salmon for last night, so I'm guessing no meatalls for a while! Though I can make them in the morning when it is warm, and reheat. I actually like them at room temperature too.

                                2. re: LindaWhit
                                  alwayscooking May 18, 2009 03:25 PM

                                  The bread and milk (or crumbs or oats or) will add some lightness to a meatball or meatloaf - definitely needed since a doorstop meatloaf or golfball meatball just isn't right.

                                  Given a burger is thinner and cooked just til done, the lightness of the burger would be too soft to serve in a bun - there needs to be a chew. That is, unless the burgers are cooked to 'well' and then by all means add the bread.

                    2. re: Googs
                      kchurchill5 May 18, 2009 03:09 PM

                      Thx Googs, I may be wrong to some, but do what you like and experiment. What you find maybe plain and simple or more complex as I like it.

                      As long as you like it is what is important.

                      Just has fun, find the best taste for you. and hope the night goes well.

                    3. t
                      turkishlamb May 18, 2009 07:20 AM

                      i mince garlic, rosemary, and pistachio nuts and work them and lemon zest into the meat. put some goat cheese in the center of the patty. medium rare at the most. put some mint jelly on the bottom bun, the mustard of your choice on top bun. more goat or bleu cheese on top.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: turkishlamb
                        LindaWhit May 18, 2009 09:27 AM

                        Feta cheese in the middle of a lamb burger is also good.

                        And I agree with others - Never had a lamb burger that required a bread filler to keep it together. It's then a lamb meatloaf shaped into a burger, IMO.

                        1. re: LindaWhit
                          c oliver May 18, 2009 09:32 AM

                          Hey, LW, maybe it's like the carbonara thing. You can call it carbonara but that doesn't mean that it is :) And the idea of needing moisture just makes no sense to me. First, to me, it doesn't need it. Secondly, adding (even wet) bread would make it drier, wouldn't it? So, yeah, I agree with you it a LMSIAB :)

                          1. re: c oliver
                            greygarious May 18, 2009 09:50 AM

                            Actually, we COULD use a new culinary term for MSIAB. One of my old stand-by dishes is frikadellen (that's a German plural), which is meat loaf in patties, slowly sauteed over medium-low heat. A few years ago Cooks Illustrated had a self-congratulatory article after achieving the same result with a similar technique, that they seemed to consider innovative. Guess they never heard of frikadellen, and I find that most people haven't. I explain - they like the idea that it's faster than oven meatloaf, makes ideal bun-sized patties for making sandwiches from the leftovers, and doesn't heat up the kitchen as much. But they hate the term, which sounds like a naughty word. Should I start a new naming contest thread, or should we just call it kirgilnix?

                          2. re: LindaWhit
                            c
                            cathodetube Jun 21, 2010 04:45 AM

                            Feta in a lamb burger is great. I also add chopped mint to mine, cumin ,harissa and salt and pepper. Excellent served in wholemeal pitas and with tzatziki added as garnish.

                        2. mcsheridan May 17, 2009 07:00 AM

                          Lamb burger has so much wonderful flavor, I'd keep it simple first time out. Grated onion, kosher salt, a goodly amount of fresh ground pepper and a small amount of finely minced garlic. I serve them with sherried sauteéd mushrooms.

                          I've done them Greek style with Turkish oregano, rosemary, lots more garlic (I reduce the onion a bit in this version) and Tzatziki sauce, and those are great, too.

                          Like some others here, I agree that egg and bread have no place inside a burger mixture.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: mcsheridan
                            greygarious May 17, 2009 07:44 AM

                            Cooks Illustrated recommended a panade as a way to retain moisture in burgers that are being cooked beyond pink interiors (aka: ruined ;-D). Otherwise, IMO, if a burger needs something to hold it together or keep it moist, it shouldn't be called a burger. It's not a Crab Burger, is it now? Cake, ball, patty, frikadelle, maybe even croquette (although those are usually breaded and deep-fried) but not burger. Ground meat that is too lean to hold its shape without binders is not suitable for burger-making. The ground lamb that I see in supermarkets holds together without assistance.

                            1. re: greygarious
                              Fritter May 18, 2009 05:11 AM

                              "if a burger needs something to hold it together or keep it moist, it shouldn't be called a burger"

                              I totally agree. Surely ground lamb, like burger varies from source to source but if you are buying ground lamb that needs fillers.......buy elsewhere!
                              Putting all that schtuff in the ground spring lamb I pick up at the local farmers market would be a sin. My lamb patties even hold together fine on the grill.

                          2. b
                            bigfellow May 16, 2009 03:27 PM

                            I mix the lamb with panko, egg (s) rosemary, garlic and freshly ground black pepper. I top my burger with bluecheese dressing (I add a little more blue cheese to it) and put a few pistachio nuts on top.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: bigfellow
                              kchurchill5 May 17, 2009 07:08 AM

                              Blue cheese would be good too. I think I used feta just because lamb and greek but that would be another nice twist maybe with some sauteed onions. I like gorgonzola better, but both work well. And I love pistachios I use that on baked lamb chops for a simple dish. sort of a simple pistachio pesto. Nice on the burgers, good idea.

                            2. h
                              Harters May 16, 2009 03:16 PM

                              I make koftas quite often (and flatten them and call them burgers from time to time). Sometimes with eastern Mediterranean flavourings, sometimes with south asian. Google on "kofta" and you'll get lots of spicing ideas.

                              Grated onion, garlic and a little coriander and cumin is my usual starting point.

                              1. Veggo May 16, 2009 01:37 PM

                                In my experiences, I hardly ever see lamburgers on menus in the States, but they seem more common in Canada. Thoughts/comments?

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Veggo
                                  Googs May 16, 2009 02:02 PM

                                  I don't know how American lamb is, but Ontario lamb is spectacular.

                                  1. re: Veggo
                                    kchurchill5 May 16, 2009 03:43 PM

                                    A restaurant in San Fran had them, one in MN and one in Montana I believe, may of been Wyoming. All with the same flavoring I did, That is want wanted to me to make them. again

                                  2. Veggo May 16, 2009 01:04 PM

                                    I haven't checked a recipe, but when I notice fresh ground lamb that isn't too pink I go for it. Pink means more fat scraps of course. I make lamburgers and dust them with powdered rosemary, garlic, and coarse black pepper. On a grill they plump up a lot, and take a little longer to cook than beef. They are good with havarti melted on them. I serve on toasted buns on a nest of boston lettuce leaves and a bit of mint jelly. A lot of markets don't offer it often because health laws require that their meat grinders be taken apart and cleaned every time a different meat passes through them.

                                    1. a
                                      Apple May 16, 2009 12:47 PM

                                      My favourite seasoning for lamb is charmoula. We made lamb burgers last summer with it and we had rave reviews.

                                      11 Replies
                                      1. re: Apple
                                        kchurchill5 May 16, 2009 12:53 PM

                                        What is that? Never heard of it nor has google.
                                        Curious

                                        1. re: kchurchill5
                                          greygarious May 16, 2009 01:19 PM

                                          Middle-Eastern seasoning/marinade blend with garlic, lemon, salt, pepper, cumin and other herbs.

                                          1. re: greygarious
                                            kchurchill5 May 16, 2009 03:40 PM

                                            True I have done that, but honestly I don't like it with the lamb burgers

                                            1. re: kchurchill5
                                              greygarious May 16, 2009 04:44 PM

                                              Not a recommendation: you wanted to know what chermoula is, so I answered the question. I should have said North African, though I had it at a Middle-Eastern place.

                                              1. re: greygarious
                                                kchurchill5 May 16, 2009 05:17 PM

                                                I got your reply after I wrote my question sorry. Email and internet has been really slow today here

                                                1. re: greygarious
                                                  hotoynoodle May 16, 2009 05:49 PM

                                                  i've added harissa paste to lamb burgers mixtures for a kick. killah good.

                                                  1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                    greygarious May 17, 2009 07:28 AM

                                                    The harissa would be good. If Trader Joe's ever carries the English Cheddar with Harissa again that would make a tempting Lamb Cheeseburger. My intent was not to dis chermoula. I never had it with lamb patties and posted only to define it, which kchurchill5 misinterpreted as a recipe suggestion

                                                    1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                      lynnlato May 20, 2009 04:48 AM

                                                      Yum, I LOVE harissa. I topped my moroccan lamb burgers w/ harissa and a fresh goat cheese mayo on brioche buns - pure heaven!

                                              2. re: kchurchill5
                                                Googs May 16, 2009 01:27 PM

                                                http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Charmoula-236204

                                                or in context:
                                                http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                1. re: Googs
                                                  kchurchill5 May 16, 2009 03:41 PM

                                                  I have tried charmoula 3 different searches, it comes up blank every time. That is the first thing I tried. Maybe my computer, but honestly I tried. Yahoo, google, and don't remember the other. I just did it again. Nothing on my end. I use google all the time It just comes up blank right no. Did again as typing this charmo ... nothing ... well a few things but not charmoula Really!

                                                2. re: kchurchill5
                                                  k
                                                  KTinNYC May 16, 2009 03:21 PM

                                                  There are about 34,000 hits for charmoula on Google.

                                                  http://www.google.com/search?q=charmo...

                                              3. n
                                                nemo May 16, 2009 12:42 PM

                                                http://www.chow.com/recipes/13432

                                                Check out this recipe. I'm planning to make the meatballs today, but you could just go by the spice suggestions and make burgers. My fried tried them and, as per some of the comments following the above recipe, she said they did taste like gyro meat. She baked them in the oven and found them a little dry. I brown my meatballs and then do them in the pressure cooker, so I'm hoping mine will turn out moist.

                                                11 Replies
                                                1. re: nemo
                                                  kchurchill5 May 16, 2009 12:44 PM

                                                  That is why the bread and milk crumbs and egg makes my extra moist. And yes agreed baking in the oven does seem to dry them out burgers or meatball but a quick sear seems to be the secrete. Don't have a pressure cooker so I can't say. Good luck

                                                  1. re: nemo
                                                    greygarious May 16, 2009 12:56 PM

                                                    The linked recipe, without egg or other binders, SHOULD taste better made into burgers and not cooked beyond medium-rare. Good luck with the pressure cooker, but I'd stick with a heavy skillet or a grill. Lamb makes a good burger without all sorts of extras mixed in. Once you start with panade/egg you're in meatball/meatloaf territory. It's like the difference between a hamburger and a meatball sub.

                                                    1. re: greygarious
                                                      c oliver May 16, 2009 04:03 PM

                                                      Yeah, I'm with you on that one. No egg or bread in burgers. And I remain a less is better person. Start putting in too much other stuff and it's not a burger anymore.

                                                      1. re: c oliver
                                                        kchurchill5 May 17, 2009 07:01 AM

                                                        I respect your opinion and I have tried just a few ingredients with lamb and it was horrible. Not just me but the other three that came for dinner. That is why I came up with my recipe and everyone loved it. Each is own. For you if you like it that way it is fine. Personally we hated them. But everyone has different tastes. Try a few and see what works best for you. My burger made in mini sliders were the hit at a MN Food fest 2 yrs ago so I must of done something right.

                                                        But everyone has favorites and their favorite way of making them. There is no right or wrong, it is only what tastes best to you.

                                                        1. re: kchurchill5
                                                          c oliver May 17, 2009 07:48 AM

                                                          Perhaps you and your friends just don't really like lamb a lot so covering up some of the lamb taste suits you better.

                                                          1. re: c oliver
                                                            kchurchill5 May 17, 2009 07:58 AM

                                                            I eat rack of lamb all the time, same with the exact group of friends. I use salt and pepper and just a little rosemary.

                                                            I have lamb chops for this week. I will marinade just a short bit with a little lemon, rosemary, s/p, just 30 minutes or so and grill. Plain and simple. I love lamb but I didn't enjoy plain lamb burgers is all. I don't like plain beef burgers either but I love beef. My point is again ... I just enjoy burgers with taste and seasoning. Nothing more. I respect those who like them plain. I just don't. Nothing more.

                                                            1. re: kchurchill5
                                                              c oliver May 17, 2009 12:29 PM

                                                              I would think then that it's either the meat you get or the prep. You say you add the bread and egg to add moisture. At least some of us have no problem with lamb burgers being dry. And your guest "hated" the burgers? How nice of them to share that with you. I'm glad my friends aren't that honest with me :)

                                                              1. re: c oliver
                                                                kchurchill5 May 17, 2009 12:52 PM

                                                                No, that isn't how it went. I made them from a recipe on CHOW or repicezar, one of those. I was pretty sure CHOW, but I didn't like them and I was the first to say it. They were bland and lacked taste and a bit dry for me. My best friend who I trust dearly also said she would like some more seasoning and then the other chimed in. We all agree, we loved the lamb taste, but would of like seasoning and a nice mayo to compliment or condiment the burger. This was about 2 years ago. Than I had a few vacations had had tried them in a few places. I tried them 2 years or so ago in San Fran and then at a small bar is MN, just to see. I always but the waiter to find out what is in it. In the small diner we ate at which was awesome the cook cake out and gave me his recipe. Very close to mine, He had actually more seasoning but not my mayo. His burger was great. The place in San Fran was downtown and amazing. Don't ask me the name. 1 week of dining out 3 x per week was exhausting, aggravating but fun at times. I couldn't tell you where it was other than it was lunch. I came home and adapted the guy in MN's recipe and added a good mayo and served it to my friends again. They all laughed because we hated it, well not hated it, but didn't like it. Well round two was a hit, A couple months later my co owners of the restaurant took it to a I believe N WI or MI food festival. It got rave reviews and a blue ribbon for best burger. Not an official contest. Just Best Fair Food. Since then it is the only lamb burger I make.

                                                                And I say again. I hate plain beef burgers to no matter how good of meat. I like spice, flavor and some originality. If you like plain that is fine.

                                                                But it is not the prep or the meat, it is just I like some more flavor other than just lamb. If I want just lamb I make lamb chops or rack of lamb which I love and make often. And yes, lamb to me is dry without adding something. Just my tastes. Not the lamb, just how I like it which I have said before.

                                                                I don't dis-respect anyone else tastes, I just hope they respect mine. I'm not saying mine is right, nor is yours. It is up to whoever is making it. No right no wrong.

                                                    2. re: nemo
                                                      c oliver May 16, 2009 09:03 PM

                                                      I remember that jfood recently baked (beef) meatballs and was really pleased with the results.

                                                      1. re: c oliver
                                                        hotoynoodle May 17, 2009 04:25 AM

                                                        i've baked lamb meatballs with good results, but lamb burgers came out too dry. the meatballs had egg and a little bread crumb, the burgers were just meat and seasonings. next time i'll pan cook for better control of internal temp. in the oven, the outside didn't "look done", so i wound up over- cooking them.

                                                      2. re: nemo
                                                        lynnlato May 20, 2009 04:47 AM

                                                        I would think if you do them in the oven, which is a longer process, they would tend to dry out. Frying in a skillet is optimal, imho.

                                                      3. kchurchill5 May 16, 2009 12:30 PM

                                                        FYI, the above recipe was a combo of many good web recipes. I liked this and liked that but changed the amounts. But thanks to many good recipes. I just had to change and make it my own.

                                                        I make my mini lamb burgers all the time for BBQ's, they go over great. And again, don't worry about every ingredient. You use as much as you can and I am sure it will be great! I make the mini cheeseburgers, mini salmon or shrimp burgers and the lamb. The lamb goes first!!

                                                        10 Replies
                                                        1. re: kchurchill5
                                                          Googs May 16, 2009 01:00 PM

                                                          kchurchill5, you've written "1 piece of bread soaked in bread". What is it soaking in?

                                                          Your spread looks good enough to eat on it's own with crostini. Have you ever done so?

                                                          1. re: Googs
                                                            kchurchill5 May 16, 2009 01:10 PM

                                                            ~ 1 piece of bread soaked in bread and squeezed dry; ~

                                                            I like this just to give some texture and firmness to the lamb. Lamb tends to fall apart enough. I add the egg and this to give it texture with the amount it isn't much. I just use a regular whole wheat or white it is very small, just adds a little moisture it all. I don't like tons a bread crumbs to burgers but with lamb it is very tender so the bread helps as does the egg. You can easily leave it out iif you want. That is fine with me.

                                                            The spread yes, quite good on crostini. I used it in pasta a lot. Used it with grilled pork tenderloin too with a similar marinade which was great. Also served it with grilled lamb chops with mint, rice wine and olive oil and garlic. Skewered and grilled and served with the dip. Just as good.

                                                            Thank you for the reminder it has been a while. It is easy and great to dip. I loved the pork with the same marinade served on a crusty bread with the spread and sliced pork. Good.

                                                            1. re: kchurchill5
                                                              mcsheridan May 16, 2009 06:02 PM

                                                              Repeating the question: Bread Soaked In...? Milk, I'm guessing.

                                                              1. re: mcsheridan
                                                                kchurchill5 May 17, 2009 06:53 AM

                                                                Yep, lamb can be dry and the milk soaked bread gives it some texture as well as moisture. I know a lot disagree with bread being added to a burger but it really works.

                                                                1. re: kchurchill5
                                                                  k
                                                                  KTinNYC May 17, 2009 07:23 AM

                                                                  If your lamb is dry then you are using the wrong cuts to grind or cooking too long. Maybe you can try using a meat themometer.

                                                                  1. re: KTinNYC
                                                                    c oliver May 17, 2009 07:46 AM

                                                                    100% agree. I find my meat thermometer indispensable and therefore I don't have overcooked, dried out meat. The only way I can have ground lamb is to grind it myself and I'd use the shoulder.

                                                                    1. re: c oliver
                                                                      k
                                                                      KTinNYC May 17, 2009 07:50 AM

                                                                      Exactly, who needs expensive cuts to make burgers? The cheap cuts of meat make for the best burgers, lamb or beef.

                                                                      1. re: KTinNYC
                                                                        c oliver May 17, 2009 08:00 AM

                                                                        My burgers don't have seasoning when I make them. I put a little s&p on before grilling. All other flavoring comes as part of the topping or spread on the bun. Maybe we should have a lamb tasting when we're in NYC next month :)

                                                                        1. re: c oliver
                                                                          kchurchill5 May 17, 2009 12:10 PM

                                                                          All I can say is enjoy, everyone has different tastes.

                                                                    2. re: KTinNYC
                                                                      MMRuth May 17, 2009 11:23 AM

                                                                      I agree - I find that the ground lamb I get tends much more to the fatty side.

                                                          2. kchurchill5 May 16, 2009 12:28 PM

                                                            Well, this is mine. Although I try different ingredients all the time.

                                                            About 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lamb, 1 teaspoon paprika is a must (generic sweet paprika) You can use smoked but I like just the standard for this recipe; 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped fine (fresh is important to me); 1 piece of bread soaked in bread and squeezed dry; 1 teaspoon fresh mint (optional but I liked it) 2 tablespoons or more of minced garlic, and 2 teaspoons cumin; 1 egg; 3-4 scallions diced fine; s/p to taste and a dash of red pepper flakes. Mix all form and then chill slightly just to firm up. Grill and serve. I like a grill or a grill pan but even a saute pan works.

                                                            I like to serve on a good onion roll, to me it makes a difference. Also a good olive and sundried olive spread. I take some mayo, add some sundried tomatoes in oil chopped, a few roasted red peppers, basil, some olives also chopped and a dash of lemon. Mix and serve as a spread on the burger. A slice of red onion, feta cheese, and fresh spinach. The perfect burger.

                                                            Now you can sub, spinach for romaine or bibb I like red onion but white will work, even a regular bun will work. You can even leave out the onion slice. You as much as you can. It is really good.

                                                            1. greygarious May 16, 2009 12:14 PM

                                                              1)Garlic/spinach/feta, or 2) curry powder and onion

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