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Ultimate Lamb burger

I've searched, but I think this deserves a new thread.
I would like to put a lamb burger on my new menu, but I'd really like it to be something people talk about after they leave, a real show-stopper.
Anyone's ideas or experiences regarding ingredients, accompaniments or techniques would be welcome. Any ethnic influence, too.

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  1. How does this sound?

    To 2 1/2 pounds of ground lamb, add;

    1/4 cup oregano
    1 1/2 Tbs onion powder
    1 Tbs garlic powder
    1 heaping Tbs ground black pepper
    1 tsp thyme
    3/4 tsp salt

    Sometimes I broil or fry this in patties, sometimes I make it into a loaf and slice it.

    Serve with tahini sauce, sweet onion, cucumber slices and lettuce on pita or a bun.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jmcarthur8

      Ok, I'm making one of these right now.

    2. We make a lamb burger at home that calls for mixing the ground lamb with minced onion, garlic and shallots, finely-chopped mint and cilantro and a little cumin, salt and pepper. We serve them with a tomato/cucumber raita with a bit of lemon, either in a pita with shredded lettuce or on a regular bun with some Moroccan-pickled onions.

      3 Replies
      1. re: mamachef

        Do you have a recipe for these moroccan pickled onions? That sounds interesting.

        1. re: Spanish Willy

          Hey Spanish Willy!
          They're more than interesting; they're delicious. I buy a pre-mixed Moroccan spice blend, but I can tell you that the main ingredients are salt, pepper, tumeric, ginger, saffron and cinnamon. I toss in some aleppo peppers because we love the taste and heat. What I do is make a brine out of cider vinegar, the spices, and a bit of sugar to round the rough edges, and bring it to a boil. I pour it over very thinly-sliced red or white onions and let them steep a few hours, then chill them in the liquid. Good on anything. Chicken is also awesome braised in this.
          I also see that you've got a ton of suggestions for Greek/Feta-y lamburgers, and you could tweak this marinade by using lemon juice, garlic, oregano and a little mint for your brine, which would also work beautifully with very thin-sliced cucumbers as a relish for those burgers.......or zucchini......you could even saute spinach and use a bit of the brine as a dressing before you pile it onto your lamburger.....

          1. re: mamachef

            Both those pickles sound fantastic!

      2. I've eaten a couple of good lamburgers recently, and these might send you off in one direction or another. The first can be found on the menu at http://www.subzerovodkabar.com/food-m... .
        The second is on the dinner menu at http://www.thescottisharms.com but there's also a lamb meatball sandwich on the lunch menu that is lip-smacking.

        1 Reply
        1. re: lemons

          Thanks very much. I'm going to try some goat cheese on this next one that I'm making.

        2. Best I've had is ground lamb mixed with chunky crumbles of feta cheese, pitted kalamata olives, red onion and some Greek oregano. My husband dislikes lamb, but he loves these.

          5 Replies
          1. re: mcf

            All that stuff is mixed right in the meat?

            1. re: Spanish Willy

              Yep, care taken not to smoosh the feta into smears instead of chunks. We usually eat these as is, but I think a yogurt sauce would go great, or a tahini dressing.

                1. re: Spanish Willy

                  Ooh, it IS. A little minced garlic wouldn't hurt it one bit. Sometimes we have it with a garlic paste made with mortar and pestle from garlic, kosher salt mashed, then EVOO stirred in til it stops absorbing, then lemon juice added to taste and to cut the bitterness. Damn good eatin'. :-)

                  1. re: mcf

                    as an alternate try mint or marjoram (or a mix of all three) and a liberal pinch of cumin won't hurt...

          2. The recipe at the top is close to a Greek family recipe, but with we use less much black pepper and oregano (I hope the 1/4 cup is for fresh leaves!), and we add a couple of tablespoons of chopped parsley. Tahini spread on the bun is not traditional but a good addition.

            2 Replies
            1. re: ernie in berkeley

              ernie, I love the heavy hand with the black pepper in this. And believe it or not, it's dried oregano. It sounds like it would be too bitter with all that oregano, but it's not at all.
              I make a sauce with the tahini by adding water, minced garlic, fresh parsley and lemon juice.

              1. re: jmcarthur8

                Cool, whatever you like! I'm not a big black pepper fan, myself.

            2. Here's my own personal recipe for lamb burgers. It works well with ground goat meat as well.


              1 pound ground lamb
              Approx. ¼-1/2 cup chopped red onion
              Approx. 12 pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
              Approx. ½-3/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese (plus extra for topping if desired)
              Approx. ½-1 tablespoon dried oregano
              Approx. 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
              Approx. 10-20 “grinds” of coarse black pepper (to taste)
              Approx. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
              Creamy Feta salad dressing (optional)
              Baby Arugula for topping (optional)
              Toasted crusty rolls (optional)

              Using your hands, combine all ingredients (except for Creamy Feta salad dressing & Arugula) thoroughly. Form into 2 large or 4 small patties, making the centers a little thinner than the edges to help prevent the sometimes inevitable “burger bulge” that can occur during cooking.

              Broil, grill, or pan-fry to desired doneness. Serve on toasted crusty rolls topped with Creamy Feta salad dressing & baby Arugula, or – especially if making the larger patties – serve plated minus the rolls with a nice mixed green salad on the side.

              Notes: No salt is needed in or on these burgers, as that’s pretty well taken care of by both the Feta cheese & the Kalamata olives. There are several commercial brands of Creamy Feta salad dressing available, both shelf-bottled & jar-refrigerated, & the ones I’ve tried so far have been quite tasty & versatile. The one I used here was put out by Trader Joe’s.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Breezychow

                That's very, very close to mine, looks just like it. I agree that added salt would be overkill.

              2. I clipped this from the NYTimes who called it The Four Seasons Chopped Lamb with pine nuts. I've made it for years, it's idiotically simple & delicious.

                Add 6 Tbs pine nuts to 1 lb chopped lamb. Add curry powder, coriander, sweet paprika to taste. Blend with 1/3 cup ice water added gradually. (The ice water will lighten the lamb mixture) Shape into 4 portions, chill in fridge for at least 2 hrs to firm & to bring out flavors. Broil for 5 mins on each side or else saute.

                I serve with Bulghur (I usually add currants), chutney & raita. It's always a big hit.

                1. I do not make lamb burgers, as my Mom wrecked it for me by serving us ground lamb in the 70s, and it was the really strong gamey stuff, that made me swear it off, for at least 30 years!

                  But I do love racks and roasts, and make them quite frequently, here's some ideas to try into your mix:

                  sun dried tomatoes, either packed in oil, rinsed & chopped, or a pesto/tapenade, which would eliminate adding extra garlic or oil
                  chopped fresh mint , flat leaf parsley or a mint pesto
                  lemon juice or a splash of white balsamic
                  dijon mustard or a vinaigrette made with evoo, dijon & lemon juice
                  rosemary oil (fresh rosemary steeped in heated olive oil)
                  toasted cumin, fennel or fenugreek seeds, za'atar
                  grated shallot or red onion, as opposed to chopped, which will give you the flavor without the pieces

                  I also really like the idea of stuffing the middle of the burger with feta, instead of just cubes mixed into the patty. Or perhaps, goat cheese, or a garlicky boursin, which would have a better melt factor than feta.

                  Good luck and let us know what you make and how they turn out!!

                  1. Lamb meat mixed with dried oregano, garlic, a little salt, and crushed pepper.
                    Grill to med rare, place feta cheese while buttered bun is being grilled. Brush the bun (something hearty like a ciabatta)with rosemary branch and olive oil. Just that light brush really flavors the bread. When the meat is ready, I've used roasted/grilled red peppers and grilled eggplant slices to layer with tatziki sauce. For a fresher burger, red leaf lettuce and just a few mint lleaves chopped fine. Or, a a drizzle resh lemon juice and olive oil over the burger with rosemary and oregano, there's a couple different ways, again tatziki saue. gosh I'm hungry. The next purchase I make themeat grinder attachment for my KA, so I can do these ground meats myself and mix the herbs right in. Food Processor works okay, but there's much more I can do with the KA.

                    1. Add some Baharat spice to the mixture.

                      Easy to grind and make your own.


                      1. The most delicious lamb burgers I've ever had are made with lots of garlic, chopped fresh mint, salt and pepper. That's it. Serve them with tzatziki in pita bread.

                        Lamb has such a clean, delicious flavor that it doesn't need much help.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Isolda

                          That's how I like my lamb burgers too. Except on a toasted roll.

                        2. Keep the Lamb Burger simple (just S+P and grilled) but top with fresh home made pickled red onions. For some reason it rocks on top of a Lamb Burger.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: PoppiYYZ

                            Could you direct me to an "ultimate" recipe for those onions? Please?

                            1. re: Spanish Willy

                              I'm sure there are many opinions on "ultimate", but this is my favorite :


                              I find them best after sitting refrigerated for 3 days. They have had time to blend but still have a fresh flavor. Also, I cut the rings in half or quarters so they aren't as long.

                              1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                Made these last night but with the longer marinated red onions (recipe above), and added homemade tzaziki. Boy they were good.


                                1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                  man you guys are all right on target with those pickled onions. I'm making them with Ras-al-Hanout and a bit of sugar and salt in my vinegar. The burger loves them.

                          2. Do you want a lamb burger that tastes strongly of lamb or one that is intricately spiced? My lamb burgers are typically spiced with cumin, coriander, cayenne, cardamom, ginger and garlic and served with a spicy tomato sauce along with the works. If you want something more subtle, I would lean towards making patties with allspice, oregano, garlic, onion, pepper, parsley, mint and lemon peel stuffed with feta. Serve atop an olive loaf.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: JungMann

                              I guess I´m leaning toward subtle for this one.
                              You mean a spicy ketchup?
                              Olive loaf, eh?

                              1. re: Spanish Willy

                                Reading these posts gave me another idea. Since roast lamb is often made with rosemary and garlic, how about a burger with minced garlic, onion, maybe parsley or some subtle herb on a good country style rosemary bread?

                                1. re: Spanish Willy

                                  Yes, it's a spicy ketchup produced by Maggi, but it's a little sweeter than Heinz.

                              2. This topic gave me inspiration and I made Lamburgers tonight. Minced up some fresh garlic and red onion, added some salt, pepper, cumin, cilantro, oregano, a little onion powder, and a little bit of cinnamon. Mixed all of it in with the lamb and made two patties out of it. Grilled them up, well done with a little char; served on whole wheat slider buns toasted with some garlic and herb goat cheese spread on top. These were excellent. As far as all the spices went, I kind of just eyeballed them to my liking. Had I had feta cheese crumbles, they would have made these burgers a home run.

                                I think JungMann brings up a great point. I think you have to decide what you want to shine, the lamb or the spice mix. I think this has a lot to do with your clientele. If you're serving other foodies who are looking for something really quality, I think you'll have to make the lamb shine a little more than I did, in which case you could just use a lesser amount of spices. However, if your clientele do not have quite as sophisticated tastes, you will probably do better with a higher spice concentration.