Simple spices and a garlicky herb sauce elevate this lamb burger in to something WOW! Perfect for BBQS or in mini version for cocktail parties.
Why lamb burgers?
Spring, or printemps, is in the air here in France. The mimosas are in bloom. Daffodils have been spotted sprouting along my driveway. And we’ve started to switch from rouge to rose while sipping wine in the square. My first culinary sign of the seasonal change was seeing young asparagus in the markets (for which I’ve posted a few recipes HERE and HERE). But… when I’m preparing menus this time of year there is only one meat that “springs” to mind. Lamb.
A Spring Meat…
Lamb has long been associated with spring feasts like Easter. I love a succulent leg, roasted with garlic, rosemary potatoes and a mint sauce. But we have a few weeks still to wait for Easter entertaining. Yet I’ve been carving lamb. So when my girls requested burgers this week I knew how to make us all happy! I normally make these beautiful lamb burgers in mini version and serve them at cocktail parties. For lunch buffets I serve them on a bed of greens with pomegranate, red onion, cherry tomatoes and the lovely mint sauce. But last week I just made them as big ‘ole burgers for the girls and I. As I licked my fingers dry I wondered why I don’t do so more often!
A Middle Eastern Lamb Burger…
The flavors in this lamb burger are reminiscent of Middle Eastern lamb kofte. To make kofte, simply form the meat into small little patties or balls and serve in pita or flatbread, drizzled with sauce and herbs. Serve the kofte alongside a traditional Greek salad (tomato, red onion, cucumber, olive and feta – no lettuce) or a tabouleh packed with parsley and mint. Better than a burger and fries any day (in my opinion).
As these lamb burgers are Middle Eastern in flavour I love to add pomegranate. It’s one of my favourite fruits for incorporating into savoury dishes because it is slightly sour and excellent at cutting the richness of food. Lamb lends itself well to slightly tangy and sweet flavours. A traditional Western accompaniment is mint sauce which is both sweet and vinegary. Pomegranate adds a similar dimension. When making these lamb burgers I sprinkle them with pomegranate or top them with the yogurt sauce and the pomegranate seeds.Print
Middle Eastern Lamb Burgers with Mint and Garlic Yogurt
Simple spices and a garlicky herb sauce elevate this burger in to something WOW! Perfect for BBQS or in mini version for cocktail parties.
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cook Time: 15 min
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4–6 servings 1x
- Category: Burger
- Method: Grill/BBQ
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
- 1.5 lbs (680g) ground lamb or beef
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 onion, minced or grated
- 1 Tablespoon ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1.5 teaspoons smoked paprika (if you don’t have it you can use regular but smoked gives much more flavour)
- 1 teaspoon dried mint or 1 tablespoon fresh chopped mint
- 1.5 teaspoons salt
- fresh ground pepper or an optional pinch of chilli flakes
- For the Sauce:
- 1 cup greek yogurt
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons chopped mint
- 1 Tablespoon chopped dill (you can play with the herbs but those are my favourite combination)
- salt to taste
- For Cooking and Serving:
- 1–2 glugs of olive oil
- optional handful of pomegranate seeds (see note above)
- Fresh greens
- Mint & Dill Sprigs
- Pita or bun
- Thinly sliced Red Onion and Tomato
- Combine the meat with the spices, garlic and onion in a medium bowl and mix well with your hands without over working the meat. Form in to large burgers or small patties.
- Heat a glug of olive oil in a pan or heat your grill over medium heat and slightly brush the burgers with oil. Cook the burgers until desired temperature (cooking time depends greatly on size but a large burger needs at least 12-15 minutes cooking time while small kofte probably only need 7-8 minutes)
- While the burgers are cooking combine all the ingredients for the yogurt sauce.
- Serve the burgers or kofte with chosen accompaniments.
Keywords: lamb burger, kofte, Middle Eastern recipe, lamb recipe