Monday, April 19, 2010

Lamb Burgers

This recipe I found on the Once Upon A Chef blog looks amazing! I think this will cure my cravings for Gyros. Just have to locate some ground lamb. - Tamra (a.k.a. The Frugal Mom)

Greek-Style Lamb Burgers

Posted: 18 Apr 2010 07:36 PM PDT

Lamb burgers

If you like Greek food, you'll love these lamb burgers...Warm pitas stuffed with flavorful lamb patties, tzatziki, feta, tomatoes, red onions and shredded lettuce. For me, the flavors conjure up memories of delicious Mediterranean street food from travels past

They're perfect for entertaining – a fun, sophisticated alternative to your standard cookout fare.

You'll need ground lamb for the recipe...your regular grocery store may not carry it but you can always find it at Whole Foods.

Lamb burger 2

In addition to the flavor, the great thing about these burgers is that they're incredibly tender and juicy. The secret? A panade – this is a bread and milk paste that's sometimes mixed into ground meat. You can't taste it but it guarantees perfect burgers every time, especially if you like your meat a little more well-done or if you accidentally overcook them. A little insurance never hurts, especially if you're entertaining :)

So, gather up some friends and invite them over for a Mediterranean-style cookout...

Lamb burger 1

You can do most of the preparation ahead of time and get your guests to help you with the rest.

Warm weather + Greek food on the grill = FUN!

Makes 6 burgers (enough for 3-4 people)


For Lamb Burgers
1 slice white bread, crust removed and cut into ¼” pieces
2 tablespoons milk
¼ cup finely chopped shallots (you’ll need one or two shallots)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ pounds ground lamb (not lean)
6 pita bread rounds (see note below)

Optional Toppings
1 small head iceberg lettuce, shredded
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
6 ounces crumbled feta cheese
Tzatziki (get recipe here)


1. Be sure grill is clean and preheat to high.

2. Combine bread pieces and milk in a medium bowl. Mash with a fork until paste forms. Add shallots, garlic, mint, oregano, salt, pepper and mix well. Add lamb, then use your hand to mix ingredients together until well combined. Do not over mix. Form mixture into 6 oval-shaped patties about ½-inch thick.

3. Grease grill (dip a wad of paper towels in vegetable oil and holding wad with tongs, carefully wipe cooking grate several times). Grill patties, covered, for 4 minutes. Turn, cover again, and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes more. Place burgers on a tray and cover with foil while you warm pita rounds on the grill. Assemble burgers and pass remaining tzatziki alongside.

*There are two types of pita bread: pita pockets and pocketless pitas. You can use either for this recipe. For pita pockets, be sure they are at least 6 inches wide. Trim off the top ¼ of each round and stuff the burgers and toppings inside. For pocketless pitas, serve burgers open-faced or, if pitas are large enough, wrap them around burgers.

*If you're entertaining, lamb patties can be made a day ahead of time. Place them on a sheet pan lined with aluminum foil and cover tightly with saran wrap.Tzatziki can be made two days ahead of time.

*For kids, try serving burgers with ketchup.

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