Lamb is one of may favorite proteins. I tend to like it best in Greek dishes, where the preparation often involves the flavors of lemon, thyme, oregano, and olive oil. My affinity for lamb may have something to do with the fact that Greek food, overall, is one of my favorite cuisines. My family spent 10 days in Greece when I was 15, and even 10 years later, I can still vividly recall the meals we ate. This past weekend I made lamb burgers for the first time. I kept the ingredients in the burger simple, so as not to take away from the natural flavor of the meat. Lamb has incredible flavor on its own, so when cooked (whatever the form) you never want to bury it with too many additional flavors.
I created a yogurt feta sauce to top the burgers. A yogurt sauce is really the only appropriate condiment for lamb burgers, and shouldn’t be eaten without. Ketchup definitely does not serve as a substitute!
adapted from Gourmet Today
1 1/4 lbs ground lamb
1 tsp ground cumin
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 T chopped flat leaf parsley
zest of 1/2 a lemon
4 whole wheat buns or pitas
1 cup greek yogurt (no less than 2% fat content)
1 T lemon juice
3 T grated english cucumber, squeezed out with paper towel
1 small garlic cloves, grated
1/4 cup crumbled greek feta
1/4 tsp salt
Combine the last 6 ingredients together to create the yogurt sauce, cover, and place in the fridge until ready to serve (this can be made several hours ahead, the longer the ingredients sit, the better.)
Combine the first 7 ingredients together, being sure not to overmix. Form into four 1 inch thick patties and set aside. Meanwhile coat a heavy sauce pan generously with olive oil, and heat over medium high heat for 5 minutes. Place the patties in the pan and cook covered for 4 minutes. After 4 minutes flip the burgers and cook for 3-4 minutes on the other side, until they’re not too soft in the center, but still have a slight give. Place cooked burgers on a plate, cover, and set aside to rest for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, ligthly toast your buns. Place a patty on the bottom bun, and slather the top bun with yogurt sauce. Enjoy immediately.