This unusual recipe makes really mouthwatering burgers. Lamb burgers are always a good alternative to beef or chicken patties, and the higher fat content keeps them really succulent even if you choose to go for a well-done result. Mint is one herb possessing a natural affinity with lamb (oregano is another, and thyme is a third) which is why we are using it to make the creamy dressing served with them. Add cucumber and a pinch of salt to Greek yogurt, along with the mint, and you end up with a really tasty dressing which is simply wonderful with lamb. You can make the dressing ahead and either keep it chilled or at room temperature. If you are making it more than an hour in advance then you should refrigerate it.
Ground lamb is the main ingredient in the burgers, as you might expect, and it is blended with garlic and shallot, as well as a little thyme, to enhance the flavor. This recipe makes 4 patties. Try to get them about three-quarters of an inch thick for the best results. Do this and they will take roughly 10 minutes to cook as long as the barbeque is hot enough. The smoky aroma from the barbeque will permeate into the burgers, adding even more appeal. Cook them until they are 160 degrees F in the center, using an instant-read thermometer to check. Some people prefer their lamb quite rare but we suggest 160 degrees F to make absolutely sure they are safe to eat.
How to Serve Barbequed Lamb Patties
Although you can serve these by themselves if that is what you are in the mood for, they are incredibly good served in pita pockets with our creamy cucumber dressing. An alternative however would be serving them without the dressing or pita bread but instead with a creamy macaroni salad. You might even want to double up on the lamb patties mixture, then keep half of it in the refrigerator. The following day, shape it into round meatballs and pan-fry or oven-bake them until they are cooked through, then serve with salad or vegetables, or even with spaghetti and a tomato-based sauce. The ground lamb mixture will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator so you do not have to have lamb two days in a row. This is only an idea, of course, but if you find yourself with a lot of ground lamb to use up (perhaps it was on sale) then the suggestion might appeal to you.
This dish boasts a typical Greek flavor, not only because of the minted dressing but also because lamb is such a popular meat in Greece found in dishes such as moussaka and shish kebab. Although you might think it is a ‘heavy’ option in the summer when seafood and light chicken dishes seem to be the order of the day, you will find the dressing really balances the meal out and you will be so pleased you chose to make this recipe. Lamb is also quite forgiving – because of the relatively high fat content, overcooking it by a few minutes will not dry it out. So the next time you want to make homemade burgers for barbequing, select lamb instead of beef and you will be able to try out this recipe. We promise you will love the flavor!
- 2 lbs ground lamb
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 finely chopped shallot (or ¼ yellow onion)
- 4 lightly toasted pita bread pockets
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint leaves
- ½ de-seeded, thinly sliced cucumber
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Heat the barbeque to medium-hot.
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a bowl and set to one side.
- Combine the lamb with the garlic, thyme, shallot, salt, and black pepper.
- Shape 4 patties out of this mixture, about ¾-inch thick.
- Cook them on the barbeque for 5 or 6 minutes per side or until done.
- Serve them in pita pockets with the creamy dressing.
The smell of lamb patties sizzling away on the barbeque is sure to make everyone run over to find out exactly where that incredible aroma is coming from and what you are cooking on there. This recipe teams homemade lamb burgers, which are seasoned with garlic, thyme and shallots, with a homemade cucumber-mint dressing, and the patties are presented in lightly toasted pita pockets. The result is a Greek-themed dish which everyone is sure to be impressed with. Consider serving a Greek salad on the side – toss cucumber, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese cubes and black olives together with lettuce, and drizzle some extra-virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar over it.
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