Greek-Style Lamb Burgers
If you like Greek food, you’ll love these flavorful lamb patties topped with 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.
The secret to these burgers is a panade – a bread and milk paste that’s sometimes mixed into ground meat. You can’t taste it but it guarantees tender and juicy 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, invite some friends over for a Mediterranean-style cookout…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
Greek-Style Lamb Burgers
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)
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.