Burger Bonanza! Lamburger Hamburger with Tzatziki
Right before Hurricane Sandy showed up to rock our world, we had a few bizarrely warm days in October, including one that 80 degrees! Rather than worry about the potential storm destruction to come or climate change, we tried to concentrate on this one last gift from the grilling gods. I know, I know some people (like my dad) are all-weather grillers. Not me. Especially not since we’re rocking the old school charcoal Weber, which has be to prodded and checked on and futzed with before it’s ready.
That one last blast of summer warmth was particularly fortuitous because I didn’t quite have this recipe where I wanted it yet. I had been working up a lamb burger for quite a while and this was the perfect opportunity for finishing touches. What I was looking for was a bunch of delicious Greek flavors without having to get take-out or somehow roast a whole leg of lamb at home for gyros. I think this burger on its own is great, but it’s the addition of the tzatziki, plus a little lettuce and tomato, that really sends it to gyro-land.
Lamburger Hamburgers with Tzatziki
This makes two huge, juicy burgers. The lamb will shrink up a bit during cooking, but not as much as a burger made with beef, so you may want to select buns accordingly.
1 lb ground lamb
1 packed Tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
1 packed Tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
1/4 cup feta, crumbled, plus two Tablespoons for topping (optional)
1/4 cup red onion, diced fine
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1 large egg
2 large whole wheat buns, toasted
lettuce, tomato and tzatziki (or other toppings as desired); tzatziki recipe below
Prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire (or heat a gas grill to medium-high or heat 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat).
In a large bowl, gently mix lamb, herbs and spices, feta and onions, lamb, mustard, herbs, spices, and salt and pepper. Crack egg over meat mixture and knead egg through meat, taking care not to over mix. Form meat into 2 patties, each about 1 inch thick.
Grill burgers, flipping once, until browned and cooked to desired doneness, about 10 minutes (5 on each side) for medium rare. Serve hot with additional feta, lettuce, tomato and taztziki or other toppings as desired.
1 small cucumber, peeled (I like the size and flavor of Kirbys for this recipe)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon mint, chopped fine
1 Tablespoon good olive oil
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the cucumber into a small fine mesh sieve set over a bowl or the sink. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, toss and let drain for 15 minutes.
Once some of the liquid has drained from the cucumber, mix the grated cucumber and the rest of the ingredients thoroughly in a small bowl. Add salt to taste (I usually end up adding about 1/4 teaspoon more). Cover and chill in the ‘fridge for at least an hour, overnight is possible.