Recipe: Greek Lamb Burgers

For  the #ChefsTable series during August, our chef is bringing you recipes for the BBQ season - inside or out! Well, you have got to love the British weather.  Always keeping us on our toes.  There I was, with a lovely barbecue menu planned out and it keeps raining.  So, instead, we are going with a barbecue-adaptable menu, which you can use, depending on the weather, with either a grill or al fresco.

We are starting with something I came up with while flicking through old photos of my Malia days.

You need:

  • Minced Lamb
  • One egg
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Freshly chopped mint
  • Garlic powder
  • Gyros spices, if you have any
  • Oregano
  • Cucumber
  • Greek Yoghurt
  • Beefsteak tomato
  • Halloumi cheese (optional)
  • Feta Cheese (optional)

Oh, and a bread cake. (I’m from Yorkshire, and we call them bread cakes, OK?)

Take one big mixing bowl and place it on a dry worktop.  Wash your hands very carefully, between your fingers and right up your wrists.

Per burger you need enough lamb mince to fill the palm of your hand, half an egg white, and a quarter of a teacup of fine, white breadcrumbs.

To this, add half a teaspoon of garlic powder, a teaspoon of finely chopped mint, half a teaspoon of Oregano, and, if you have any, Gyros spices.  These are the same that the Greeks use in their kebabs. If you wish, crumble in some Feta cheese.

Now, kneed it well into a ball, and divide up into burger sized balls, and flatten down on a red chopping board, or a plate. That is your burger sorted.

Next up, you need the Tzatziki.  This will be going inside the bun, under the burger.

Take a cereal bowl, add a teaspoon of chopped mint, a tablespoon of grated cucumber, half a teaspoon of garlic powder.  Now for the shameless product placement - you need Total Greek Yoghurt for the best Tzatziki.  It is thick, creamy and totally delicious.  The rest are like thickened milk by comparison.  Add a good tablespoon and mix it well. Grill your burger until it is brown on both sides.  Lamb is relatively safe to eat medium rare.  After grilling on both sides, add your Halloumi cheese to the top and grill it until it starts to brown at the corners.  Now grill your bun until it, too, is golden brown.  Don't take your eyes off it, they burn very quickly.

Cut a nice thick slice of Beefsteak Tomato.  These tomatoes are the business, you can do so much more with them than standard size tomatoes.

Now, to assemble your burger, spread the Tzatziki over the base.  Place the slice of tomato over this, and then place the burger on top.

That is pretty much all these is to it.  If you like, serve it with chips or a small Greek salad.  Yummy.

That’s it for today, next week, we are doing regular burgers, but with one very special ingredient.  Stay tuned.

Words & photos by chef Nick Gilmartin who can be contacted on @Nick1975 or find out more here.