Hello everyone! Just got back from a short getaway in Taipei. Ate many, many types of interesting street food and visited some ‘quaint’ , not-so-crowded areas within Taipei. More on those in the next post! Right now, let’s get on with some juicy burger business. I’ve been wanting to make these for years but it has been so difficult to find ground lamb. I’ve finally found a butcher (Huber’s Butchery) that sells not just minced lamb but every other meat product, a small selection of seasonal produce and has a cute little bistro . A great place to chill with the family over the weekend.
This Moroccan-inspired lamb burger recipe is a combination of 2 recipes I’ve come across over the years. One is this from the Bon Appetit magazine and the other one‘s from Jamie Oliver’s website. The lamb patties are juicy and bursting with flavour from the moroccan-inspired ground spices and instead of the usual mayo, I’ve used greek yoghurt with harissa for that extra kick. You could always use just plain mayo if you can’t find harissa. The beet, onion and orange salad is a real winner as its bright flavour complements the earthy and slightly gamey flavours of the burger. So perfect for a barbeque on a weekend or even over the grill pan on your stove. Who doesn’t love a juicy, flavoursome burger, eh?
For the salad
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 beets, boiled, peeled and cut into small cubes
- 1 large orange, peel and pith cut away, flesh cut into small cubes
- 1 cup finely sliced red onions
- 1/4 cup chopped pitted green olives
- 1/4 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
For the burger
- 800 g/ 1 and 3/4 pound ground lamb (not lean lamb, please!)
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
- 1-2 green chillies/1 jalapeño chile, deseeded, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 and 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp garam masala / ras el hanout
- 2 tsp ground smoked paprika
- 1 egg, beaten (for helping to ‘glue’ the ground meat, optional)
- 4 wholewheat burger buns, split horizontally
- 1-2 cups thinly sliced lettuce
- 1 large tomato, cut into thick slices
- a few large tbsp plain greek yoghurt
- big dollop of harissa paste
- non-stick vegetable oil spray
* You can use all or some of the ground spices. You can adjust the number of green chillies and amount ground spices to your level of spice tolerance. As the patties were quite thick, I found the spice level just nice, but not overpowering. The greek yoghurt and tomato slices help to cut the ‘heat’.
* You might want to use gloves and a plastic cutting board when cutting the beets. Unless you want to look like you just murdered your house cat (or your spouse!) , I strongly recommend you to use gloves.
For the salad, mix all ingredients, except the pomegranate seeds and beet, and set aside in the fridge. You could do this a day earlier. Just before serving, gently stir in the beet cubes and pomegranate seeds. This prevents the beets and pomegranate seeds from ‘bleeding’ and making your salad red.
Mix the greek yoghurt with harisaa paste and set aside.
For the burger, mix the ground lamb with the minced shallot, garlic, chillies, egg and ground spices and set aside. This can be done a day ahead and left in the fridge, covered. Remove from fridge and bring to room temperature at least 30-40 minutes before grilling.
To start grilling, heat your grill pan to medium high heat. You could also use your outdoor grill. (Lucky you!) Spray with non-stick vegetable oil spray. Shape meat mixture into four 1/2 inch patties. Grill buns, cut side down, until golden brown. Set aside. Grill burgers, for about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare doneness, and set aside on a metal rack to cool slightly.
To assemble your burger, place burgers on bottom-half of grilled buns. Top with a giant spoonful of harissa-yoghurt, shredded lettuce and a tomato slice. Scoop out some of the chilled, fresh beet, onion and orange salad on the side. Squish the burger together, sink your teeth in and enjoy your messy but very tasty Moroccan Lamb Burger. Go ahead. Make this asap. You can thank me later ;)