Mini Lamb Burger

Mini Lamb Burger

Esme’s got a new obses­sion with favourites. “Who do you love more, Julian or me? If you had to choose!”  To which I reply, “Nice try, small fry, I don’t have to choose.” Or she’ll ask me a series of ques­tions, “What do you like more, daisies or roses?” “Roses.” “And what do you love more, roses or choco­late?” “Huh?” And so on, until she is sat­is­fied that she has landed on your favourite of favourites. I guess it’s human nature, right?

Burg­ers are a favourite of mine all year round but par­tic­u­larly in the sum­mer.  It’s an obses­sion that is usu­ally frus­trated. For all the burger places here in Toronto I find it mad­den­ingly hard to find a really great burger. They’re usu­ally too dry and dense. Why is that? Any­way, not these lit­tle babies. Tak­ing a spin through the SPC burger archive I real­ized we’d never done a lamb burger and I thought it would be nice for the kids to make them mini and serve them in lit­tle pita pock­ets. Both Esme and Julian love burg­ers too but Julian can some­times strug­gle to man­age keep­ing them together. Which leads to a very messy, layer-by-layer approach to eat­ing them I’d rather never see again. If you don’t have time to whip up the tzatzki-ish sauce to go with the lamb burg­ers it’s no big deal but it is super del­ish. And I love the con­trast of a cool, fresh tast­ing sauce on a hot burger. I think of lamb as being a rather rich-tasting meat but these are actu­ally quite lean. You’ll prob­a­bly have to ask your butcher to grind the lamb for you as you don’t often see it ready to go in the meat section.

So, what about you? As Esme would ask, “What do you love more, sal­ads or burg­ers? Do you love ice cream more or pop­si­cles?” Tell us about your sum­mer favourites — we love hear­ing from you!

minilambburger

photo by Maya Vis­nyei

Mini Lamb Burger

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh pars­ley, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano (or 2 tsp fresh)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • salt and pep­per
  • mini pitas
  • let­tuce leaves, washed and torn
  • toma­toes, sliced
  • Tzatziki-ish Sauce
  • 1/2 Eng­lish cucum­ber, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of gar­lic, minced
  • salt and pep­per to taste

Method

In a large bowl, mix together all the burger ingre­di­ents together until every­thing is well com­bined. Cover and place in the fridge while you make your tzatzki-ish sauce or any­thing else you need to pre­pare for your barbecue.

In a medium sized bowl, mix all of your sauce ingre­di­ents together and let them sit in the fridge for a bit to get the best flavour.

Form the meat into small pat­ties — you should get about 8 or 9 out of the batch. Place them on a clean plate. Heat your grill or pan to medium, medium/high heat and if you're using a pan, add a bit of veg­etable oil. Cook your burg­ers, about 5 min­utes on each side until the inter­nal tem­per­a­ture is 160 degrees if you've got a meat ther­mome­ter or just barely pink in the cen­tre if you don't. You'll need to work in batches, you don't want to over crowd the pan.

Cut each pita in half and tuck in a lamb patty, some let­tuce, tomato and a good dol­lop of the tzatziki-ish sauce. Serve and watch these babies disappear.

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