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Fusion Greek Main Course Recipes

Greek Lamb Burgers

Grilled seasoned ground lamb patties with a feta cheese centre are served on a gourmet bun dressed with tzatziki and baby spinach.

This dish is inspired by those trendy gourmet burger restaurants and their fusion of the good old American hamburger with more exotic ingredients from a variety of world cuisines. My mission was to encapsulate some of my favourite Greek foods into one the most popular American conveyances.

The Greek Condiment

Tzatziki is one of the best condiments to serve with lamb and it’s not just the Greeks who think so. You’ll often find lamb being accompanied by versions of tzatziki across the neighbouring middle east. Since I have fresh mint in my garden for a good part of the year, I like to make my own tzatziki. It’s even better when made with some full-bodied Greek yogurt. But you could always save yourself some time and effort by picking up some store-bought tzatziki.

The iconic blue domes of Oia on the island of Santorini, Greece. Photo: K. R. Lamoureux
Preparing the Lamb

You’ll first blend your seasonings and egg in the mixing bowl then mix the lamb and breadcrumbs in with your hands. The goal is to wrap the meat patty around the slice of feta cheese then seal up the patty. You will get four patties from one pound of ground lamb. If you choose to barbecue the patties, use medium heat and watch for flare ups. Be careful not to scorch the meat or it will cook too fast and not allow the cheese the time to melt.

Greek Lamb Burgers

Kevin Lamoureux
Grilled seasoned ground lamb patties with a feta cheese centre are served on a gourmet bun then dressed with tzatziki and baby spinach.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Greek

Ingredients
  

For the Tzatziki

  • ¾ cup shredded cucumber skin on
  • ½ tsp salt divided
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint finely chopped

For the Lamb Burgers

  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint finely chopped
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp chili flakes
  • ½ tsp garlic salt
  • 4, ¼- inch thick slices of feta cheese about 2 x 2 inches
  • Gourmet hamburger buns
  • 1 cup baby spinach rinsed and dried

Instructions
 

For the Tzatziki

  • Place the shredded cucumber in a bowl and sprinkle with ¼ tsp salt. Set aside.
  • Add the remaining salt and garlic to a medium mixing bowl, crush the garlic with a pestle.
  • Squeeze the liquid from the cucumber (I just press the cucumbers with my hands) and allow the liquid to drain away.
  • Mix all tzatziki ingredients and place in the refrigerator until the lamb is cooked.

For the Lamb Burgers

  • Whisk the egg in a large mixing bowl.
  • Stir in the mint, oregano, pepper, chili flakes and garlic salt.
  • Add the lamb and breadcrumbs and combine all ingredients using your hands.
  • Divide the lamb mixture into four, flatten each portion to about ½ inch thickness.
  • Lay a piece of feta cheese in the centre of each portion then fold the lamb mixture around the cheese.
  • Reshape into a roughly 1-inch-thick patties, making sure that the cheese is not exposed.
  • Barbecue or fry on a griddle on medium heat for about 4 minutes per side. It is well done when it reaches 160° F.
  • Just before the lamb has finished cooking, lightly toast the buns on the barbecue.
  • Dress the lamb burgers with the tzatziki and spinach then serve.

Notes

I prefer to use higher fat content yogurt as it produces thicker tzatziki. If you don’t have garlic salt, substitute garlic powder then add salt to taste.
Removing the liquid from the cucumbers takes away the bitter taste and prevents the tzatziki from being too runny.
As we are cooking ground lamb, the USDA official safe temperature should read 160° F on a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat patty.
Keyword barbecue, lamb

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