Lamb Burger + Olive Salad

IMAG2936I love lamb burgers, so I finally decided to take a stab at making my own. I took some direction from a recipe on Epicurious, but altered quite a bit of it to make it more like the lamb burgers I’ve had at Falafel King — basically the difference was that I just made it closer to a real burger with ketchup, mayonnaise and American cheese. I wanted to throw this olive salad on the side to give the meal more of a Greek feel.

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I messed up and accidentally got one jar of olives with pits, so make sure you read the labels so you don’t suffer from buyer’s remorse like I did! The salad was still super tasty either way. I’d have the entire meal again and again. And again.

To get started, I made the salad first so it could chill in the fridge for over an hour. The recipe recommended making it the day before even, so more is more in this case. I tossed together the green and Kalamata olives, then cut a package of feta cheese into cubes and tossed that with the olive mix. I then got some peppermint, oregano and basil from my patio garden and chopped all of that up. I set that aside and minced about 6 cloves of garlic.

In a small bowl, I mixed together the basil, oregano, 1/4 cup of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Note: You can also use the juice of two lemons for a fresher take. I then added the mixture to the olive and feta blend, and set it in the fridge to chill for an hour.

Now it’s time to make some lamb burgers! I put the lamb meat, 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, 2 teaspoons paprika, and 2 tablespoons of chopped mint and basil in a bowl and combined the mixture. Once the mixture was well blended, I formed two mega patties and set them back into the bowl, then placed them in the fridge to chill with the olive salad.

About an hour later, I took the broiler pan out of my oven and lined it with aluminum foil. I then placed my oven rack on the lowest setting and turned the broiler on my oven on to high. I put the two meat patties on the lined broiler pan and made a slight dent in the middle of the burger.

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Once the oven was nice and hot, I put the pan in and set a timer for ten minutes, checking the burgers occasionally for my own sanity.

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Then I started buttering my kaiser buns and cooking them on a burner at medium heat, grilled-cheese style. I just love cooking my buns when making burgers and brats. So I butter each side really well and fry the buns until they’re toasted and crispy. So so good. It totally adds to the quality of the meal and I highly recommend taking the extra effort to do this. You won’t regret it!

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I set the toasted buns on paper towels to catch any excess grease. Once the top side of the burgers looked browned, I pulled out the pan and gave the patties a flip. I then let the burgers cook on the other side for about ten minutes.

I finished the burgers off on a burner on medium heat, covered — basically to make sure the burger was cooked evenly (since I discovered while cooking that my temperature gauge was broken!). I cooked the burger, covered, for about thirty seconds to a minute on both sides, and then added a slice of American cheese and covered the burger. I waited until the cheese was perfectly melted before I removed the burger from the pan and placed it on a toasted bun.

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The results were tasty and incredible. I will definitely be doing this again! You can fry the burger in a pan if you want to avoid the broiler. I figured using the broiler would be easier, but I think I’m going to fry my next batch of burgers in a pan so I can hopefully prevent the smoke alarms going off next time!

Lamb Burgers

Ingredients

1 lb lamb

2 Tbsp peppermint, finely chopped

2 Tbsp basil, finely chopped

1/2 tsp kosher salt

2 teaspoons paprika

2-4 kaiser buns (depending on how many people you’re serving, or how big of burgers you want)

2 Tbsp butter

Directions

  1. Take the broiler pan out of the oven and line it with aluminum foil. Place oven rack on the lowest setting and turn the broiler on to high.
  2. Put the lamb meat, 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, 2 teaspoons paprika, and 2 tablespoons of chopped mint and basil in a bowl and combined the mixture.
  3. Once the mixture is well blended, form the desired amount of patties. Set the patties in the fridge to chill or place them on a lined broiler pan. Make a slight dent in the middle of each patty to help with cooking.
  4. Once the broiler is hot and ready, set the pan on the lowest rack and set a timer for ten minutes.
  5. Butter each side of the kaiser buns and cook each bun over medium heat in a nonstick frying pan. Toast buns until they’re grilled to perfection. Set aside on paper towels to capture excess butter.
  6. Once the ten-minute timer is up, flip burger patties and set another timer for ten minutes.
  7. Using the same pan used to toast the patties, finish up each burger in a frying pan by heating each side for another thirty seconds on each side. Add a slice of cheese once the burger is flipped and cover it. Continue cooking until the cheese is perfectly melted, then removed from heat and set on grilled burger buns.

Olive Salad

Ingredients

1 jar pitted Kalamata olives, drained

1 jar pitted green olives, drained

1 package feta cheese

2 lemons (or 2 Tbsp lemon juice)

1/4 olive oil

2 Tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped

1 Tbsp fresh oregano, finely chopped

Directions

  1. Drain two jars of olives and combine them in a small- to medium-sized bowl. Cut up package of feta cheese into cubes and mix with olive blend.
  2. Finely chop basil and oregano and add to a small bowl. Add olive oil and lemon juice. Mix well and add to the olive blend.
  3. Chill in refrigerator for at least one hour. Salad can be made the night before to give it proper time to chill and set.

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