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lamb burgers with homemade pickles

Once upon a holiday, I made lamb for the first time. You know, so wise. Having company for a holiday, Heather? Oh, let’s try something you’ve never done before with an audience that isn’t super adventurous, said me. Yes, of course. 🤦🏻‍♀️

It wasn’t my favorite, and from the number of leftovers, it wasn’t anyone else’s either. But it was the first try done. First try results rarely stop me and good thing since lamb has become one of my favorites. Roasted lamb chops, lamb meatballs and lamb burgers? I’ll order it over beef most days.

We love these burgers with a bun or plate of spinach greens and always topped with sauce and homemade pickles. And by pickles, I don’t mean canned, jarred, or Grandma’s anything. I wouldn’t just throw that careless comment in there like that, I promise. These you can make in 15 and eat immediately or better yet, an hour or more later. And if you have no time for this or you forget, try these even easier pickled onions.

Since I’ve been scratching down notes for these lamb burgers in multiple places, it’s time I put it here for you AND me.

Lamb Burgers with Lemon Yogurt Sauce
For the burgers:
  • 1.5 lb ground lamb
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • pepper - 20 cracks or ½ teaspoon
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil, more for frying
Lemon yogurt sauce
  • 1 cup of yogurt
  • ½ lemon zested
  • ½ lemon juiced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped mint or dill
  • ½ teaspoon of salt & a pinch of pepper
  • 1 small garlic clove crushed (optional for a little punch.)
  1. In a bowl break apart your meat with two forks lightly.
  2. Add all the spices and oil.
  3. Gently mix ingredients into the meat with two forks, not stirring or mashing the meat, just enough to combine.
  4. When all is mixed, form 4 - 6 patties about ¾ inch thick.
  5. Heat oil in a pan, enough to lightly coat the pan surface.
  6. Fry lamb burgers 3-4 minutes a side, until cooked medium or longer as desired.
To make the yogurt sauce
  1. Whisk yogurt, lemon zest, juice, olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt & a few cracks of pepper. Lastly, stir in 1 tablespoon mint or dill.
Option: I like to make small versions of this recipe under the broiler for an appetizer. Broil 3-4 minutes on each side. Top the cuties with tzatziki sauce and lemon zest on little toasts, and they fly off the plate.
Makes 4-6 full-size burgers or 12-15 mini burgers.

My family’s favorite way to sandwich this burger, or any burger, is on a toasted English muffin. But this summer, my family and clients have been eating those delicious looking Euro brioche buns from Whole Foods that are gluten-FULL and smell like heaven. Every once in a while I’ll have the multi-grain, gluten-free Rudi’s English muffin toasted or no bun at all, and I’m not sad about it.

A slice of a seasonal tomato, spinach greens, lemon yogurt sauce and these pickles? Yes. It’s what’s been on our summer table but this one we’ll take with us all year long.

homemade quick pickles
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • ½ cup white distilled vinegar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 English cucumber sliced thin (1/8-1/4 inch on my Mandoline)
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 6 pepper berries
  • 1-2 tablespoons of roughly chopped fresh dill
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon of sugar
Replace cucumbers with red onion slices or fennel slices. Or a combination of all.
  1. In a small saucepan whisk together vinegar, salt, water, caraway seeds and pepper berries until salt dissolves and liquid comes to a boil.
  2. Place your chopped cucumbers and dill into your jar.
  3. Pour hot liquid over cucumbers and dill and put on the lid.
  4. Let it cool on the counter.
  5. When cooled to room temperature, tip upside down a few times and then place in refrigerator.
  6. Pickles can be eaten an hour after refrigeration but are best after 24 hours and up to a month.




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