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grilled lamb burgers

April 28, 2010
tags: , ,

This weekend was the first time it was warm enough to fire up the grill.  I’ve been unable to make a decent burger since moving to Switzerland,* so grilling generally gives us the chance to do some recipes that we might otherwise not try back home.

This grilled lamb burger is one of them.  I’m a big fan of lamb burgers in general, but this recipe seemed a little “flouncy”  for a burger.  I made it because I happened to have all of the ingredients it called for hanging around, but once set out on the counter it looked like a lot for one little burger.  I liked it, they came together, but truth be told, I think you’d do just fine skipping the molasses, sherry and probably even the vinegar. We served with a side of tzatziki, lettuce, cilantro and used flour tortillas instead of pitas (also thrown on the grill which was surprisingly successful).

*Re: burgers in Switzerland. Regardless of the meat I buy, burgers just don’t taste the same here.  I’m always reminded of the movie Barcelona (if you haven’t seen it, rent it).  Two Americans discuss how Europeans consider Americans thick for thinking burgers are good based on the burgers served in most of Europe (crap).  It’s a forgotten point until the closing scene when they are lake-side (presumably in America) and serve char-grilled hamburgers to their Catalan girlfriends who are pleasantly surprised at how good they are.  Hard to explain, but makes me think that my attempts at replicating a proper burger are futile here in der Schweiz.

grilled lamb burgers


  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sherry
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon golden syrup or molasses
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala (original recipe calls for allspice)
  • 1 chopped fresh red chili (or 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 pita bread rounds
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled


  1. Preheat grill for medium heat.
  2. In a large bowl, mix lamb with the mint, cilantro, oregano, garlic, sherry, vinegar, and molasses.
  3. Add cumin, allspice, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper, and mix well with hands.
  4. Shape into 4 patties (4oz each).
  5. Grill burgers 5 minutes on each side, or until well done. Heat the pita pocket briefly on the grill. Serve burgers wrapped in pitas with feta cheese.

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