My husband had a craving for lamb burgers. Normally, he would be in charge of the kitchen in the evening, but we both were feeling a bit tired. So, I volunteered to cook while he gets the groceries.
Normally we would just have lettuce, tomatoes, Heinz 57 ketchup, and mustard (Gee, that sounds like a Jimmy Buffet song), but I thought I’d try something different. I thought a tsatziki sauce (Greek Yogurt Sauce) would be a sauce for lamb, so from memory, I asked my hubby to buy yogurt, cucumbers, lemon, and Italian parsley. He bought cilantro, though – he often gets those two mixed up. And obviously, I got it wrong (it should be mint).
I started looking through Google for a tzatziki sauce recipe, but I remembered that we bought a Greek recipe book years ago from our favorite Greek Festival in Oakland, CA. This was an awesome festival with great food made by Greek mothers and yiayias (grandmothers). It saved my iPod from being my recipe book, at least for tonight.
For some reason, I started looking through it and found the recipe for a Gyro Sandwich, Of course, I do not have oregano and thyme, but I think my Italian Seasoning has these and more. I know, I know… Greece and Italy are two different countries, but I got to make do with what I have. I think this would be a good blend to spice up the lamb.
Regarding the ingredients for the burgers, my apologies for it not being precise. I was winging it this time and was not measuring. I’ll measure it next time we make it and update this recipe.
Mad Gourmet’s Lamb Burgers ala Plaka
Adapted From “Kali Orexi! A Collection of Recipes by the Philoptochos Society of the Ascension Cathedral” (Oakland, CA)
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1 6 oz container of plain Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
- 2 T of chopped cilantro (I did not have mint)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Ground lamb
- Italian seasoning, to taste (use sparingly, these herbs can be potent)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Garlic powder, to taste (bring it on, just kidding)
- Red Onions, thinly sliced
Preparing the sauce:
- With a sharp knife, peel cucumbers, cut into small dice.
- Place in colander, sprinkle with salt. Let drain for an hour (I did not have time to do this).
- Pat cucumber dry with paper towels (ergo, I did not need to do this, either).
- Mix together garlic, cilantro, and yogurt, Season with pepper.
- Stir in diced cucumber.
- Chill while burgers are cooking.
Prepping the lamb patties:
- Mix lamb and seasoning together. Note: Ideally, you should “marinate” the meat for an hour or two, but we did not plan ahead.
- Make the patties and cook them in a hot pan (in olive oil) to our liking.
- Split the hamburger buns and toast lightly on one side.
- Spread tsatziki sauce on the buns.
- Add lamb patties, tomatoes, and red onions.
These lamb burgers are awesome! It reminded my husband and I of the gyros we enjoyed in numerous Greek festivals or even in Greece! The only thing missing is a cold bottle of Mythos beer and you’re back in Old Town Plaka in Athens. Opa!