Lamb Burgers

I adore lamb, and often make burgers at home. One of the things I love about lamb is how it can stand up to other strong flavors. Enter assertive arugula, zesty red onion, and tangy feta, along with the rosemary and pepper of Le Poivre. My wife was not a huge lamb fan when we met, but this burger brought her over from the dark side. Quick, easy, and delicious for any meal.

Le Poivre – Recipe by Christian Leue

Serves 2


2 burger rolls (I prefer simple sesame ones)
1 pound of ground lamb
1/2 small red onion, cut cross-wise and peeled
3 ounce piece of feta cheese, very thinly sliced
two small handfuls of baby arugula
1-2 teaspoons of Le Poivre
olive oil


• Make two 8-ounce patties from the lamb (if you’re not feeling as hungry make 6-ounce patties and save the rest for putting in with pasta sauce or a casserole), season both sides liberally with salt and Le Poivre.

• Slice the onion into very thin rings (as paper-thin as you can manage). A sharp knife will do it, but I prefer to use a small mandoline and a kevlar glove to protect my knuckles.

• Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise of the cut sides of both buns.

• Heat two skillets or a two-burner griddle over medium high heat. Grill the buns face-down until golden brown and set aside on a cutting board or plate.

• Add a small bit of olive oil to each skillet and cook one burger in each, slightly off to the side of the skillet. When it comes time to flip (after about 2 minutes you’ll form a nice crust), flip onto the other side of the skillet which will still be hot. Continue to flip this way every minute or two until you reach your desired level of doneness. generally I find 4-5 minutes is rare, 6-7 is medium, 8 and up is well.

• Place some arugula on the bottom bun, top with the burger, feta, another sprinkle of Le Poivre if you like, and the sliced onion.

Fun to Try

• Roast some potato wedges (leave the skins on, add to a pot of hot salted water for 10-15 minutes, then drain and dry and toss with olive oil). Serve with Turkish Ranch dressing: Mix 1/3 cup of whole milk with 2 teaspoons of vinegar. Put in the microwave for 15 seconds. Add 1/4 cup each sour cream and mayonnaise, dill (fresh or dried), ground cumin, ground garlic, ground onion, black pepper, and sumac. Stir well and taste for seasoning, adding salt if you like.

• This burger is great served in the morning over English muffins, with a fried egg on top and some grilled tomatoes. I usually make two half-size patties when I do this and do a simple green salad with salt, olive oil, and lemon juice. It reminds me of kofte.

• Try mixing some pine nuts into the burger patties and making thin 4-ounce patties. Cook on slightly lower heat (the idea is to toast the pine nuts without burning them). Serve them as a double burger. You can dress them the same as usual, or make a yogurt sauce with sumac and cumin and serve topped with the sauce, shredded lettuce, and a squeeze of lemon.

Past April Recipes

2019 – Citronelle Cocktail

2018 – Spring Panzanella

2017 – Braised Lamb Shanks


Food images and recipe © Christian Leue

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