Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients in these tasty burgers, it’s mainly a pinch of this and a pinch of that. They’re easy enough to put together, as is the creamy feta dressing. The dressing is also great with fried fish, chicken and other lamb dishes.
Lamb patties 500g (a generous lb) minced (ground) lamb ¾ tsp salt ⅛ tsp ground cinnamon ¼ tsp allspice 2 Tbsp chopped shallot 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed 2 tsp dried mint 1 medium (size 6) free-range egg yolk 2-3 Tbsp water Flaky sea salt Sizzled onions 1 large onion, peeled and finely sliced 1 Tbsp butter Pinch of chilli powder Pinch of ground cumin Feta dressing 100g (3½ oz) creamy feta, crumbled 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil Freshly ground black pepper 2 Tbsp chopped mint 3 Tbsp warm water Olive oil and butter 4 baps or buns ½ cup hummus Iceberg lettuce leaves 8 or more cherry tomatoes, halved Handful of small mint leaves
1 Mix lamb mince, salt, cinnamon, allspice, shallot, garlic, mint and egg yolk together in a large bowl. Beat in enough water to make the mixture light and less claggy. Shape into 4 patties (easy to do with wet hands), making them roughly the same size as the baps or buns, putting them on a tray as they are done. Cover and chill for 1 hour.
2 Fry onion in 1 tablespoon of butter in a small pan (skillet) for about 25 minutes, until a rich golden colour, stirring often. Add chilli and cumin and a pinch of salt (leave onion in the pan and reheat gently before serving).
3 Blend feta, garlic, oil and pepper together in a food processor. Add mint and enough warm water to make sauce flow. Alternatively, blend with a stick blender.
4 Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan (skillet) over medium-high heat, then add 1 tablespoon of butter. Add patties and cook until a good brown on each side and just cooked through (if patties stick to the plate or your hands, rub your hands with olive oil). Sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Alternatively, cook on a preheated oiled barbecue hot plate (griddle). Heat or toast baps or buns and split and spread bottoms with hummus. Top with a little lettuce then the patties, and add a spoonful of feta dressing, tomatoes, onions and mint leaves. Spread bap or bun tops with hummus, put them in place and serve.
You could make these with small pieces of floured and fried fish (the fish is lovely with the feta). Add slow-roasted tomatoes and lots of greens – a mix of different leaves is great, rocket, mint, coriander, baby salad leaves, etc.