I have made these for years, and each time I make them I am reminded why. Don’t skip the caramelised onions or tzatziki – these are non-negotiable requirements.
For the burgers:
500g lamb mince
1 cup of finely chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup chopped fresh mint
Salt and pepper
For the caramelised onions:
2 large red onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp butter
Salt and pepper
1 tsp sugar
To serve: tzatziki, pita breads or burger buns, baby spinach
To make the burgers, fry the finely chopped red onion in 1 tbsp olive oil with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook over a medium heat until the onion is translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic, cook for a minute or two, then turn off the heat. Transfer the onion mixture to a large bowl and set aside.
When the onion has cooled, grate in the zest of one lemon. Add the juice of half the lemon, the chopped mint and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Mix this together, then add the lamb and use your hands to combine. Form into four burgers and refrigerate for half an hour, or up to two days.
While the burgers rest in the fridge, make the caramelised onions and tzatziki.
For the caramelised onions, heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add the butter, oil, sliced onions and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook over a medium-low heat for 20 – 25 minutes, then add the sugar. Cook down until soft, reduced and sweet (about 45 minutes total). Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
To cook the burgers, either BBQ until cooked through or fry in a frying pan. Either way, just flip once. These will fall apart with too much flipping. Don’t be nervous, just be brave, confident and a bit gentle when flipping.
To assemble, start with a dollop of tzatziki on the bottom, a bed of spinach leaves, the burger, a pile of caramelised onions, and top with some more tzatziki.
I like to serve this with a salad. Some suggestions…
- Watermelon, mint, feta and Kalamata olive salad (pictured top)
- Spinach, tomato and red onion salad
- Slices of juicy watermelon
- Greek salad
- Tomato, basil and red onion