Ok, so I've made a smaller version of these lamb patties as a component of other dishes before, but this is the first time I've made them this large and hamburger-style. I was going to make a traditional tzatziki sauce (yogurt and shredded cucumber -- the stuff you get on a gyro) for them but my husband hates cucumbers, so I omitted the cucumber, added a few spices and some sour cream, and finished it off with some feta. Bam, hit that one out of the park... it tastes great and I like it even better than tzatziki. I have a ton of leftover sauce and don't know what to do with it, but it would be great tossed with sliced cucumber as a cold side dish. Could even use it in place of traditional blue cheese dressing on a green salad. Another idea would be to make up chicken wings with a curry sauce instead and use this as a dipping sauce.
Because this recipe makes up two pounds of meat, I did not use all of it in one meal. I used about half for the burgers, and made the rest into little meatballs. I froze these and plan on using them either in spaghetti sauce or in a curry. They'd also be great browned up and dropped into a pot of peanut chickpea soup or something like that. Guess I'll have to post that recipe sometime, too. ;)
1/3 cup of sour cream
1/3 cup of plain yogurt (greek style if you can get it, but any kind is ok)
1 4 oz. package of feta crumbles
pinch of salt
juice from 1/4 of a lemon
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 cup of minced fresh cilantro
1 lb ground lamb
1 lb extra lean ground beef (93% lean or more)
1 medium onion, diced very finely
2 TBS olive oil
20 grinds of fresh black pepper, or 1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
handful of fresh cilantro, minced
A few hours ahead of time, mix up the sauce. You can do this right beforehand, but the sauce really does improve in flavor after sitting in the fridge all day. In a small bowl, mash the feta and lemon juice together until the feta breaks down a bit. You still want some lumps, just smaller lumps. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend well. Taste, season as needed. May need more salt or lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate.
For burgers, first sautee the minced onion in olive oil until medium to dark brown. In a large bowl, gently mix the cooked onion with the rest of the burger ingredients. Shape into hamburger sized/shaped patties. Fry on medium heat on a lightly oiled grill until nicely browned and cooked all the way through. Mine took about 20 min total. Place on kaiser roll and top with a good-sized dollop of the feta sauce.
I served these with a pickled cucumber salad that I mixed up from sliced cucumbers and red onion, lemon juice, water, a bit of sugar and salt.
Nathan rated these as the best burgers I've ever made. They were flavorful and extremely moist because of the fat content in the ground lamb. The ground beef cuts the lamb flavor a bit, so even if you're a little timid about eating lamb, give these a try.