Okay, I know, June this year hasn’t exactly begun with a barbecue vibe, but it’s only going to be a matter of time surely before the rain clears up and we all start rushing out to buy charcoal and burger buns at 4pm every Sunday?
To make sure you’re ready for the sunshine, I’ve been practising my barbecue skills by making some homemade lamb burgers. This is the latest in my series of lamb recipes to support the ‘Lamb. Try it, Love it‘ campaign, and if you haven’t already, do pop back and check out some of my other lamb posts, like a Green Eggs and Lamb breakfast recipe, (genius, if I do say so myself), and a Game of Thrones inspired rack of lamb, which I feel has to be seen to be truly appreciated.
The aim of the ‘Lamb. Try it, Love it’ campaign is to highlight the health benefits of lamb – lamb is rich in niacin and vitamin B12 and a fantastic source of protein, zinc, potassium and phosphorus – as well as show that cooking with lamb doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult.
In this vein, I’ve made what are quite possibly the easiest lamb burgers you will ever make. I came across a lot of recipes while I doing my lamb burger research that had long lists of ingredients – breadcrumbs, egg, vinegar even – but I just don’t think you need them. Lamb has a lovely flavour already, and lamb mince holds together really well, so all I’ve done is add a couple of ingredients to enhance the natural lamb flavour at the same time as keeping things super simple.
Also, who wants to be slaving away in the kitchen making breadcrumbs on a sunny day?? Not me. You want to be sat outside drinking beer and pretending that life is sunny and full of possibilities don’t you?
So, get the barbecue lit, crack open the beers and let’s go.
How to make homemade lamb burgers for the barbecue
If you want to make your own lamb burgers for a barbecue (or to cook indoors if you don’t like outside), here’s what you’ll need:
- 500g packet of lamb mince
- a couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary, chopped finely
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- salt and pepper
I told you it was easy didn’t I?
Stick everything in a bowl and mix it well with your hands – just enough to combine everything and get the lamb binding nicely, but not too much or you’ll make the meat tough.
Shape the mixture into four burger shapes, whack them on the barbecue and cook through.
I was just using a small disposable barbecue but I had room to add some baby sweetcorn, and once the burgers were done I added some wholemeal pitta breads, which are perfect to slice up and use for dips if you want to add a few bits like hummus and guacomole to your barbecue feast.
Once they’re cooked, stick your burger into a bun – I used brioche buns to be fancy – along with whatever salady bits you like, and then GET THAT BURGER IN YOUR MOUTH.
My lamb mince cost £4, so to make four whole lamb burgers, complete with buns and fillings, would cost you probably less than about £8. Given that you can easily pay a tenner for a SINGLE fancy burger in a burger restaurant, this seems like pretty good value to me.
In my burger I had some pickled red cabbage, sliced tomatoes, little gem lettuce and a Greek yogurt sauce that I made by mixing yogurt with a little fresh chopped mint and some chopped walnuts. (I’ve been a big fan of walnuts since I made this pear and walnut salad. I always thought they were one of my least favourite nuts but I have been well and truly converted and now I try and wrangle them into all sorts of things.)
The beauty of a barbecue is that you can really add in anything and pass it off as a ‘buffet’. I’m personally very keen on a good potato salad, but couscous and pasta salads always seem to go down well too, and they’re very cheap and simple to make. Bread, salad, dips – whatever you fancy really.
While you’re scoffing your lamb burgers, it’s time to think ahead to pudding.
An absolute barbecue staple has to be chocolate bananas – slice a banana length wise, half way through, and stuff it with a few squares of chocolate. (I like a good dark chocolate.) Wrap the bananas individually in foil, and pop them on the barbecue while you’re eating the main course. The chocolate will melt, the bananas will go all squishy and basically it’s a JOY.
So there you go, my super simple homemade lamb burgers. Fingers crossed now for the weather.
Do you have a favourite barbecue recipe?
Check out the ‘Lamb. Try it, Love it’ campaign for more lamb recipe ideas.