Cast Iron

Lamb Burger

July 29, 2012
1 Ratings
  • Makes 5 burgers
Author Notes

Flavorful ground lamb, minty lebneh, wisps of red onion, and a toasty English muffin. This burger is really simple to make, indoors or out. —Cristina Sciarra

What You'll Need
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2.5 tablespoons fresh, chopped mint, divided
  • 1/2 tablespoons harissa
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pound freshly ground lamb leg
  • 1/2 cup lebneh
  • 1/2 a medium red onion
  • 5 English muffins, toasted
  1. Thinly slice the shallot, and mince the garlic. Meanwhile, set a non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil, and let it warm up. Add the shallot and the garlic, and saute until fragrant and translucent, 5 minutes.
  2. Wash, dry, and chop the mint. Toss 1.5 tablespoons of it into a large bowl (reserve the rest). While you’re at it, add the harissa, the ground cinnamon, and the sea salt. When the shallot and garlic is done cooking, add that too. Crack the egg into the bowl, and whisk everything together.
  3. Add the ground lamb to the bowl. Mix everything together with your hands, just enough so that the meat is evenly wet and seasoned.
  4. Form the meat into loose patties, about 2.5 inches wide and an inch tall.
  5. In a small bowl, mix the remaining 1 tablespoon of chopped mint with the lebneh. Cover the bowl with plastic, and let the flavors mellow while you prepare everything else.
  6. You can grill the burgers, or cook them in a cast iron pan indoors. Either way, you want them to be just cooked through. (I made mine in a seasoned cast iron pan, which I partially covered. It took about 5 minutes per side over medium heat.)
  7. Using a mandolin (if you have one, otherwise use a knife), cut the red onion into the thinnest possible slices. Set aside.
  8. Toast the English muffins.
  9. Assemble the sandwiches: Spoon some of the minty lebneh onto the bottom half of each English muffin. Then add the burgers, then another spoonful of lebneh, and then the onions. Top each sandwich, and then enjoy!
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Cristina is a writer, cook, and day job real estate developer. She studied literature, holds an MFA in Fiction Writing, and completed the Basic Cuisine course at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She lives in Jersey City with her husband--a Frenchman she met in Spain--and their sweet black cat, Minou. Follow her writings, recipes, publications and photography at

1 Review

Lizzie J. July 23, 2019
My husband made these on the grill. We didn't eat them as burgers, rather topped them with labneh and crumbled feta and ate them with tabbouleh (that I made using the "My Mother's Lebanese Tabbouleh" recipe from here on Food52), store-bought naan (just because we prefer it to pita bread), and Trader Joe's Mediterranean hummus. Accompanied the whole thing with a Malbec. It was a delicious, lovely summer meal, and the lamb 'burgers' were the star of the show. Thanks, Cristina!