Lamb Burger with Mint Yoghurt and Pickled Cucumber


Lamb burger

1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

500 g (1 lb 2 oz) minced (ground) lamb, not too lean and not too fatty

olive oil, for drizzling

4 tablespoons tomato kasundi

35 g (1 1/4 oz/1 cup) rocket (arugula) leaves

4 soft burger buns, cut in half

Mint yoghurt

250 g (9 oz/1 cup) Greek-style yoghurt

2 tablespoons mint, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

Pickled cucumber

1 Lebanese (short) cucumber

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar


For the mint yoghurt, put the yoghurt in a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl. Leave to drain in the fridge overnight. Next day, near serving time, mix the mint and garlic through the yoghurt and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside at room temperature.

For the pickled cucumber, peel the cucumber and remove the ends. Now use the peeler to peel strips the length of the cucumber on each side, until you reach the seeds. Once you have peeled all the flesh off, discard the seeds. Toss the cucumber strips with a good pinch of sea salt and leave for 15 minutes. Bring the vinegar, sugar and 2 tablespoons water to the boil. Once the sugar has dissolved, set aside to cool, then pour over the cucumber. Cover and leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight; the pickles will keep for up to 2 months in the fridge. Drain on paper towel before serving.

For the patties, mix the salt and pepper through the lamb. Weigh out the mixture into four 125 g (4 1/2 oz) portions and flatten them to about 1 cm (1/2 in) thick. Lay the patties on a sheet of baking paper.

To serve, heat a cast-iron grill pan over a medium heat and lightly oil it. Cook the patties for 90 seconds, then turn them around 90 degrees on the same side, to give nice cross-hatch marks underneath. Leave them to cook for another 90 seconds. Now turn the patties over and repeat on the other side, leaving them for 90 seconds, before turning them 90 degrees and cooking for a final 90 seconds. Remove from the pan and keep somewhere warm.

Brush the insides of the buns with olive oil and toast lightly on the grill, then build your burgers.