My New Favorite Burger

Story and photos by Pam Hoenig

I’ve always been a big fan of rack of lamb, leg of lamb, lamb chops. Roasted or pan-seared lamb is just one of the best things ever. But it’s only been in the last year that I discovered lamb burgers. Part of that has been due to the fact that my local food store, Adams Fairacre Farms, has been sourcing its lamb from the Hudson Valley (Josef Meiller Farm in Pine Plains). Before that, the only ground lamb I ever saw in supermarkets was an unsettling light pink and looked like it had been put through an angel-hair pasta extruder. The lamb I get at Adams is freshly ground by their butchers each day. And the burgers? Forget beef burgers of any ilk—my favorite burger now, hands down, is made from lamb.

Sometimes I gently work in flavorings before making the patties—rosemary, oregano, garlic, lemon zest—you can take it in any direction you like but honestly, locally sourced lamb has such phenomenal flavor that it’s kind of a shame to monkey with it. And most important of all, don’t overcook it—to me, medium-rare is the place to be and it only takes about 3 to 4 minutes per side over medium-high to high heat to get you there. The grill works great, whether gas or charcoal, but so does a cast iron pan on the stove. Just let the dry pan get super hot; put in just a bit of oil to coat the bottom, then the burgers—you’ll get a fabulous brown crust.

For topping, I prefer a mild cheese, like mozzarella, which delivers the gooey cheese experience but doesn’t get in the way of the lamb. Then, a slice of tomato, if I can find a good one, and I am beyond happy.

Posted in Behind The Scenes


  1. Jessi said...

    That burger looks soooo yummy!!! Thank you for a great post:)

  2. Omigy said...

    That looks like a really big burger. I guess I need to get some lamb and start making my own; I love the picture and cannot wait till I eat this one. thanks.

  3. Joe Piccione said...

    A local restaurant does a great lamb burger. Thanks for your post. It inspires me to grill my own!

  4. Joseph Condon said...

    It is a shame you don’t have the conviction to follow a vegan lifestyle and recognize both the moral failure of animal slaughter and the environmental destruction it causes

    • Alex said...

      Wow. I’m Australian (i.e. roast lamb is a national dish) and I’d never thought of lamb burgers – and frankly I’m not sure anyone else does!

      I’m on it – unfortunately I don’t eat lamb between Easter and AFL grand final so I’ll have to wait a few months. (don’t worry – not a religious issue – just seasonality – most lamb is actually 2-tooth in this period).

      As to Joseph Condon – you bore me senseless and I hope you choke on your moral conviction. Cheers

  5. Bella said...

    It looks delicious! Super easy recipe and yummy one too. I will have to try this recipe. I am always looking for healthy kid friendly recipes. Thanks for the great share. Keep posting like this way.

  6. Mike said...

    The key to the best lamb burgers is local, American lamb; the flavor is vastly superior to Australian or NZ lamb, due to both the freshness and finishing of the lamb before being killed. Our Colorado town holds an annual lamb cookoff, in which restaurants are given lambs, they are tasked to create a dish, and the proceeds are passed on to charity – getting to try 25 different fresh lamb dishes is to me the best casual dining experience of the year!

  7. Angela Applewhite said...

    This looks delicious…I love your recipes!

  8. Michael H said...

    I love lamb in every way shape and form. Grilled or roasted. I have been eating lamb burgers for years. I have to grind my own at times if not available at market. I recomend lamb tacos for slant to a burger to all lamb lovers. Prepare mini burgers (I like Greek/Med flavors), sauté w yellow squash, red onion, and garlic. Fill romaine lettuce lined brown rice tortillas, and top w diced cucumber and crumbled feta.
    Thanks for promoting lamb. Nothing better

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