I <3 Onions – Beef Burgers and Lamb Kofta Kebabs

The first barbecue of the year was a successful one. I threw whatever I could find in my freezer on the grill … hamburgers, lamb skewers and a package of Oktoberfest Grill ‘Ems. But first, I had to do a bit of preparing of the ground meat.

I enjoy the taste of onions with my burgers but I don’t care for the texture of raw onions so I usually saute some diced onions and add it to my meat mixtures.

After frying the onions and prepping the meat on Saturday, I was too hungry to wait til the next day to bbq, so I pan-fried a couple of the smaller hamburger patties and threw them into this sesame seed bun. There’s melted cheese between the two and some ‘healthy’ lettuce on the bottom. 🙂

Beef Burger

Cross-section through the burger

Barbecued Hamburgers – Word to the wise … do NOT bbq burgers made with regular hamburger meat! The flames are scary.

Ok, the simplest recipe for a hamburger is just to throw some salt and pepper at ground sirloin or other high quality beef, form it into a patty and throw in on a grill, but some of us have limited budgets, so we buy the lean ground beef at the market  … NOT those ground meat chubs at the grocery chains cause I have SOME standards left. And when I first looked up a ‘recipe’ for a hamburger, it told me to use bread crumbs (soaked in milk for moisture) and an egg for binding. So that’s what I’m posting below. Do whatever you want. It’s your burger.

Basic Hamburger – makes 8 4 oz patties

2 pounds lean ground beef
1 small onion, finely diced and sauteed in 1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp dried bread crumbs
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten well

Sauteed onions

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.

Divide into 8 portions and shape into patties. You can do it by hand or by using a handy patty press like this one, complete with instructions in case it’s too high tech for you to figure out on your own. The press holds exactly 4 oz.

I’m cheap frugal so I used food wrap.

Pan fry, grill or barbecue.

Ground Lamb Skewers (and some Grill ‘Ems)

Lamb Kofta Kebabs or Ground Lamb Skewers – makes 8 skewers, serve 2 per person

1 pound ground lamb
zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried mint
1 1/2 tbsp minced dehydrated onion
scant tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander

Mix lemon zest, dehydrated onion and all the herbs and spices together. Sprinkle over the ground meat and knead in well.

Cover and refrigerate the meat mixture overnight to allow the flavours to meld.

About 45 minutes before you want to cook the kebabs, soak 8 bamboo skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.

Divide the meat into 8 portions and shape into a ball. With damp hands, insert the skewer into the ball of meat and shape the meat around the skewer into a 2-3 inch sausage shape.

Grill or barbecue the kebabs for about 8-10 minutes over medium heat until golden brown and cooked through, rotating ever few minutes.

Serve 2 kebabs with spicy yogurt sauce (recipe below) drizzled over them.

Spicy yogurt – makes 1 cup

1 cup Greek style yogurt
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1/2 tsp each ground cumin, coriander, and mint
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients for spicy yogurt and refrigerate until ready to use.


5 thoughts on “I <3 Onions – Beef Burgers and Lamb Kofta Kebabs

    1. I was sure I had responded to your comment. Anyway, I was looking up something and ran across it and thought I’d say thank you. It’s been ages since I made these skewers and, you’re right. The yogurt sauce is tasty. I’m not a fan of the cucumber used in tzatziki so this is my substitute. 🙂

    1. I may be frugal but I’d rather pay a bit more and buy my meat at the same vendor I’ve been visiting with my parents for the last 40 yrs.

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