Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Lamb and Harissa Burgers

Gorgeous juicy lamb-burgers, with a hit of harissa paste and Moroccan spices

This is actually my significant other's recipe, and as the burgers tasted so good, I'd like to share them with you (being the food blogger in the family)!

I also got him to calculate the calories on them too, for those who count (because I know a lot do!).

Serves 2 (or one Mike), easily doubled. Total calories per serving, 500. [Calories in square brackets]

Mike's Lamb and Harissa Burgers
250g lamb mince [538]
½ red onion, finely chopped (50g approx) [20]
1/4 quantity home-made harissa paste (see below mine was homemade but you can of course buy this from a shop and adjust calories as necessary) [40]
1 small garlic clove, finely chopped [6]
1 x 15ml tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped [2]
½ tsp cinammon [3]
½ tsp cumin seeds, toasted (very worth doing) and crushed [2]
½ tsp paprika [2]
½ tsp salt
Ground pepper to taste [1]
1 tsp oil [45]

For the buns and fillings
2 tbsp Greek yogurt [28]
6 Slices of cucumber, sliced [1]
Tomato, sliced [3]
2 lettuce leaves, shredded [19]
2 burger buns (for lower calorie e.g. Warburtons Sliced White Rolls 55g each [290]) [calories variable, check packaging]

Home-made Harissa Paste
(makes about 1 1/2 tbsp, 160 calories total)
4 dried red chillies [10]
1 garlic clove, chopped [6]
¼ tsp salt
1 x 15ml tbsp olive oil [135]
½ tsp coriander [3]
½ tsp caraway seeds, crushed [4]
¼ tsp cumin [2]

Paste Method
Soak chillies in hot water for about ½ hour.

Once chillies are ready, remove seeds and stalks (although I leave my seeds in as I like the extra punch).

Add all ingredients together and chop very finely until they start to blend. Once this starts to happen, add to pestle and mortar and crush into a paste.

This makes about 1 and 1/2 tbsp of paste.

Burgers Method
Toast cumin seeds until fragrant, allow to cool and crush (I did mine in a spice blender but if you don't have one then crushing will work just fine, it just takes a little bit longer)

Add lamb, chopped onion, harissa paste, garlic, mint, cumin seeds, paprika, salt and pepper to a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly together.

Shape into burgers and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes, longer if you like.

Heat no more than 1 tsp of sunflower oil in a pan on a medium heat. Once hot add burgers to pan. Cook for a minute then turn down to low, cook for a further 3 minutes.
Turn heat back to medium and turn burgers over, cook for another minute on a medium heat then reduce the heat again to low. Cook for another 3 minutes. Check burgers are cooked through, I like my lamb lightly cooked. Increase the time if you prefer your lamb 'more done'. (These would also be perfect cooked on the barbecue!)

Once they are ready, remove from the heat and place on a kitchen towel to rest whilst prepping your burger buns with the yogurt, cucumber, tomato and lettuce.

Place burgers within baps, eat and enjoy :)

Suggested variation
If you're missing the cheese in your burger, you could add some crumbled feta on top of the lamb burger, and if you want more of a kick, stir a little extra harissa into the Greek yoghurt.

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