The Lamb Burger Experiment


That’s what happen when you spend a little too much time on twitter. I recently read a tweet by @FrankBruni touting the merits of the lamb burger at The Breslin. For you non-New-Yorkers, that’s the New York Times ex-restaurant critic tweeting about a favourite of his at a new popular hang-out. With an instant craving to manage i found myself confronted with two choices:

  1. Go to the Breslin, order the lamb burger and eat it (after shelling out 17 bucks for it)
  2. Make it myself and share the results (which would earn me karmic points for service rendered to humanity)

Needless to say, the cheap-ass humanitarian side of me opted for option #2. So i did some googling and found a few pictures of the object of my craving as well as a pretty thorough description. The Breslin lamb burger reportedly has feta cheese, red onion, cumin mayonnaise and a nice bun (giggle) and gets a side of the crispiest fries on the north hemisphere, and it’s served on a cutting board with a very ugly knife.

It sounded even better than i originally thought and perfectly achievable even in a short notice, except i couldn’t find a knife that was THAT ugly to complete the experience. Oh well! Appetite can sneak up on you so i had to act fast.


After calling my butcher i got an emergency delivery of ground lamb, and a little bit of ground veal. What ground veal has to do with a lamb burger you may ask? I’ve cooked quite a few lamb burgers in the past and while they’re delicious they can be a little too intense for a lot of people. I like to cut it with a third of ground veal as well as some finely chopped onions and parsley for the perfect balance, but that’s just me. Feel free to adjust to your liking.

The result? Perfection! The lamb, cumin mayo and feta cheese are the perfect mates in a weird ménage a trois kind of way, combine them in a nice bun and you’re bound to have an extraordinary burger experience.

Again, thanks Mr Bruni for inspiring my lunch. Keep tweeting.

  • Lamb Burger Recipe

  • lamb-burger-10
  • Inspired by the lamb burger served by April Bloomfield at The Breslin
  • serves 2
    • Lamb burger recipe:
    • 8 ounces ground lamb (or 3/4 lamb 1/4 veal)
    • 1 small onion, finely chopped
    • 2 Tbs parsley, finely chopped
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • For the burger:
    • 2 sourdough buns
    • 3 Tbs mayonnaise
    • 1 tsp freshly ground cumin seeds, or to taste
    • 1 squeeze of lemon
    • 2 slices feta cheese
    • 2 slices red onion
    • baby arugula
    • For the lamb burger:
    • Combine the ground lamb (or the ground lamb & ground veal) with the chopped onion, parsley and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Form patties and reserve in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
    • Preheat the broiler or the grill. Brush the lamb burgers with olive oil and broil (or grill) to medium. (I believe lamb burgers are best enjoyed medium)
    • For the fixins:
    • Toast the sourdough bun or place it on the grill, cut side down, for a few minutes.
    • Combine the mayonnaise with the cumin and a squeeze of lemon juice.
    • Assemble the burger with cumin mayo, baby arugula, red onion and feta cheese and serve immediately with thrice-cooked potatoes.
    • lamb-burger-5

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  • dawn

    yes! heavenly.

  • bunkycooks

    Even non-lamb lovers would want a bite of that! I love the idea of mixing it with the veal (less “lamby”). I am starting to learn that tweeting will get you into all sorts of trouble! 😉

  • Rose

    Nice burger! I love all kinds of meat. That sounds perfect. Lamb+Feta+Onions just makes my tastebuds cry for this burger!

  • Ciaochowlinda

    I’ve always wanted to try making a lamb burger and yours looks so delicious I think it will be on my menu in the coming week.

  • Dawn (KitchenTravels)

    Your photo of the raw lamb burger peeking out from under the paper is just a tease. I can almost hear it whispering to be cooked.

  • Oui, Chef

    Perhaps you should call your creation the menage a trois burger…a perfect match for the “thrice” cooked fries. Happiness comes in threes. – S

  • The Little Teochew

    NOT your usual burger and fries. 😉 As always, Zen … you raise the bar for everyone.

  • Deb

    Moroccan Lamb Burger with Beet Salsa at
    is wonderful! Really, a feast for the mouth.

  • nakedbeet

    Lamb burger delivery please!!! I absolutely love lamb, even @100%, but I’ll definitely give that veal addition a try. I usually do a beef/lamb combo for kibee, though, otherwise, I’d be eating it like ice cream: non-stop.

  • Daniel@CocinaSavant

    My, my, my. Cumin mayonnaise and arugula combined with lamb/veal inside a bun- sounds like a bang up plan. Very well done.

  • Jeremy

    Those little scrap pieces between rack of lamb are fatty enough and quite delicious when ground, I made Turkish yufka rolls and kofte with them, quite nice!

  • Olga @ MangoTomato

    I was already devastated b/c work blocked gmail, but now I’m even sadder b/c I can’t just reach out into the computer and grab this burger 😉

  • Jan

    Oooh put me down for one of those please! That has to be the best burger ever!

  • Carolyn Jung

    Shhh, don’t tell the beef council, but I actually prefer lamb over beef burgers. The flavor is just divine and so satisfying. Yours looks like one mile-high burger I can definitely sink my teeth into.

  • Cynthia

    I wish I could get ground lamb here. I went to the meat market last week and ask one of the butchers that sell lamb if he would grind the lamb for me, he said that would mean him having to do a lot of de-boning and that way too much work :(

  • Cynthia

    I would have loved to give this a try. Looks fantastic as always Z.

  • Patty

    Oh my gosh this lamb burger looks fantastic, I think I’ll try mine with a little blue cheese, thanks for posting!

  • liz @ zested

    I fully support your humanitarian urges. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Marc @ NoRecipes

    Great idea cutting the lamb with veal! You know, it’s funny because I have some ground lamb I was going to do a lamb burger with. I may change gears and do a merguez instead:-)

  • Pei-Lin

    Zen, thank you for sharing this lovely idea!! I’m so gonna try this out!

    P.S. You know, it’s unfortunate that I’m addicted to reading the Dining & Wine section of The New York Times! Thanks to my professors who introduced it to me! LOL!

  • Ruby

    God, I can smell it through the screen! But here’s my problem: I eat all sorts of meat but, ever since becoming a mommy, I have gone all funny about eating baby animals. So that rules out both the lamb and the veal. What (besides the obvious beef) would you propose as a substitute until my hormones normalise again? Ostrich perhaps?

  • Tiffany Rosenberger

    I LOVE lamb burgers. Ever since I discovered them I make them more then beef. Yours look delicious!

  • sippitysup

    I like the combination of meat! I am sure it does wonders for both the flavor and texture. GREG

  • Lauren

    I think recreations are the best part. This looks delicious.

  • Alisa-Foodista

    Oh my,it looks really delicious.

  • Giff

    this is cool — I grill little lamb meatballs in a similar vein – all mixed up with chopped feta, parsley (or oregano), red onion (or spring onion), ground cumin and salt. The only lamb I have gotten on the east coast that isn’t bordering on mutton / gamey-ness is what I buy from Fleishers. No veal dilution required. L and I just got back from Australia, and the regular supermarket lamb down there is so superior, but here in NY, Fleishers is the *only* way to go.

  • Peter

    I love lamb burgers. Usually I make harissa mayo and tapenade ketchup, but the feta/cumin thing sounds pretty great too.

  • Elaine from Cookware Help

    What a scumptious-looking burger! I’m delighted to see this recipe as I currently have 2 pounds of gorgeous ground lamb and a pound of ground beef that were given to me by a butcher neighbor. I can’t wait to try this version of Breslin lamburger (minus the ugly knife). A perfect foodie for the Spring time. Yum!

  • michele

    I want to get that burger drunk and make love to it.

  • we are never full


    as always, your stuff looks delish. but, why the hell would a restaurant charge 17 bucks? that annoys me. i don’t know how a lamb “burger” is that much different from a lamb kubideh with some pita, red onion and feta? kind of the same except it’s not in burger form. i’m so glad you decided to make your own – $17 is ridic and a “only in NY” price!

    i think it’s hilarious that people are saying the next big food trend is lamb. it’s so strange that lamb is still kind of the meat not many people eat here in the states. i hope it catches on so the breslin can stop charging $17 for a lamb burger!

    why am i so angered by that? i think i need to go for a run to get this stress out… lol.

  • Jane @ Built in Cookers

    It looks really delicious and I think I’ll be trying this at the weekend.

    Thanks for sharing

  • Amy

    Nice new name 😛 LambBurger 😀 Hehe I’m gonna try it, seems delicious.

  • Kevinyan1107


  • Gdrobson

    I actually made this for a dinner party last night and it was beautiful. Everyone was unaware that egg and breadcrumbs were not necessary for the patties and they held together perfectly. The subtle flavours of the feta and the cumin mayo was a real surprise. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  • Sinosells

    Only till my natural death could I tell which of what I have been doing is right or wrong, so now I have to try to do well in everything, and then wait to die a natural death.

  • Milki

    Worst meal I had in 2010 was at The Breslin. I hated everything about that place. And the three people with me didn’t like it much either. I won’t even get into the party next to us who after telling the waitress that they liked the dishes except for one were told “everyone is entitled to their opinion.” They were not as amused as I was by that reponse.

  • John Hays
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  • Rearnakedclub

    It’s not particularly Zen to eat the meat of a sentient bearing that was killed and suffered before its death.  I used to prepare and eat lamb, until I understood the suffering of these animals that was endured so that I could eat them. I do miss meat, but I also value the sense that I’m not part of a food chain that involves the suffering and slaughter of sentient beings. Sorry to be a downer, but Zen is Mahayana (meatless) Zen.

  • Goreedgo

    Cool story, bro!

  • Snarky123

    What a dork.

  • Boxo Burger india

    I like your 2nd point make own coz we can’t wait when we are craving for relish the burger