When one think Caribbean Culinary Culture, burgers DON’T usually come to mind .. immediately. However, that is changing rapidly as more and more street food vendors are following on the footsteps of popular North American fast food outlets which now populate the Caribbean horizon. These are not ‘fast food’ but good street food. Seasoned, grilled over local wood (coals) fire and topped with an assortment of condiments. Including a variety of HOT pepper and garlic sauces. That said.. lamb burgers are not that common yet.
2 lbs ground lamb
3/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoon Caribbean Green Seasoning
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon sea salt (divided)
1-2 lemons (divided)
1 cup yogurt (plain)
1-2 tablespoon honey
1 bird’s eye pepper
1/2 cup goats cheese
2 cloves garlic
Note! Keep the seeds of the bird’s eye pepper if you want the sauce to have a bit of a kick. If you cannot source the bird’s eye pepper, use any you like or can source (in the amount that you can handle). I found the ground lamb (New Zealand) in the freezer section of my grocery store as it’s not easily sourced. Beef, Chicken, Pork or Turkey will work just as well.
Whisk the olive oil, Green Seasoning , juice of 1 1/2 lemons, black pepper and 3/4 tablespoon salt in a bowl, then pour 4 tablespoon of it over the thawed ground lamb. Mix.. BUT try to NOT over work in doing so.
Divide the seasoned lamb into 6 balls and shape into burgers onto parchment paper (on a baking tray). For best results I’d recommending chilling them as they will hold their shape better once we get on the grill. You can also pan fry or broil these in your oven.
Let’s quickly make the sauce for the topping so it can chill in the fridge while we grill the burgers shortly. In a blender (I used my lil magic bullet) put the yogurt, juice of 1 lemon, the remaining salt, bird’s eye pepper, honey, garlic, shallot and goat cheese and blend until smooth. You can give the garlic, bird’s eye and shallot a rough chop to make it easier to puree. Place in a bowl, cover with cling wrap and chill.
It’s now time to grill.. you may use a propane grill, but the flavor from a charcoal grill will excite your taste buds. Clean your grill and spray some cooking spray (or brush on some veg oil) to prevent any sticking. Place the burgers directly over the heat source. Brush on some of the remaining seasoned oil on each burger and place the lid over the grill.
I had a 400 F + heat, so 2-3 minutes later I flipped them, brushed on more of the seasoned oil and lid back on for another 1-2 minutes.
I flipped them again, gave another layer of the seasoned oil and 30 seconds later I removed them off the grill. Lamb (most burgers) is easy to over-cook and go very dry. So timing is important, plus by basting them with the seasoned oil, you’ll add back moisture to them as they grill.
Luckily I had just visited my friend Richard who gave me crispy lettuce from his garden so with a tablespoon of the sauce we made earlier… I was in burger bliss. Juicy, creamy and with a slight kick from the bird’s eye pepper. That addition of the goat’s cheese in the sauce, complimented the lamb beautifully.