I believe everyone loves a good hamburger, but if you are entertaining guests at a party, or having a multi-course meal, smaller portions are a must. These delicious mini burgers are the perfect treat to be served at a party and they are loved by both little kids and big kids (like me). You don’t really need the excuse of a party to make these, though… they also make for a great regular meal served (2 – 3 per person) alongside crispy fried fries and a nice salad.
The size of the buns I’ve used was about 6cm in diameter, which meant this recipe could yield about 10 mini burgers, depending on how thick you like your patties. Of course, if you’re not into this cutesy food, but would rather take a bite out of a regular-size burger, you could make about 3 regular burgers with this recipe.
If you have never prepared, or eaten lamb burgers, I highly recommend you try this recipe. Lamb meat contains quite a lot of fat, which means these burgers are incredibly juicy. The relatively high fat-content of the meat means the little patties are almost impossible to overcook (don’t take that as a challenge, though… the small patties only need about 5 minutes cooking time in total: don’t overdo it). For this recipe, I tried to balance the fattiness of the meat with the freshness of the yoghurt and mint sauce – lamb and mint is a classic combination after all – while the spicy harissa paste adds just that extra little kick.
If you are not into spicy food, or are planning to serve these mini burgers to children, reduce the amount of harissa paste you add to the yoghurt, or omit it altogether and serve the yoghurt sauce with fresh mint and a pinch of salt only. Love spicy like I do? Feel free to add some extra!
Not a huge fan of lamb? Just substitute the minced lamb in this recipe for minced beef, pork or chicken. Do make sure to extend the cooking time when using pork, or chicken. It’s okay for lamb, or beef burgers to be a little pink on the inside, but you wouldn’t want your dinner party to end on the toilet, because you’ve been serving raw chicken, or pork.
Obviously, now that spring has sprung, BBQ season has officially begun and these burgers would be a popular snack served at a BBQ-party. While this recipe is written to be cooked indoors, grilling the burgers on an outdoor grill will only make them taste better. Grilling outdoors also means you can grill the sweet pointed peppers and toast the buns on the same grill: no need for an oven, or extra mess. It’s a win-win situation! They are perfectly fine cooked on the stovetop though, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t own an outdoor grill. Cooking them indoors also means you can enjoy these burgers all year round! Party!
Mini Lamb Burgers with Yoghurt Harissa Mint Sauce
- For the patties:
- 500g lamb mince
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika powder
- ½ tablespoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- ½ medium-size onion, very finely minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, for grilling
- For the burgers and toppings:
- 10 small buns
- 2 - 3 red sweet pointed peppers
- 200ml Greek yoghurt
- 2 tablespoons harissa paste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for sprinkling
- 3 sprigs of fresh mint, about 3g with stalks removed
- 1 small red onion, cut into thin rings
- Two handfuls of fresh spinach leaves
- Pinch of salt
- 10 small pickles, for decorating (optional)
- 10 wooden skewers (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 200°C.
- Line a wire-rack with some aluminium foil, place the two sweet pointed peppers on top and sprinkle on a little bit of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Roast peppers for 20 minutes. Remove from oven when you are about to assemble your burgers.
- Meanwhile, pick and finely chop the fresh mint leaves. Discard the stalks. Mix chopped mint leaves with the Greek yoghurt. Add harissa paste and a tablespoon of olive oil and stir. Chill until it’s time to serve.
- In a bowl: combine lamb mince, 1 egg, finely minced onion, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, ½ tablespoon dried thyme, 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup, minced garlic and salt and pepper. Mix well, but don’t overwork the meat.
- Divide the lamb mince mixture into 10 equal parts and form patties with your hands. Try to press the patties to be a little bit bigger than the buns you’re using as the patties will shrink a little while being cooked.
- Heat a griddle pan, or regular frying pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add some olive oil.
- Cook the patties in the hot pan, only flipping them once, until they are nicely browned on each side for about 5 minutes total. Don’t press the patties while cooking. When the patties are cooked, remove from pan and place them on a plate to rest. Don’t turn off the heat. (If you are making regular-sized burgers: they’ll need about 7 – 8 minutes in total for a little pink inside, or longer cooking time for well-done.)
- Slice open your buns and quickly toast them in the previously used hot pan. When done, turn off the heat.
- Assemble the burgers: first, put some of the yoghurt sauce on the base of the bun. Place the patties on top of the sauce. Then add some spinach leaves, some of the roasted pointed pepper, and some sliced onion.