I only know a few people who do not like olives, but I am not one of them. I love them. I love them stuffed, put in drinks, and placed in all kinds of foods. I think one of my favorite olives is the kalamata. Every time I pass by them in the market, I buy a small container of them. There is something about the meaty little things, and it probably has something to do with the perfect amount of saltiness and meatiness of them. So as I recently picked up a container of them, and I wanted to actually use them in a dish (rather than nibbling on them), and I immediately thought of a burger; a Greek burger.
So this past weekend was just beautiful in Milwaukee, and we were blessed to have our nephews over for a whole day. It was a perfect day for grilling and a great day to experiment with a new burger.
- 1 1/2 lb of fresh ground lamb
- 1/2 lb of ground sirloin
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
- red onion, thick slices
- kalamata olives, pitted, chopped
- feta cheese, crumbled
- tzatziki sauce
- buns, toasted
Lately I have been grinding my own meat, probably because I am losing more and more faith in the common ground meat that you pick up in the market, and I would prefer to know that the cut of meat I am buying, is a bit more pure, in a general sense, plus I have a meat grinder attachment. So start by breaking down your meat into large chunks, and grind it down. Mix both meats in a large bowl with the minced garlic, mint, oregano, and salt and pepper. Now you have to make the choice here. Do you want to add in your olives and feta cheese at this point in time? I do not, as I prefer a bit of a nice presentation at the end, but the choice is yours.
Mix well, and form into patties. Depending on who you have over, you can shape the patties large or small. I was serving my wife, sister-n-law, and my nephews, so the patties were on the smaller side. Once formed, place them on a large plate and let them chill in the refrigerator for roughly 3o minutes.
Preheat your grill to a medium-high heat. Lightly oil the grill grates, and place the patties on the grill. Cook for about 5-6 minutes per side. Before removing from the grill, place the crumbled feta on top of each burger. Cover, and cook just another minute or so, lowering the heat. The cheese will not melt, but it will soften and warm up.
During this time, place your buns on the grill to get some nice grill marks, warm them up, and build a nice texture.
Remove the buns and burger from the grill. Place one patty on a bun, place a slice of red onion on top, spoon in the tzatziki sauce inside the ring, and place the kalamata olives on top. Serve with homemade french fries with lemon zest and parsley.
Trust me on this one. The tender meat, and the lamb bring this burger up to the next level. Tzatziki sauce is a killer condiment as well, and now I am thinking it should be put on most every burger. Enjoy.