slow-cooked lamb & rosemary burgers w mint & tzatziki

My great love is slow food that cooks itself without much attention. Cooking is always a pleasure for me, even on crazy busy days - as long as the dish isn't one more thing crying out for my attention at the end of a long day. I know you know that feeling... well, here's a great example of food cooking itself to perfection, without any help from me.  It's another popular one from my Pantry days I was never game enough to take off the menu.  

These luscious Lamb Burgers are always fragrant and moist.  Not just any Lamb Burger, but a top-seller from our local Palm Beach Butcher - Brenton of Kingswood Park Butchery. They display only the finest meats, in-house smoked hams, ready to cook meals and award winning sausages.  I hope you’re just as lucky to have such a fab butcher down the road from your place. Thanks Brenton for sharing your special recipe, passion and top tips with us!

Lamb burgers and pork & fennel sausage rolls would often compete for top billing at lunchtime - drawing hungry 3rd Avenue residents and workers to our door each day. The secret - cooking them low and slow. Don't add too many extras to your mince mix.  Let the lamb shine. And it must be very lean. Only BBQ them if you must.

Several friends have requested this recipe, with the taste and aroma still fresh in their minds. As always I hope you'll enjoy them as much as we do.  Mid-week and whenever I'm desperate for a really tasty dinner with minimum effort, I'll purchase these patties all prepped up ready to wack in the oven. Pop 'em inside a warm bun, top with tzatziki, feta and greens - and everyone's entirely satisfied.  

slow-cooked lamb & rosemary burgers

Ingredients - 1 tablespoon olive oil ❤ 1 leek, finely chopped ❤ 2 garlic cloves, crushed ❤  2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary ❤ bunch of mint ❤ 500 grams lamb mince, very lean ❤ 1 egg ❤ 1 slice of wholemeal bread ❤ sea salt & freshly ground pepper  ❤ honey, half a cup ❤ 8 fresh bread rolls (turkish or sour dough or your favourite grains) ❤ tzatziki or sweet tomato relish ❤ freshly picked greens ❤ 1 thinly sliced cucumber ❤ 8 thin slices of feta 

Serves: 4 (2 each)  Prep Time: 30 minutes (5 minutes if you buy prepped up patties)  Baking Time: approx 30-35 minutes 

Method - Preheat oven to moderately slow 160°C (325°F/Gas Mark 4). Line a large baking tray with baking paper. 

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add finely chopped leek and crushed garlic and cook for a couple of minutes until transparent. Do not brown. Add a quarter of the finely chopped rosemary, stir through and remove from heat. Allow to cool.

Combine the lamb mince with beaten egg yolk and breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cooled leek mix and pan juices, mixing well to combine before dividing and rolling into even sized patties. You will make approx 8-9 patties, depending on size.

Use moist hands to mould into balls, flatten into burgers with a neat round edge. Smear rissoles lightly with honey and all remaining finely chopped rosemary and mint. Bake in a slow oven for approx. 30-35 minutes or until cooked through the centre - to retain all the lovely moisture and flavour. Careful not to overcook. Rest meat before assembling burgers.

Serve in a warm bun with tzatziki or good quality relish , thinly sliced cucumber, feta and fresh greens. Some just picked mint for extra taste and pretty garnish too. Enjoy!