Lucy’s little lamb burgers

The world – or at least the part of it I live in – has gone burger mad. Not only are more than 60 Wellington restaurants battling it out to win Burger Wellington 2012, but McDonald’s have introduced a new lamb burger to their menu, using New Zealand lamb.
I can’t vouch for the McDonald’s burger (please don’t ask me to) but I’m happy to give you my own recipe. We’ve been eating these baby burgers a lot lately – they’re about a quarter of the size of a ‘proper’ burger but still very filling. You’ll have to wait for the upcoming issue of Frankie to see how to make the baby buns – but in the meantime, here’s how I construct our little lamb burgers.

Little Lamb Burgers

Little lamb burgers
You don’t have to make these with lamb – in fact, the last time I made them I used a mixture of beef and lamb mince (a combination due in part to shopping sans glasses). The secret is to handle them as little as possible. Don’t go squishing the mince in your hands for fun, treat it like you would a delicate fillet of fish (that’s fillet, not a ‘filet of fish’).

500g good lamb mince
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 red onion, finely chopped
about 1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary

Mix everything together and shape into flattish small balls – about 50g each. Line a tray with baking paper and put the burgers on top. Cover loosely and put in the fridge until about 15 minutes before you’re ready to cook them.
To cook, either heat a heavy pan and fry them in a little oil, or bake them at 200C for about 15 minutes, turning once to brown both sides. I think the panfrying method gives a slightly better result, but baking has the benefits of being hands-free.

To assemble, spread a baby bun with hummus, then top with a tangle of baby salad leaves, a slice of beetroot (essential in a Kiwi burger), the burger, a dollop of redcurrant jelly or chutney and the bun ‘lid’. For a beef burger, ditch the beetroot and add a slice of blue cheese.

Have you sampled any Burger Wellington offerings yet? Don’t miss the one at Cafe Polo – it’s the best burger I’ve ever eaten.



  1. August 21, 2012 / 6:54 pm

    Love these! I'd never have thought of beetroot in a burger but that one looks (and sounds) terrific – can't wait to try it, thanks for sharing it.

  2. August 21, 2012 / 7:39 pm

    Yummo! A burger isn't a burger without beetroot 😉
    We have a shop here that sells NZ lamb… not good 'food miles' obviously, and it comes frozen, but it's delish.
    x Rhi

  3. August 22, 2012 / 7:12 am

    adorable… love the ingredients and the little buns are so cute… you may have to post the bun recipe for us non NZ residents x

  4. August 24, 2012 / 2:01 pm

    Lovely burger – looks like a professional chef has made it. I especially like the mixing of beef and lamb mince together to make a burger, i've never doen that before – need to experiment more! x

  5. September 2, 2012 / 8:03 am

    Delicious….look forward to reading about the buns. And is that links to 2 posts with photos of lambs….?? 😉

  6. October 18, 2012 / 9:48 pm

    i love those buns!

  7. October 15, 2015 / 6:19 pm

    I do hope you'll bring these burger delights over to Food on Friday over at Carole's Chatter. Cheers

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