the ultimate lamb burger

Lamb burger | The Secret Life of Bee

Yum. Just yum. That’s all that comes to mind. These lamb burgers are just one of those meals that satisfy your tastebuds on every level. They’re a sensory experience. It starts right as you begin making the brioche dough. The pride you feel when your dough rises beautifully and the enormous pleasure of working a perfectly elastic, silky and bouncy dough. Bliss.

Lamb burger | The Secret Life of Bee

You can of course buy buns from the supermarket if you so wish but where’s the fun in that? Also- half of the pleasure of these brioche buns is the smell emanating from your oven while they’re cooking. I had a neighbour stick her nose straight through my kitchen window and ask me what on earth I was baking. Obvs she got a sample when they were ready. The trick is to butter up the neighbours with baked goods so when our dinner parties get too rowdy they’re less likely to report us to the supervisor. #threedayhangover

Lamb burger | The Secret Life of Bee

Anyhoo- back to food. Apart from the bun being pretty darn important, the quality of your meat is paramount. I believe in eating as many veggies as can fit on your plate, but when eating meat it is so important to purchase only the best meat that you can afford and enjoy it as a real treat. Support local farmers and nearby markets, buy free-range, organic, pasture reared etc… I bought my free-range lamb from Frankie Fenner¬†Meat Merchants. All their meat is of the highest quality and you can be sure they know exactly where it’s coming from. So arm yourself with some great meat, roll up your sleeves and get cooking!

The Ultimate Lamb Burger


serves 6 with some extra buns

Brioche buns:

makes 10

  • 250 ml warm water
  • 45 ml warm milk
  • 8,5g dry yeast
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 450g strong white bread flour
  • 60g all-pupose flour
  • 13g salt
  • 55g butter, softened
  • sesame seeds


For the buns: 

Mix the warm water, milk, sugar and yeast together and leave to get frothy and foamy for about 5-10minutes.

Mix the two flours, salt and butter in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

Add the yeast mixture as well as one of the eggs, beaten, to the flour mixture and let the mixer do the work for you on medium speed for about 7-10 minutes until a beautiful silky, elastic dough has formed. If you do not have a stand mixer you can combine the wet ingredients with the dry, mix well and then work the dough by stretching it, smacking it onto the counter and kneading it. You need to do this until your arms want to fall off. This is not a dough for the weak. ‘Throw’ the dough down onto the counter so that it stretches out like a slinky. Pull it back together, knead and repeat. Once the dough is at the correct consistency place it into a greased bowl covered with a dish cloth and leave to rise for 3 hours in a warm spot.

Lamb burger | The Secret Life of Bee

Once the dough has doubled in size turn out onto a floured work surface and divide into ten. Roll into balls and place onto a lined baking sheet or silicon mat. Cover the dough balls with greased cling wrap and once again let them double in size. Don’t rush this second rise! It’s super important.

Lamb burger | The Secret Life of Bee

When the buns have doubled in size brush them with an egg wash. Mix the remaining one egg with a teaspoon of water and brush all over the surface of the buns.

Lamb burger | The Secret Life of Bee

Sprinkle with sesame seeds and place in the oven for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Lamb burger | The Secret Life of Bee

Beet & onion pickle:

  • 3 large beetroot
  • 2 red onions
  • 250ml white wine vinegar
  • 250ml water
  • 50g sugar
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 all spice berries
  • 5 peppercorns

For the pickle:

Julienne the onion and beetroot, or in other words slice them very finely into ribbons/ sticks/ strips. Place into a heatproof bowl.

Place the water, vinegar, sugar, salt and spices into a small pot. Bring to the boil and the pour the boiling liquid over the beetroot and onion. Let it cool, cover and place in the fridge.


makes 6

  • 1kg free-range lamb mince
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely grated
  • 2 tsp sumac
  • 1 tsp origanum
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp celery salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

For the burger:

Mix the mince and spices together and shape into 6 patties. If you want to be pedantic like me thats 166 grams per burger. Yes, I weighed each one. Grill them on the braai for a few minutes each side.

Assemble the burger. Start by toasting the brioche bun with a swish of butter. Make some tzatziki with Greek yoghurt, Mediterranean cucumbers, garlic, salt and pepper. Then whip some Danish style feta cheese until soft and creamy. Add this to your tzatziki and start salivating. Top the burger with fresh rocket, the beet and onion pickle and a dollop of feta tzatziki. Serve with crispy roasted rosemary potato wedges and a glass of ice cold wine.

Lamb burger | The Secret Life of Bee

Lamb burger | The Secret Life of Bee



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