Lamb Burgers

Ya know how sometimes you make something that is truly excellent?!? We did it, tonight. Lamb Burgers with all the trimmings!

We tend to get into a rut, now and again, with beef-chicken-pork because it’s almost always in the freezer and easy to pull out and thaw, so last time I was at the grocers, I picked up a package of ground lamb. No real plan for it, but I thought it would help to get the creative juices flowing.

And it did!

Victor found a recipe for lamb burgers with a fennel slaw and aioli that had promise, so he went off to make his own version of the aioli. That left me with the fennel slaw and the lamb. We do good tag-team kitchen!

Lamb Burgers with Fennel Slaw


  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 2 oz Sambuca
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • Salt and Pepper

Lemon-Caper Aioli:

  • 1/4 cup rinsed salt-packed capers
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons (or more) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt

Fennel Slaw:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste


Lamb Burger:

Place lamb in bowl. Sprinkle with Sambuca and spices. Mix well and form into patties. Grill to desired doneness.

Lemon-Caper Aioli:

Whisk capers, mayonnaise, oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, mustard, cayenne, and garlic in a medium bowl; taste and season with salt and more lemon juice, if desired.

Fennel Slaw:

If you have a mandoline, use it to thinly-slice the fennel, celery, and onion. If not, cut as thin as you can. Toss the fennel, celery, onion, and mint with the lemon juice and olive oil. Add salt and pepper, as desired.

To Assemble:

Toast thick slices of bread or good rolls. Place aioli on bread, top with burger, top with more aioli, and then the slaw.

Lamb Burgers

This was definitely a hit! Lots of spice from the aioli, crunch from the slaw, and sweetness from the lamb. The flavors just worked. It was the perfect knife-and-fork burger.

The aioli recipe makes a lot, so the challenge will now be to see how I can incorporate it into something else.

I love a good challenge!