© Constantine William Spyrou
I love burgers. The combination of beefy goodness with melty cheese just works so well together. Burgers don't have to be just cheese melted over a beef patty, however. Many places have their own variations of burgers. The Juicy Lucy burger is arguably one of the greatest burgers ever created. This Minneapolis creation is made by stuffing the cheese into the burger. Traditionally, this is made with ground beef and American or Cheddar cheese. However, since I'm Greek and I love my gyros, I decided to make a burger that's a combination of beef and lamb! Stuffed with feta cheese, served with a homemade tzatsiki sauce (Greek yogurt sauce that is tangy and delicious) and other popular Greek toppings, this is one Greek spin on an American regional favorite that you have just got to try!
Recipe will make 2 half-pound burgers.
For the Burger:
1/2 pound ground beef (use a fatty grind such as 80/20 to help flavor the lamb a little more, you will have about a 90/10 meat to fat ratio at the end with this blend regardless)
1/2 pound ground lamb
1/4 pound feta cheese
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 tablespoons chopped kalamata olives
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon nutmeg
(Optional: 1 teaspoon misthica/ gum mastic)
Salt and Pepper to Season
For the Tzatsiki:
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup diced cucumbers
2 teaspoons mint
Salt and pepper to season
Bread and Condiments:
4 slices Greek Psomi bread (If you can't make/get this, 2 ciabatta rolls - 1 per burger - will work just as well.)
4 strips applewood smoked bacon
Thinly sliced cucumber
Thinly sliced Roma tomato
Thinly sliced bell peppers
1. Make the Tzatsiki by mixing together all of the tzatsiki ingredients well. Let it chill until it is ready to serve.
2. Combine all of the spices into the ground beef, ground lamb, and chopped kalamata, and mix well. Form into four patties (two patties should be bigger than the other two).
3. Take the two larger patties and place some feta cheese on each to your liking, but not too much so that the burger may explode. Form the smaller burger patties around the large burger patties to seal the cheese inside. Create a small dimple on top to keep the burger from exploding. Let it setup in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
4. Grill or pan-sear the burger in olive oil in a hot pan for about 2-3 minutes each side. To prevent the burger from burning, finish the cooking process in an oven at 375 degrees for about 5 minutes. Let the burger rest for 5 minutes afterward to allow it to absorb its juices.
5. Grill up the bacon in the same pan the burger was in, and remove it. In the same pan/grill, toast the Psomi bread/ciabatta slices.
6. Generously spoon the tzatsiki sauce on the bottom slice/bun. Place the burger patty on top, then place 2 bacon strips over each patty. Add the thinly sliced vegetables over the top to your liking. Repeat for each burger you make.
This is what the finished product should look like: