They say that a Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest ways of eating. It’s certainly a favourite of ours and in the summer months especially we love throwing together a salad, cranking up the barbecue and eating al fresco. The grey skies of Manchester are sadly no match for dining under the Cretan sun, but what is?
In Crete their burgers are known as bifteki. They can be made from beef, pork or lamb and they’re usually stuffed with cheese – juicy Lucy style! Here’s my take on the traditional bifteki burger. It’s made with lamb and stuffed with feta, served with a fresh Greek salad and a generous helping of tzatziki. It’s so good!
Cretan Style Lamb Burger with Feta
Ingredients (makes 4 burgers)
500g lamb mince
2 cloves of garlic, crushed or grated
1/2 a red onion, grated
75g stale breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon of fresh oregano, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
2 tablespoons of parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
200g feta cheese
Salt & pepper
4 burger buns
Slice your feta cheese into 8 pieces, they’ll need to be flat rather than chunky. Put them to one side.
In a bowl tip all of the remaining burger ingredients and knead together. A bifteki has a firmer texture than a normal style burger, so get your hands in and work the meat. Once it is all combined, cover and put the mixture in the fridge for half an hour.
Divide the lamb into four equal parts and taking a slice of the feta, mould the lamb around it so the cheese is encased. Do this with all of your four burgers. Grill your burgers on the barbecue until cooked through.
Alternatively if you are cooking them in the oven, pre-heat your oven to 200°c and cook for ten minutes, then flip your burgers and cook for a further ten minutes. You might want to put your remaining feta slices on top of the burgers during the last few minutes in the oven.
Serve your lamb burger on a burger bun smeared with tzatziki and a pile of Greek salad. Delicious!