Lamb, Recipes

Lamb mince is usually made from the neck, breast, thick rib, fank or trimmings from the more popular braai cuts. Unfortunately it’s quite hard to get hold of and not always available at butcheries. Lamb burgers are thus an op-portunistic meal. Ask the butcher whether he has lamb mince on hand and, if he does, cancel your other plans.


For the patties:

  • 1 kg lamb mince
  • 5 ml coriander seeds
  • 5 ml cumin seeds
  • 5 ml salt
  • 5 ml black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 smallish onion (or half a big one, fnely chopped)
  • 1 tot fresh mint
  • 1 tot fresh parsley
  • 1 tot fresh oregano 
  • olive oil


For the tzatziki:

  • 1 cup Greek yoghurt (or what-ever plain yoghurt is available that is furthest removed from fat-free yoghurt)
  • ½cucumber (chopped)
  • 1 tot olive oil 
  • 2 finely chopped garlic cloves (more if, like me, you like garlic)
  • 1 tot chopped mix of fresh parsley and mint 
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lemon


For the salad:

  • ½cucumber (the other half )
  • 2 big or 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 200 g feta cheese
  1. Make the tzatziki sauce by combining all its ingredients and then adding salt, pepper and a few squeezes of lemon juice to taste.
  2. Make the salad by chopping and combining the tomatoes, cucumber and feta cheese. Add a bit of olive oil to give it that nice shine.
  3. Use a pestle and mortar and crush the coriander, cumin, salt, pepper and garlic.
  4. Finely chop the onion, mint, parsley and oregano. Mix this with the lamb mince and all the crushed ingredients of the previous step. Make 6 patties from the spiced meat and put them on a plate.
  5. Lightly brush the patties with olive oil on each side before braaing them on hot coals. This improves the taste, helps them not to stick to the grid, and some of the oil might cause fames to fare up which helps to seal the outside of the patties.
  6. Braai the patties for about 10 minutes until medium and then remove from the fre and let them rest for a few minutes.
  7. Serve on a roll with salad and tzatziki sauce.

AND …■ If you wet your hands in cold water before working with mincemeat there will be less chance of the meat sticking to your hands.■ If you can’t fnd fresh mint, parsley or oregano, then leave out what you don’t have and make a note to upgrade your herb garden next weekend. These are basic herbs that grow easily in most parts of South Africa. You really should have them.■ Original tzatziki recipes tell you to first salt the cucumber to dry it out and make the sauce frmer. You don’t really have to do it but now you know, just in case you ever end up discussing tzatziki sauce with a distant relative of the Greek bride at a friend’s wedding.