Grilled Lamb and Pistachio Burgers

Where's There's Smoke Cookbook


  • 1 1/4 Pound  ground lamb
  • 1/4 Cup  unsalted shelled pistachios, chopped
  • segments preserved lemons or oranges, flesh cut away and discarded, rind finely minced
  • 2 Teaspoons  kosher salt
  • 1 Teaspoon  ground coriander
  • turns of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons  water
  • 1 Tablespoon  extra-virgin olive oil

Lamb meat is not usually used to make burgers, explains author Barton Seaver of Where There’s Smoke, because the fat in the meat is not a favorable flavor or mouthfeel, making it difficult to create a juicy patty. He resolves this issue by substituting some of the fat taken out of the meat with olive oil, and pairs his lamb burgers with other like-minded Mediterranean ingredients such as preserved lemons for flavor and ground pistachios for texture and aroma.

Click here to see 50 Best Burger Recipes



Place all of the ingredients into a medium bowl and, working quickly but deliberately, mix by hand or with a fork until they are thoroughly combined. The danger here is mixing too aggressively. If you heat up the mixture too much or too fast, then it turns into a paste which, when cooked, will have the texture of a hot dog. By mixing with care, you retain the texture of the lamb and end up with a hamburger-like mouthfeel. Chill the mixture for at least 20 minutes.

Evenly divide the mixture into 4 portions and shape them into balls. Gently flatten them so they look like sad meatballs and set them just adjacent to the coals of a medium fire flavored with applewood or oak. Cover the grill and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, depending on the heat of the fire. Flip the patties and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the patties to the coolest part of the grill and cook 2 minutes longer, or until they are about medium doneness, then serve immediately.



Reprinted with permission from Where There’s Smoke © 2013 by Barton Seaver, Sterling Epicure, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Photography by Katie Stoops 


Calories per serving:

483 calories

Dietary restrictions:

Low Carb Sugar Conscious, Paleo, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Egg Free, Milk Free, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Alcohol Free, No Sugar Added

Daily value:



  • Fat 161g 248%
  • Carbs 21g 7%
  • Saturated 61g 307%
  • Fiber 7g 29%
  • Sugars 5g
  • Monounsaturated 72g
  • Polyunsaturated 16g
  • Protein 102g 203%
  • Cholesterol 414mg 138%
  • Sodium 4,131mg 172%
  • Calcium 171mg 17%
  • Magnesium 173mg 43%
  • Potassium 1,766mg 50%
  • Iron 11mg 62%
  • Zinc 20mg 135%
  • Phosphorus 1,068mg 153%
  • Vitamin A 8µg 1%
  • Vitamin C 64mg 106%
  • Thiamin (B1) 1mg 63%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 1mg 75%
  • Niacin (B3) 34mg 172%
  • Vitamin B6 1mg 68%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 131µg 33%
  • Vitamin B12 13µg 218%
  • Vitamin D 1µg 0%
  • Vitamin E 4mg 20%
  • Vitamin K 30µg 37%
See detailed nutritional info Have a question about nutritional data? Let us know.
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