The idea here is to keep the meat as it is – straight, sweet and beautiful – then use a dry rub to add lovely layers of flavour. For me, the whole point of celebration food is to take something really comfortable and do something surprising with it.


  • 600g quality lamb shoulder, minced

  • olive oil

  • 6 soft baps, halved

  • 6 heaped tablespoons fat-free natural yoghurt

  • 1 heaped tablespoon harissa paste

  • 1 lemon

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • a handful of fresh mint leaves

  • For the dry rub

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • ½ a teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1 teaspoon ras el hanout or garam masala

  • 1–2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika

  • For the salad

  • 1 round lettuce, washed and spun dry

  • ½ a bunch of fresh mint, leaves picked

  • optional: a handful of edible flowers

  • 1 lemon

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • ½ pomegranate


  • 1.

    For the dry rub, pound all the ingredients in a pestle and mortar until combined.

  • 2.

    Divide the minced lamb into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball then squash into a burger, about 1.5cm thick. Pat some of the rub all over the burgers then drizzle over a tiny bit of olive oil. Cook on your barbecue or in a griddle pan for 6 to 7 minutes on each side, or until done to your liking. Don’t worry if you think they look burnt, that’s just a combination of the spices, the caramelizing lamb fat and the smoke. When the burgers are nearly ready, toast the baps on the side of the barbecue or griddle.

  • 3.

    Spoon the yoghurt into a bowl and dollop the harissa on top. Squeeze over a little lemon juice to loosen, then ripple the harissa through the yoghurt and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

  • 4.

    To serve, spread some harissa yoghurt on the toasted buns, top with the burgers and squash them into the buns. Add some more yoghurt, then squeeze the remaining lemon juice over a few mint leaves and place on top.

  • 5.

    For the salad, place the lettuce leaves, mint and edible flowers in a bowl, dress with the lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil and tap over the pomegranate seeds to add little capsules of sweetness. Delicious!


Serves 6

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