Five Expert Tips For Cooking Lamb Burgers At Home

Today is International Burger Day. For Australians, this is as good an excuse as any to dig into some minced lamb between two burger buns. We asked Tom Walton, Head Chef at Bondi’s The Bucket List to share his personal cooking tips and recipes for lamb burgers. Here are five nuggets of advice – along with three mouth-watering Lamb Slider recipes.

The Bucket List, in partnership with We Love Our Lamb, is selling three lamb burgers to celebrate National Burger Day. The burgers will be available from Friday 26 May to Monday 29 May. If you’d prefer to make your own at home, the following tips from Tom Walton should help to put the finishing touches on your creations.

#1 Use big flavours

“Lamb is a full of flavor meaning it can stand up to other big flavours so get creative with your burgers. Think spice, fragrance, citrus, smokiness and lots of herbs added to marinades for larger cuts or combined with mince to make delicious patties.”

#2 Secondary cuts are perfect

“Shoulder and neck are perfect for pulled lamb burgers. Marinate in a smokey BBQ sauce, slow cook until falling apart, pull and throw inside a bun!”

#3 Don’t under season

“Meat needs salt, especially lamb with its big flavours. When making a patty from mince, use the rule of 2% salt to the weight of the meat.”

#4 The right bun

“Lamb works well with a variety of different buns. Pair with a crusty style bun, a soft, slightly sweet bun, or even sourdough depending on what type of burger you’re creating. Go with your own favourite but personally I think a brioche bun can be a bit rich to pair with lamb.”

#5 Combinations are endless

“Lamb is so diverse, lending itself to different cooking applications, flavours and cuisines, so have some fun with it! Think Japanese karaage burger using backstrap or leg, Mexican pulled lamb shoulder burger or a Turkish Minced lamb kofta burger.”

#1 Tom Walton’s Lamb Backstrp Karage Sliders


  • 1 lamb backstrap, sinew removed
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sake
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup potato starch
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
  • 1 cup fine shredded white cabbage
  • 1 cup fine shredded purple cabbage
  • 2 shallots, finely sliced
  • 1 tbs wasabi paste, use to taste
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • Juice 1 lime
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 radish, finely sliced
  • 6 slider buns, cut in half


  1. Slice the lamb backstrap on an angle against the grain into thin pieces about 5mm
    thick and the approx. size of the slider bun.
  2. In a bowl, combine the ginger, garlic, soy, sake and sugar and marinate the lamb for
    at least 30 minutes in the fridge.
  3. Combine the cabbages and shallots and set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the mayo and lime juice with wasabi and salt to taste.
  5. Preheat a dash of oil in a small fryer or pot to 180 degrees celsius.
  6. Toss the lamb in the potato starch to coat well and almost create a batter. Fry in the
    hot oil until golden and crisp, then drain on a paper towel and season with a little salt.
  7. Build the slider with the lamb Karaage on the base, some cabbage mixture, sliced
    radish and mayo and top of the bun to finish.

#2 Tom Walton’s Chipotle Pulled Lamb Shoulder Sliders


  • 1 lamb shoulder, bone in
  • 1 tbsp fennel seed
  • 2 tsp black pepper corn
  • 1 tsp coriander seed
  • 1 tsp cumin seed
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar or honey
  • 2 chipotle chilis in abado sauce, finely chopped
  • ½ cup apple juice
  • Salt

BBQ sauce

  • 2 chipotle chilis in abado sauce, pureed
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • ½ cup agave syrup or brown sugar
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 50ml Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard

Pico de gallo

  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • ¼ bunch coriander, finely chopped
  • 2 limes
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise (optional)
  • 6-8 slider buns, cut in half


  1. Crush the whole dried spices in a mortar and pestle, then combine with the paprika,
    crushed garlic, sugar and chipotle chili.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius.
  3. Place the lamb in a baking dish and sprinkle with salt, to taste.
  4. Rub the marinade into the lamb shoulder.
  5. Roast for 30 minutes then add the apple juice and cover with foil.
  6. Turn down the heat to 160 degrees celcius and continue to cook for 2 hours or until
    the lamb is beginning to fall of the bone. Cooking time may vary depending on size of
    the shoulder.
  7. Remove the lamb from the oven and pour of any juices into a pot. Add the BBQ
    sauce ingredients to the juices and bring to the boil. Turn down and simmer for 10
    minutes or until thickened slightly.
  8. Combine the tomato, diced onion and chopped coriander and season with salt and
  9. To serve, pull the lamb of the bone and mix with the BBQ sauce. Pile the lamb onto
    the bottom bun. Top with pico de gallo, a good squeeze of lime and a little mayo if
  10. Tip: If time allows, leave the lamb to marinate overnight in the fridge to allow the flavour
    to soak in.

#3 Tom Walton’s Lamb Mince Kofta Sliders


  • 250g lamb mince
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp each coriander and mint, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried chili flakes, optional

    Green harissa

  • 5 long green chili, stalks removed
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ½ bunch coriander, washed, roughly chopped
  • ¼ bunch mint, washed, picked
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp ground carrawy
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil

Smokey eggplant

  • 1 eggplant
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • Juice ½ lemon
  • 6-8 slider buns
  • Good quality sliced pickled cucumbers
  • 1 cup rocket leaves, washed
  • 2 tbsp natural yoghurt


  1. For the kofta, combine all the ingredients and mix well with a clean hand.
    Form into mini patties a little bigger than the slider buns.
  2. For the harissa, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend to a
    smooth puree. Set aside and store in the fridge.
  3. For the smoky eggplant, cook the eggplant over a flame or on a BBQ until collapsing.
  4. Cool and remove the flesh from the burnt skin. Chop the flesh then mix with the
    remaining ingredients.
  5. Cook the lamb kofta on a BBQ or fry in a pan for 1-2 minutes either side.
  6. Place some smokey eggplant on the bottom buns, top with a handful rocket, the
    kofta, some harissa, pickles and yoghurt

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