Beef might claim to be what's for dinner in America, but in the Middle East, that honor often goes to lamb. It's prepared in numerous ways, but my favorite is when the lamb is ground, spiced and grilled, then topped with yogurt sauce and tucked into a pita. And that's how we're rolling here.
The only problem with ground lamb is that the kind available at the supermarket is often quite fatty. Generally speaking, of course, fat is where the flavor is — and the moisture. But lamb fat is saturated fat, and it's best to keep our intake of saturated fats down. Fortunately, lamb is packed with flavor, meaning that even the leaner cuts deliver big taste. What about the missing juiciness? We've replaced it with vegetables.
The surest way to source lean ground lamb is to grind it yourself or put it in the hands of a professional. Not all markets boast an in-house butcher these days, but if yours does, choose a leaner cut of lamb — a part of the leg, for example — and have the store grind it for you. Of course, if you own a meat grinder or a stand mixer with a meat-grinding attachment, take the leaner cut home and grind away.
If neither of those options is open to you, you can "grind" your lamb using a food processor. I put grind in quotation marks because when you do it with a processor, it's more like chopping or shredding than grinding. Here's how it works: Cut the meat into 1-inch cubes and freeze them for 30 minutes. Freezing the meat helps it to "grind" more evenly and prevents the processor from overheating the lamb in the process. Put the meat in the processor in batches and pulse until it gets to the desired consistency. Be careful not to overdo it.
This burger remains super juicy thanks to onions and zucchini. We caramelize the onions to optimize their flavor, and grate, salt and drain the zucchini. The burger is then seasoned with garlic, oregano and lemon, though you're welcome to swap out the oregano for basil, dill, mint or rosemary.
If you're not a fan of lamb, this recipe is also dandy made with beef. You can grind your own beef using the methods described above. Whichever meat you choose, though, don't skip the garlic yogurt sauce. .