Smash burgers are, as the name implies, smashed burgers! The key to success is to cook them in a searing hot cast-iron pan and press the meat down into a flat patty, cooking until they have a crisp crust, then flip them over.
- Place the lamb, mint, oregano and garlic in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper, then stir to combine. Divide the mixture into four and form into loose balls. Don’t squeeze too hard as you want the mixture to be loose to easily smash down during cooking. Cover and set aside.
- To make the aioli, combine the egg yolks, garlic, mustard and lemon juice in a food processor and process until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add in the olive oil a few drops at a time. As the mixture thickens, continue to add the oil in a slow, steady stream until it is all combined. Pour into a bowl and stir in the chopped Kalamata olives.
- Heat the grill/barbecue to medium-high. Brush the grate with oil. Place a cast-iron pan or flat-top griddle on top and heat until smoking. Place the burgers in the hot pan and firmly smash down with a flat spatula until they are 1cm thick. Cook for about 2 minutes until a crisp crust forms. Flip them over and continue to cook for another minute for medium-rare, or longer for well done.
- Slice and toast the buns on the grill, then spread the top and bottom with a thick layer of aioli. Place a burger on the bun base, then top with tomato slices and sprinkle with feta cheese.
- 680g freshly minced lamb
- 1 tablespoon dried mint
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon pressed garlic
- sea salt and cracked black pepper
- 4 brioche burger buns or bread of your choice
- 4 thick tomato slices
- crumbled feta cheese, to serve
- oil, for brushing the grate
FOR THE AIOLI
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup/240ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup/225g Kalamata olives, pitted/stoned and finely chopped
Recipes are from Feast from the Fire by Valerie Aikman-Smith, with photography by Erin Kunkel. It is published in hardback by Ryland Peters & Small.