Chef Kristina Vanni Tunisian lamb burger with harissa mayonnaise and orange-olive-date relish

  • Prep time 30Min
  • Cook time 10Min
  • Technique Grill, Sear
  • Meat Lamb
  • Cut Ground
  • Serves 6

Tunisian lamb burger with harissa mayonnaise and orange-olive-date relish


2 pounds Australian lamb, ground
1 teaspoon cumin seed, whole, lightly crushed
1 teaspoon coriander seed, whole, lightly crushed
1/4 cup Australian Shiraz
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon turmeric, ground
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1/3 cup red onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Sea salt, to taste

Harissa Mayonnaise:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons harissa
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice, fresh

Orange-Olive-Date Relish:
1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup orange segments, chopped
1/3 cup dates, chopped
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil

To Serve:
6 hamburger buns, toasted
Red lettuce leaves
6 ounces Harissa mayonnaise
2 cups orange-olive-date Relish
Sweet potato fries


In a small, dry pan, toast cumin and coriander over low heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in Shiraz and honey; increase heat to high and boil 1 minute. Stir in turmeric and cinnamon, then remove from heat and cool slightly.

Crumble lamb into a large bowl. Add red onion, garlic, pepper and spice wine mixture. Knead lightly but thoroughly to combine ingredients, then form into 6 patties, about 6 ounces each. Reserve, covered in plastic and refrigerate 30 minutes to overnight.

Heat a skillet or grill pan over medium high heat until very hot or build a medium hot fire in a grill. Season burgers on both sides with sea salt and cook 7 to 10 minutes, turning once. Remove to a platter to rest several minutes.

For the Harissa Mayonnaise: Combine all ingredients and reserve, refrigerated.

For the Orange-Olive-Date Relish: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and reserve, refrigerated.

Assembly: To build burgers, spread top and bottom halves of buns with harissa mayonnaise. Layer bottom halves with red lettuce leaves and burgers, then garnish with relish and add top halves of buns. Serve with sweet potato fries.