Lamb Keftedes Burgers | Wine Enthusiast
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Lamb Keftedes Burgers

Courtesy Todd Knoll, executive chef, Jordan Vineyard & Winery, Healdsburg, CA

Lamb from Sonoma County, California, is considered some of the best in the world, and it’s a favorite of Todd Knoll, chef at Jordan Vineyard & Winery in Healdsburg. A delicious alternative to the usual summer barbecue fare, Knoll’s lamb burgers can also be pan-fried in olive oil as keftedes (Greek meatballs) and served as part of a meze spread.


1½ pounds ground lamb
½ pound ground beef chuck
1½ tablespoons fresh mint, fine-chopped
1½ tablespoons fresh oregano, fine-chopped
1 small onion, grated
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 lemon, halved
Pita or naan
Greek Relish (ingredients and recipe below)


Combine meats, mint, oregano, onion, egg and cumin gently with hands. Let rest 45 minutes. Shape into 6 patties.

Heat grill to high. Season patties with salt and pepper. Cook 3 minutes per side, or to desired doneness (130˚F internal temperature for medium-rare). Char lemon on grill, and squeeze over cooked burgers. Serve with warmed pita or naan and relish. Serves 6.

Greek Relish Ingredients

¼ red onion
½ English cucumber
1 cup cherry tomatoes
¹/₃ cup Kalamata olives
2 tablespoons dill
12 mint leaves
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 ounces feta
Salt and pepper, to taste

Greek Relish Directions

Slice red onion thin. Slice English cucumber into thin half moons. Combine with halved cherry tomatoes, halved and pitted Kalamata olives, chopped fresh dill, torn mint leaves, extra-virgin olive oil and feta. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Pair It

Jordan 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley). “This is drinking older than its 2014 vintage,” says Margaret Kruse, associate winemaker at Jordan Vineyard & Winery. “Its dark fruit and integrated tannins pop against the earthiness of cumin, oregano, lamb and, of course, the char of the grill.”

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