Laurent Tourondel’s Lamb Burger

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For this recipe Laurent Tourondel, owner of BLT Burger in Las Vegas and LT in Sag Harbor and Panama City, recommends using wood in your grill and sticking to the specific, delicate cuts that take on the smoky flavor without tasting like beef.

“I prefer to use the lamb’s shoulder or neck meat,” he says. “They have the best flavor.”

Laurent Tourondel’s Lamb Burger Recipe


  • 1 tsp each black peppercorns, fennel seed, cumin seed, turmeric, garlic powder, dried thyme, dried oregano
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne 
  • 2 cups plain yogurt, drained for 3 hours through cheesecloth placed over bowl in refrigerator 
  • 1 tbsp mint, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp lime juice 
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1.5 tbsp harissa (a chile sauce)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tomato, finely diced (plus 6 slices) 
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced (plus 6 rings)
  • 1/4 cup black pitted olives, diced
  • 1/2 cup cured lemons, diced
  • 1 tbsp each mint and cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp each lemon juice and olive oil 
  • 1.5 oz merguez sausage
  • 1-1/2 lbs ground lamb
  • 1/2 lb sweet unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 leaves romaine lettuce
  • 6 sesame seed buns

Step One
Over medium heat, lightly toast the peppercorns and the fennel and cumin seeds in a pan 3–5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Step Two
Blend the toasted spices, paprika, turmeric, cayenne, garlic powder, dried thyme, and dried oregano into a fine powder.

Step Three
Combine strained yogurt, mint, lime juice, and 1 teaspoon of spice mix. Cover and return to refrigerator. In another bowl combine mayo, harissa, and 1/4 cup lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. In a third bowl combine diced tomato, cucumber, and onion; olives, cured lemons, mint, cilantro, lemon juice, and olive oil. Toss and season with salt and pepper.

Step Four
With a knife, remove merguez from casing and mix with lamb and 1 tablespoon of lamb spice mix. Form six 6-oz patties, brush with butter, and season with salt.

Step Five
Grill over medium-high heat for 4 minutes per side for medium rare. Place patties on buns spread with harissa mayonnaise and yogurt sauce. Top with vegetable mix, lettuce, tomato, and onion. Serves 6.

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