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Two ways with Burgers – Moroccan Lamb and Boerewors!

Boerewors by Vaughan Adams Photography (copyright)

Father’s day is around the corner and this week Vaughan and I have been working on the front page of the Food and Wine insert that will be published on or around Father’s Day this year. We were asked to prepare and photograph a full page spread that would epitomize every South African Father’s favorite lunch.

Oh bugger!! That means a ‘braai’. We all know the drill – as much meat and potato as possible and as little or no green anything! (click here if you are a South African man as you may be able to relate…if you are a South African women you probably won’t find it that funny!)  Ok only joking it is not really as bad as that but you get the idea!

It is their day, and so let’s give them a heart-attack on a plate once a year and hope that isn’t the one that kills off our Darling Dads…but if you are able to push the boundaries and sell them this awesome ‘barbeque’ me thinks it would be a safer option for their hearts, waistlines and will get them one or two greens for the day that they actually may enjoy! As long as there are plenty of icy cold Zameleks (street slang for Carling Black label beer) on hand – I think everyone will be as happy as Larry.

Quote of the day:Red meat is not bad for you.  Now blue-green meat, that’s bad for you!  ~Tommy Smothers)

Warning:Whatever you do, if your Dad is a real Proudly South African man, do not use this description when telling him what you are planning to cook for lunch. Just say home-made hamburgers on the braai and leave it at that. The fancy Nancy name and description will result in a frown, screwed up nose and skew face! Trust me.

So my menu is as follows:

1.  Moroccan Lamb Burgers with Char grilled Haloumi Cheese

- served with sour dough buns, wild rocket, roasted Mediterranean vege and grilled haloumi cheese.

- dripping with home-made basil pesto.

2.  Boerewors Burgers with Tomato and caramelized onions. (Click here to learn more about Boerewors.)

- served on floured baps (do not use this terminology when your dad is around either – rolls will suffice.)

- with homemade tomato sauce laced with a little chilli and sweet caramelized red onions.

These burgers would be great cooked on a griddle on your hob, but to make the event more social, I normally arrange the raw patties, a bunch of vege already prepared and some slices of haloumi cheese on big serving platters and lay them out near the braai area for the men to cook, while sipping on a beer and catching up on the rugby score.

A side order of potatoes is a must with any braai. Try one of these Ultimate Roast Potato recipes, or merely thinly slice potatoes and make shoe-string fries to serve with your burgers.

It is a family affair, and once the patties and veges have been cooked on the open fire, toast the buns and present the platters for everyone to create and assemble their own burger. I have no doubt that they will love every morsel. I have tested these out on my ‘men’ and the comment was – ‘Best burger I have ever eaten.’

Moroccan Lamb Burgers with Char grilled Haloumi Cheese (Makes  6  burger patties.)

500 g lamb mince

250 ml (1 cup) home-made breadcrumbs made with day old bread

250 ml (1 cup) of wild black rice cooked and cooled

5 ml  (1 tsp) cumin seeds

10 ml (2 tsp) salt

2.5 ml  ( ½ tsp) cinnamon

5 ml (1 tsp) coriander seeds

100 g toasted almonds

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander (Dhanya)

2 tablespoons finely chopped mint

2 eggs

6 sour dough rolls or any hamburger rolls for serving

wild rocket for serving

Roasted  Mediterranean vege and char grilled haloumi cheese for serving (click here)

Home-made basil pesto for serving (click here)


  1.  Make your breadcrumbs, cook your rice, and set aside.
  2. Using a pestle and mortar, crush the cumin seeds, salt, cinnamon and coriander seeds to a fine powder.
  3. Add the toasted almonds and crush – but just to a breadcrumb consistency, not too fine.
  4. Mix all the ingredients together with your hands being sure to combine and evenly distributed  in the mince. The eggs will be the binder that will hold the patties together.
  5. On a floured surface, take handfuls of the mixture and form into balls, rolling in the flour to coat the outside.
  6. Press down gently with the palm of your hand and form into neat round pattie shapes, ensuring they are slightly wider than the rolls you intent using. (The meat will shrink slightly when cooked.)
  7. Flour the outside well and cook on a medium open fire for approximately 5 minutes on each side. Do not overcook as they will become dry and hard. Remove from the heat and allow to rest before serving. (The outside should have formed a crispy crust.) 

  (Scroll down for the Boerewors recipe)

Boerewors Burgers with Tomato Sauce and Caramelized Red Onions (makes 6 patties)

500 g Grabouw Boerewors (or any good quality wors)

1 red onion finely chopped

2 cloves crushed garlic

olive oil

6 finely chopped pepper dews

2 tablespoons tomato paste

250 ml (1 cup) home-made breadcrumbs using day old bread

5 ml (1 tsp) salt

2 eggs

6 Floured baps or any other hamburger roll (for serving)

Home-made tomato sauce (click here for recipe)

Caramelized onions (click here for recipe)


  1. In a saucepan fry the onion and garlic in the oil until soft and transparent.
  2. Remove the minced meat from the Boerewors casing and mix with the breadcrumbs, onion and garlic, the pepper dews, tomato paste and salt.
  3. Add the two eggs and combine with your hands ensuring the ingredients are well mixed and evenly distributed.
  4. On a floured board, take a handful of meat mixture and form into a ball, rolling in the flour to coat the outside.
  5. Gently press down making a round pattie shape, a little bigger than the rolls you intend to serve it in. (The meat will shrink slightly after cooking.)
  6. Sprinkle with flour and set aside on a platter.
  7. Cook over a medium open fire for approximately 5 minutes on each side or until just cooked. Do not overcook as they will become dry and hard. (They should have formed a crispy crust on the outside.)
  8. Set aside and rest before serving with tomato sauce and caramelized onions.




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