- Meat and poultry
- Lamb mince
A simple Greek-inspired dish with minced lamb, olives, courgettes and feta cheese. The lamb in this dish can easily be substituted with minced beef or pork if preferred.
County Dublin, Ireland
6 people made this
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 500g minced lamb
- 2 to 3 courgettes, coarsely chopped
- 1 red pepper, coarsely chopped
- 100ml dry white wine
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 beef stock cube
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 200g feta cheese
- 1 jar pepperoncini (pickled green peppers), drained
- 1 small jar pitted green olives, drained
MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:30min ›Ready in:50min
- Preheat oven to 200 C / Gas 6.
- Heat olive oil in a casserole dish and cook and stir the onion and garlic until soft. Add the minced lamb and cook until browned. Add the courgettes and red pepper and cook and stir for about 5 minutes.
- Pour in white wine and simmer until wine has reduced. Add tomatoes, stock cube, oregano and basil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Crumble half of the feta with your hands and mix into the meat mixture. Add the pepperoncini and olives and sprinkle the remaining feta on top. Cover the casserole dish.
- Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove the lid and brown the top for another 10 minutes.
Pepperoncini may not be available in your local shops. This is a mildly spicy pepper, either used fresh or found pickled in jars. Although there isn't a perfect substitution, there are some other peppers and chillies that are close in flavour and texture, like banana peppers or jalapenos.
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Greek-Style Butterflied Leg of American Lamb with Feta Sauce
Place the garlic, oregano, thyme, 1 tablespoon olive oil and the lemon zest (reserve the juice for later) in a mini or regular sized food processor, and season with salt and pepper. Process until it becomes a paste (if you are a mortar and pestle type of cook, you can use that instead).
Rub about 2/3 of the herb paste on the top of the lamb, the side that was cut for butterflying. Then roll up the lamb and tie it well with kitchen twine at 1 ½ inch intervals to keep it tightly rolled. Rub the rest of the paste over the outside of the lamb, place in a pan or container, and refrigerate from 1 hour to 24 hours uncovered
Take the lamb out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature while you preheat the oven to 450°F. Place the lamb in a roasting pan and roast for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375° and roast for another 50 to 70 minutes. An internal thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roast should read 125°F for medium rare.
While the lamb is cooking or resting, make the Creamy Feta Sauce. In a small bowl combine the Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, dill, and minced garlic. Add the feta and stir and lightly mashing it into the mixture, using a fork. Taste and season as needed with salt and pepper. Spring over some small dill sprigs, if using.
When the lamb is cooked let it rest on a cutting board for 20 minutes. Slice the lamb against the grain, remove the string, and transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle the reserved 1 tablespoon lemon juice over the sliced lamb and give the slices a light seasoning of salt and pepper. Serve warm with the feta sauce on the side.
Nutritional Facts: Calories: 312kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 117mg | Sodium: 198mg | Potassium: 570mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 106IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 4mg
Greek Burgers with Feta and Olives
Here in Greece, we love burgers. But they’re quite different from the US version plain ground meat is rarely used for burgers.
The traditional Greek burgers are beef patties called biftekia/mpiftekia (pronounced beef-tek-ya). They are made by mixing minced meat with herbs and/or spices, onion, bread and olive oil.
Just like similar Greek recipes, there are countless variations for biftekia as well. Each family and each restaurant or tavern serves its own version. But the above mentioned ingredients are always included in the patties! The ground meat is usually beef, but mixtures of beef and pork or beef and lamb are also not uncommon.
The authentic Greek bifteki recipe includes ground beef, onion, bread, olive oil and some herbs like parsley, oregano or mint. Sometimes all these herbs and even more are added. Those are the burgers you’ll find in any Greek tavern if you ever visit Greece during the summer. They’re usually served with freshly cut French fries. People also order tzatziki and horiatiki Greek salad as side dishes. If you 've never tried Greek burgers before, you really don’t know what you’re missing! IThey are perfect for any backyard BBQ. The flavor and the aroma when you grill those delicious patties on a charcoal grill (the classic way of grilling meat in Greece) are really hard to describe. Simply put, it’s amazing!
Greek burgers are thicker than their US counterparts, and are almost never served in burger buns they are served with fresh crusty bread slices, often brushed with olive oil and oregano and grilled right next to the burgers for a few minutes. Greek pitas (those used in souvlaki and gyros) are also quite common.
Biftekia can be also baked/grilled in the oven of course and that’s the way our mamades (mommies) used to cook them for us especially during winter, when BBQ was out of the question. Many times those oven roasted burgers were accompanied by roasted garlic lemon potatoes and a simple lettuce-spring onions-dill salad, with a lemon-extra virgin olive oil dressing.
When you use the oven to cook biftekia, you can either roast them in a baking pan (brushed with olive oil or lined with parchment) or grill them using the oven grate. It’s up to you. If you choose the latter, make sure to put a pan under the grate for any drippings from the patties.
Ten days ago we put five recipes up in a poll. We asked our friends and audience to choose which ones they’d like us to cook next, but never expected such a landslide (44%) in favor of the recipe for Greek burgers. The recipe chosen was a variation of the classic biftekia, enriched with feta and olives!
There are many recipes for feta stuffed burgers, or burgers combined with feta in some other way. The combination is indeed delicious. There are also a few recipes for burgers with olives. This recipe was created one day that we decided to include both the olives and the feta in our beef patties the result was so delicious we ended up making this again and again, and one day we wrote the recipe down and measured the ingredients to share it with all of you through our blog. It would be a shame not to do so!
Our biftekia recipe include: lots of fresh mint, which is in our humble opinion the key ingredient for Greek burger patties, onion, bread, extra virgin olive oil, a little garlic (you can omit this if you don’t like it) and one egg, which helps keeping the shape of the patties and adds flavor. We also add a little red wine vinegar. This is something common in the Greek cuisine both in biftekia recipes as well as in keftedakia (Greek meatballs) recipes it helps the ground beef to become a bit fluffier. Plus, the vinegar and the herbs help reducing health risks from grilling the meat in high temperatures.
And of course we added the other two ingredients that make this recipe different from the classic biftekia: Kalamata olives and feta. We prefer to buy whole Kalamata olives and remove the pits ourselves, as they taste better this way. The reason is that the flesh of the olive isn’t exposed directly to the brine like in pitted olives. We also used a good quality barrel-aged feta. This one was cubed in order to incorporate it into the patties, but you can also use crumbled (as long as the crumbs are bit thick and aren’t mashed).
A simple way to serve biftekia is with red onion, mixed with fresh parsley and some ripe tomatoes. Add some pitas and tzatziki and the result is fantastic!
Preparing these delicious Greek beef burgers, with feta and olives is very easy. Let's see how.
- 8 cloves garlic, finely minced, divided
- ⅓ cup packed flat-leaf parsley, finely minced
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 4-pound boneless leg of lamb, butter flied and trimmed (see Tip)
- 1 small bunch kale or chard, trimmed
- ⅓ cup minced red onion
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ½ cup pitted olives (Kalamata or a mix of favorites), chopped
- Zest of 1 lemon
Combine half the garlic with parsley, 2 tablespoons oil, salt and pepper. Rub over both sides of lamb. Set aside at room temperature.
Stem kale and chop the leaves. (If using chard, chop the leaves and stems separately.)
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining garlic, chard stems, if using, and onion cook, stirring frequently, until the onion starts to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add kale (or chard) leaves and cook, stirring often, until the leaves are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes. Add feta, olives and lemon zest stir to combine.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Coat a shallow roasting pan with cooking spray.
Spread the stuffing across the cut side of the lamb, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Roll up from short side to short side, tucking in the stuffing. Tie the roast with kitchen string in several spots to keep it rolled tightly. Place seam-side down in the prepared pan.
Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees . Continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the lamb registers 135 degrees F for medium, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Let rest on a cutting board for 15 minutes. Remove the string and slice the lamb.
Make Ahead Tip: Rub the lamb (Step 1), roll it up, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before stuffing and roasting.
Preparing a butterflied leg of lamb? Save time in the kitchen by asking your butcher to butterfly it for you (that is, open it up to a large flat cut of meat).
Ingredients for greek feta tenderloin
- 1 large pork loin (2 lbs)
- 3/4 cup Greek dressing
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 roasted red pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- small bunch fresh parsley, chopped
- 4 clove of garlic minced (divided in two)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup white wine plus another 1/4 cup of Greek dressing
- 1 tbsp cornstarch plus 1/2 cup cold water (make a slurry)
- salt and pepper
- 500g lamb mince
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1tsp ground cumin
- 1tsp ground coriander
- 1tsp paprika
- ½tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 egg
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1-2 red chillies, sliced
- 1tbsp plain flour
- 150ml lamb or beef stock
- 150ml red wine
- 100g black olives
- 100g feta cheese, crumbled
- Chopped fresh chives and parsley, to garnish
Make meatballs: If you plan don’t plan to brown the meatballs, use only 3 tablespoons water. If you do, use all 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup). In a large bowl, combine all meatball ingredients except oil I like to do this with a fork. Using wet hands, form mixture into small (1 1/2 to 2-inch diameter) meatballs I have taken to using a large (just shy of 3 tablespoon) cookie scoop for easy sizing.
Brown meatballs: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and heat it through. Evenly space meatballs in pan and very carefully turn and roll them so that all sides become brown. Don’t worry if they don’t remain perfectly round mine never do. Don’t worry if some pieces become stuck to the pan they will deliciously infuse the sauce in a minute. Drain meatballs on a paper towel-lined plate.
[If you prefer not to fry your meatballs before cooking them in the sauce, you can cook them right in the sauce — it will take about 10 minutes longer.]
Make sauce and finish cooking meatballs: Pour out all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet and return to medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add wine or vermouth and scrape up any bits stuck to the pan. Cook until the liquid almost disappears. Add tomatoes, oregano, lemon zest, salt, pepper flakes, olives (if you’re using them now), mint and parsley. Bring mixture to a simmer and return meatballs to the pan. Cover with a lid and cook at the lowest simmer for 20 to 24 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through. Squeeze lemon juice over meatballs and sauce.
Serve: Sprinkled with additional olives, feta and herbs. We had this with orzo and a Greek salad.
Recipe: How to cook Greek lamb filo pie with feta and oregano by Genevieve Taylor
1tbsp olive oil
800g minced lamb
2 large onions, chopped
4 large cloves garlic, crushed
1 heaped tsp ground allspice
1 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
A pinch of dried mixed herbs
A pinch of dried chilli flakes (optional)
400g ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
400ml lamb or beef stock
250ml white wine
300g feta cheese, crumbled
Generous bunch of fresh oregano, leaves picked and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 pack (250g) filo pastry (there are about 10 sheets in a pack but you only need 5 or 6, so use the rest in another recipe or freeze them)
A little olive oil, for brushing
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sea salt flakes, for sprinkling
Step 1: Pour the oil into a large, deep frying pan and set over a high heat. Add the mince, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and fry for around 15min or until nicely browned. Don’t stir too much as you want the meat to catch and stick in places – this caramelisation will add lots of intense flavour to the finished dish.
Step 2: Reduce the heat a little and stir through the onions, then fry for a further 10min or so until the onions are starting to soften and turn translucent. Add the crushed garlic, the allspice, cinnamon, dried herbs and chilli flakes, if using, and fry for just another minute or so before adding the tomatoes, stock and wine.
Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to as low as possible and simmer, uncovered, for around 1 hour or until the sauce is thick and rich, stirring occasionally. Taste to check the seasoning, adding a little more salt and black pepper, if necessary, then transfer to a large baking dish and leave to cool completely.
Once the filling is cold, preheat the oven to 200C. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the feta, oregano, garlic and the lemon zest, then sprinkle it evenly over the meat mixture.
Step 3: Unroll a sheet of filo pastry onto the work surface, then cover the rest with a clean damp tea towel to keep it supple. Brush the filo sheet with a little oil, then lay it over the filling, crumpling it in little waves over the surface.
Brush another sheet of filo with oil and lay it over the first sheet, crumpling it as before, then repeat until you have around 5 or 6 layers (placed on top of each other) that completely cover the filling. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt flakes, along with a last drizzle of oil over the top layer.
Step 4: Bake in the oven for around 35–40 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and deep golden brown. Serve hot. This pie is complete when served with a Greek-style salad of super ripe tomatoes, black olives, cucumber, green pepper and red onion, dressed in lemon juice and olive oil – sunshine in a bowl.
Feta Stuffed American Lamb Meatballs with Fresh Herbs and Creamy Feta Sauce
This recipe is sponsored by the American Lamb Board, but all opinions expressed are my own. I’m a huge fan of American Lamb and I’m proud to call the American Lamb Board a partner. Thank you for your support.
There is no doubt, meatballs are one of our favorite things to make and eat. I’m always trying to find variations using our favorite cuts of meat and ingredients. Lamb has always had a solid place in my diet as a South African, where it is probably the most popular protein and is enjoyed in various ways throughout the year. When I moved to America I made it my mission to source fresh lamb to keep traditions alive and I was so happy with the quality and taste of American lamb. It was easy to introduce my husband DJ to lamb (He did not grow up eating lamb) and the mild taste of ground American lamb made it easy for him to begin enjoying the delicious flavor. He’s a pro now and asks for lamb often, choosing it as his go to at restaurants and (slowly) learning to prepare traditional South African dishes like potjiekos with American lamb.
Mellow and mildly flavored, ground lamb contains lean meat and trimmings from the leg, loin, rib, shoulder, flank, neck, breast or shanks. It is readily available and the perfect substitute for ground beef in many recipes. Some of our quick and easy weeknight dinners include these meatballs, meatloaf, burgers, pasta dishes with meat sauce and kabobs! It’s great to switch things up and the great thing about ground lamb is it’s extremely versatile.
When looking for ground lamb at your grocery store, make sure it’s American lamb which is much fresher in my opinion, because it hasn’t travelled far to get to your plate. The American Lamb website has a lot of useful information for you to read - Click this link for the various cuts of lamb available to you, cooking times for those cuts and a vast selection of delicious and adventurous recipes with American lamb.
Tell me about the meatballs!
Did you know that olives are one of the largest crops in South Africa? We have a huge olive industry and export them to many different countries. I try to use my favorite kalamata olives wherever possible and chopping them up finely to use in this recipe gave these feta stuffed American lamb meatballs a pop of unexpected flavor. If you prefer, substitute kalamata olives with tangy green castelvetrano olives or your favorite variety. Olives and lamb make the best pair!
These feta stuffed American lamb meatballs are made in the air fryer! Why, oh why did I wait this long to get an air fryer? Not only does it cook without any additional oil, things like these lamb meatballs keep their shape and cook evenly resulting in the juiciest end result! The best part about it is that it only takes 8-10 minutes depending on which air fryer you have. You may have to work in batches but I promise it’s worth it.
Don’t have an air fryer? No problem! Simply line a sheet pan with parchment paper and cook at the same temperature for the same amount of time in the oven or in a skillet on your stovetop.
Feta Stuffed American Lamb Meatballs with Fresh Herbs and Creamy Feta Sauce
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 20-30 minutes | Makes: 10
I tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
1 lb ground American lamb
1 extra large egg
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
1 tablespoon freshly chopped oregano
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 -ounce chopped kalamata olives
8 - ounces French-style feta (I love Valbreso), divided
To serve: fresh dill, oregano, mint, parsley, chives
4 -ounces feta (from above)
½ cup plain yogurt1 clove garlic made into a paste
1 small lemon, zest and juice
2 tablespoons fresh herbs (dill, oregano, parsley, chives)
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onions and caramelize for 5-10 minutes until golden around the edges. Remove from skillet with a slotted spoon and allow to cool slightly before proceeding with the recipe.
Place lamb, egg, garlic, spices, zest olives and caramelized onions in a bowl. Use a fork to gently combine until the mixture comes together.
Weigh out 2-ounce portions - You will have 10 meatballs. Use clean hands to gently make a dent in the center of each meatball, placing some feta cheese in the center and closing to seal. Repeat until all meatballs are stuffed with feta.
Place meatballs on the wire rack of an air fryer and cook at 350F for 8 minutes per batch. If using the oven, cook at the same temperature for the same amount of time. For a medium temperature, the internal temperature of the meatballs should be 160F. Using tongs, carefully remove meatballs from the air fryer and place on a serving platter. Scatter with fresh herbs and serve warm with feta sauce.
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until smooth. Keeps in the fridge covered for up to three days.
Recipe: Leg of lamb stuffed with greens, feta and pine nuts
Note: The lamb can be prepared through step 4 (stuffed and tied) the day before refrigerate it in a tightly sealed plastic bag remove the lamb from the refrigerator so it can come to room temperature before roasting. This recipe uses butcher’s twine.
1 (4½- to 5-pound) boneless leg of lamb
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 pound mixed cooking greens (collard, chard, mustard, kale)
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped lemon zest
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1 3/4 teaspoons minced rosemary leaves
2 tablespoons chopped green olives
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lay the lamb flat on a work surface opened up like a book with the meat side up. The meat may be thick in a few parts slice through the thick parts to allow the meat to lay flatter. Be careful not to cut all the way through the meat leave at least one-half inch of meat at the bottom so you can roll the meat later. Cover the cut side of the lamb with plastic wrap. Lightly pound with a meat mallet or a rolling pin a few times to slightly even the meat. Season both sides with about 1 teaspoon salt and three-fourths teaspoon pepper, or to taste, and set aside.
2. Make the stuffing: In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until it is fragrant, about 3 minutes. While the onions and garlic are cooking, sort the greens, discarding any tough stems, and chop them. Place them in a bowl and cover with water. When the garlic is fragrant, lift the greens from the bowl by the handful and transfer to the pot, lightly shaking off a little of the water. As the greens wilt and reduce, add another handful. Add the red pepper flakes, lemon zest and one-half teaspoon salt and cook until the greens are tender and there is almost no water left in the pot, about 10 minutes.
3. Season with a generous grinding of black pepper and more salt if necessary (some feta cheeses are very salty some are milder). Set the greens aside to cool slightly. You should have about 2 cups. Fold the feta and the pine nuts into the cooked greens. There should be only small pieces of the feta visible.
4. Stuff the lamb: Pat dry the cut side of the lamb with a paper towel. Have butcher’s twine handy. Spread the greens mixture over the lamb in as close to an even layer as you can manage. Leave about one-half inch of meat exposed around the border. You may not use all of the stuffing. The meat will be roughly triangular. Starting with the narrow end, roll the lamb fairly tightly into a cylinder, as you would a jellyroll. Tie a length of butcher’s twine around the middle to keep it closed. Tie another length around the lamb end-to-end, folding the flaps of meat over the ends to close them and keep the filling from leaking out. Repeat with a new loop of twine every inch or two. Tuck the rosemary sprigs into the roast at regular intervals under the twine.
5. Rub the exterior of the lamb with a little olive oil and place it on a rack in a roasting pan. Place in the oven and roast 45 minutes, then turn the lamb over so it will brown evenly. Continue to roast to an internal temperature of 135 degrees, about 11/2 to 2 hours total. Be sure to check the temperature in several places to make sure you’re not hitting a pocket of stuffing, which will give you a false reading.
6. When the lamb is done, remove it to a cutting board and tent it with foil to keep warm. It should rest for about 30 minutes before carving.
7. Make the sauce: Pour any fat out of the roasting pan, and place the pan on the stove over medium heat. Add the wine and the chicken stock and cook, scraping the bottom of the pan with a spatula to free any browned bits that have stuck. Add the rosemary leaves and cook until the mixture has reduced to a dark brown sauce, about 10 minutes. Pour the sauce through a fine strainer into a saucepan, discarding any debris left behind. You should have about one-half cup. Place the saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the butter. Whisk in the olives and reduce the heat to keep the sauce warm.
8. Remove the twine binding the lamb and carve into one-fourth-inch-thick slices. The first slice will be a little messy, but the others should show a nice cross section of lamb and greens. Arrange the meat on a warm platter and moisten with a little of the sauce. Serve immediately, with the rest of the sauce on the side.
Each of 8 servings: 487 calories 60 grams protein 6 grams carbohydrates 2 grams fiber 22 grams fat 10 grams saturated fat 193 mg cholesterol 2 grams sugar 896 mg sodium.
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