A delicious and unique twist on the classic American burger, Balkan Burgers originate from the Balkan region of Europe. It typically consists of a beef patty seasoned with a blend of spices, such as paprika, cumin, and garlic, and is topped with a variety of toppings, such as grilled onions, tomatoes, and lettuce. Our Balkan Burger recipe is filled with feta cheese, for an ooey-gooey, plump main dish the entire family will enjoy. Don’t forget to top with homemade roasted pepper relish for a little spice!
Balkan Burger Recipe
5 lbs ground beef or lamb
3 tbsp tomato paste
3 tsp oregano
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp salt
1 tsp spicy paprika
1 tsp olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
10 oz feta cheese, sliced approximately ¼ inch thick
- Remove meat from refrigerator approximately 45 minutes prior to preparation.
- In a large mixing bowl, knead together all ingredients except feta cheese.
- Shape approximately ¾ cup of the mixture into a ball. Flatten it and create a hollow in which to place a slice of feta. Close the mixture over the top of the feta. Repeat until all the meat is used.
- Grill the cheese-filled patties on medium heat, until done to medium.
- Eat while piping hot with roasted pepper relish and a side of cucumber salad.
Roasted Pepper Relish Recipe
4 red bell peppers, whole
2 spicy cubanelle peppers
3 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne or spicy Spanish paprika
1 tsp black pepper
Salt to taste
- Roast whole red and cubanelle peppers on a medium grill until moderately charred. Place in a tightly covered bowl to cool. Once cool, remove skin, stems and seeds. Do not rinse in water!
- Sautee onions and garlic in olive oil until tender.
- Add red wine vinegar, cumin, cayenne or paprika, black pepper. Cook for a minute or two.
- Turn off the heat and add roasted peppers. Stir. Cover tightly and let cool to room temperature.
- Serve when cool. Store in refrigerator in a covered container for up to one week.
Recipe by Keith Recker / Photography by Dave Bryce
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