In the middle of our waiting-for-goat-babies night, I realized I was absolutely famished and needed animal fat NOW! The following took about 10 minutes of hands-on time to prepare (including running out to pick kale) and will definitely be repeated.

Kale-wrapped mint lamb burgers – 4 servings


  • 1 lb grass-fed free-range natural ground lamb*
  • 1 tbsp crushed fresh mint leaves (from our garden last year)
  • 8 big leaves kale (from our cold frame)
  • 1 small egg (from our chickens)
  • 4 tbsp rolled oats
  • 3 tbsp shelled sunflower seeds
  • pinch or two of sea salt
  • several apple wood twigs, soaked in water if dry
  • olive oil


  1. Start the BBQ on high (keep at about 400°-500°)
  2. in a large mixing bowl, combine ground lamb, nearly-powdered mint leaves, sunflower seeds, salt, rolled oats, and egg. Make sure the egg gets thoroughly mixed in, it helps bind the burger together and keep it fluffy & moist.
  3. coat a dinner plate with olive oil
  4. shape mixture into 4 patties, putting each one on the olive oiled plate when it’s done. Not too thick; we want to cook these at high heat, actually flame-broil them a bit, and the inside should be cooked before the outside is charcoal!
  5. get a little more olive oil and make sure the patties are completely coated
  6. put dry applewood twigs into the grill…I drop them on the lava rocks, on the OPPOSITE side from where I’ll put the food (there will be enough flame from the olive oil dripping!)
  7. plop the patties on the grill. the dripping oil will probably burst into flame; that’s ok. close the lid to keep the applewood smoke in.
  8. cook until done – the outside should be a bit seared, even slightly charred. USDA blah blah blah standards blah blah blah specify 160° internal temperature. That recommendation is geared toward the filthy, diseased CAFO stuff at the supermarket; I cook ground meat to about 145° for myself but am not advising you to do that because you will surely poop yourself to death or something. The gov’t says so! I guess I died years ago.
  9. Take patties off the grill and let them drain a bit on newspaper. Wrap in fresh-picked kale leaves and enjoy!

To make a portable, one-hand meal, I wrapped some sheets of newspaper around the finished product. The oily newspaper is wonderful stuff for starting the woodstove later.

Sorry no photos; these got scarfed right up!

*“Lamb” refers to meat from a sheep under 1 year of age, not little tiny babies. Generally, the older it is, the “sheepier” it tastes, and the more salt and mint you will want to use.