The term “sliders” in food originally described small hamburgers, served in a mini-hamburger bun. But later on, other types of small patties served in mini-breads, were happily sitting under the same definition.
In the version I have here, I used mini lamb patties and thought the mini-pita breads would be the perfect match for them. I added a Tahini-Yogurt dip, and plain yogurt garnished with cumin and olive oil on the side, so that every guest will be able to build their own slider according to their taste.
The small patties are suitable for outdoor or indoor grilling. The combination with the other ingredients is just perfect for a spring/summer lunch.
* As with any ground meats, I always recommend to buy the whole piece and chop or grind it at home. This way you have full control over the freshness and type of meat you’re using. In the recipe here, I preferred to chop the meat in a food processor, but you can of course use a meat grinder instead.
* Unlike larger patties, these small sliders will dry quickly if cooked too long. Make sure the meat has some fat in it and try to grill them quickly, and as closely to serving time, as possible.
* Sumac is a reddish astringent spice, used frequently in the Middle East. It can be found in specialty stores or online. As it adds a subtle acidity to the meat, if you can’t find it, substitute with 1 tsp of lemon juice.
Makes: 17 (1 oz (30 grams each))
Prep time: 15 minutes
Resting time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 7-10 minutes
For the lamb sliders:
1 cup parsley leaves
½ large white onion
1 ¼ Lbs (560 grams) fatty lamb meat (I used shoulder) cut into large cubes
1 Tbs salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbs sumac
For the Tahini-Yogurt Dip:
1/3 cup tahini paste
½ tsp salt
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup thick yogurt
½ tsp sumac
About ½ cup water, at room temperature
½ tsp sweet paprika
Fresh flat parsley leaves, mini-Pita bread, thick yogurt topped with cumin and olive oil, lemon halves
1. The sliders: place the parsley and onion in a food processor bowl, fitted with the metal blade. Chop coarsely and transfer to a large bowl. Chop the lamb cubes to a fairly coarse texture and add to the bowl. Add the salt and spices and mix well. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, prepare the Tahini-Yogurt dip: pour the tahini paste into a medium size bowl. Add the lemon juice and salt and mix well. Add the yogurt and sumac and mix again. Gradually, add part of the water and mix well. Add the paprika and more water, if needed, and mix until you reach a thick, smooth texture. Taste and adjust seasoning. Keep at room temperature.
3. Measure 1 oz (30 grams) portions of the lamb mixture and shape them into round, flat patties.
4. Heat the grill on high heat; once it is hot, lower the heat to medium-high and add the patties. Grill for 3-4 minutes on one side, turn over and grill until done according to your preference. Prepare a large serving plate lined with fresh parsley, place the prepared patties on it and serve immediately.
5. Serve with mini-pita bread, the Tahini-Yogurt dip, thick yogurt topped with cumin and olive oil, and lemon halves.