Nigel Slater’s easy lamb burgers are packed full of hearty vegetables and zingy flavours.
Put the cracked wheat in a bowl, pour over enough boiling water to cover, then set aside to swell.
Peel the beetroot and onion and grate them coarsely into a large bowl. Add the minced lamb, garlic, dill, parsley and a generous grinding of salt and black pepper.
Squeeze any water from the cracked wheat with your hands and add the wheat to the meat. Mix everything together thoroughly, then squish the mince into little patties about the size of a flattened golf ball. Cover with cling film (I do this tightly because the chopped garlic will taint everything in the fridge), then chill for at least an hour.
Set the oven at 180C/350F/Gas 4.
Make the dressing by grating the cucumber coarsely and leaving it in a colander, lightly sprinkled with salt, for half an hour. Squeeze it dry then mix it with the chopped mint, and yoghurt. Season with salt and black pepper.
Heat a non-stick pan, brush the patties with a little groundnut oil and fry until golden on both sides. Try not to move the meatballs very much when they are cooking; you risk them falling apart. Once they are lightly browned on both sides, carefully lift them into a baking dish and finish in the hot oven for 15-20 minutes (incidentally, you can only tell if they are done by tasting one, as the beetroot gives them a rich red colour, making it impossible to gauge by sight whether they are cooked).
Drizzle with the cucumber dressing and eat.
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Nigel uses seasonal produce to prepare dishes that will brighten any winter table.