New Zealand Lamb Burger with Pumpkin Mash, Feta, and Tomato Chutney

Pairs well with:


Bright and full-bodied, this Zinfandel wine is a curious contradiction in tastes.

Living in New Zealand for 3 years I was introduced to the savory use of pumpkin with feta and I loved it! I thought why not use the popular protein of New Zealand, lamb, and combine that with the pumpkin and feta pair. Chutneys were used in cafes on top of savory quiches, tarts, on toast etc. so to finish it off with that seemed very “Kiwi.”


Pumpkin Mash
1 small pumpkin or acorn squash, pealed, seeded and cut in ¼ inch cubes
1/8 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon coriander, seeds crushed

Tomato Chutney
3 small vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
3 tablespoons cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons mustard seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon tumeric
½ teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes

2 pounds ground lamb
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup of red wine

Oil for brushing on grill

6 fresh Kaiser buns, split

6 small bunches of rocket (arugula) leaves (about 2.5 – 3 ounces), washed and pat dried pat dried

4 oz feta cheese


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal BBQ-grill, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat.

Prepare Pumpkin Mash by placing cubed pumpkin, olive oil, salt, pepper and coriander into medium bowl, toss to mix well and spread out on large fireproof skillet or solid side of a griddle. Place skillet or griddle on preheated grill and cover. Cook for 15 minutes and take a metal spatula or turner and turn cubes, cover and cook another 15 minutes until cubes are soft and browned. Remove skillet or griddle from grill and place on a heat proof surface then, take spatula or turner and put roasted pumpkin in medium bowl and mash roughly. Cover and set aside until use.

To prepare the Tomato Chutney, in a medium fireproof saucepan place the chopped tomatoes, ketchup, red-wine vinegar, brown sugar, salt, crushed mustard seeds, cumin, tumeric, paprika, black pepper and red pepper flakes, stir to mix and heat on grill until simmering. Cook for 5 – 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Remove from grill and set aside until use.

For the patties, mix together ground lamb, cumin, rosemary, salt, pepper, and red wine in a large mixing bowl. Mix gently by using a metal spoon until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Portion and form into six patties. Keep cool and covered until use.

Brush grill with olive oil (to prevent patties from sticking).

Next, place patties on grill and cook until medium, cooking 4 – 5 minutes on each side.
Approximately three minutes before removing patties, place bun halves on grill until lightly brown.

To build burgers, place bottom halves of buns on plates then spread a bit of tomato chutney on each bun bottom. On each, place a small bunch of arugula leaves on top and cooked patty afterwards. Spoon 2 tablespoons of Pumpkin Mash on top of each patty and then crumble feta cheese (about 1 tablespoon) on top. Add a dollop of tomato chutney, add bun tops on each and serve!