Meat & Poultry

Burgers with Ouzo (Biftekia me Ouzo)

10 min Cook
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We never had hamburgers growing up in Greece, but we did have Biftekia; basically, beef burgers minus the bun and served with anything from roasted potatoes to French fries or rice.  Through this site, I will present with you many versions of Biftekia combining spices onions, and garlic to give you many variations and tastes. 

Always use 100% organic grass-fed beef if you can.  I tend to use a mixture of 85% Lean and 15% Fat mixture of ground beef.  If I’m making kababs, I try to find 80/20 because you need a higher fat content to make delicious kababs.  

organic grass fed beef

Organic, grass-fed, Ground beef: 85% Lean / 15% Fat

You can either grill, pan-fry or broil these burgers.  It’s winter in Chicago, so I pan-fried them tonight to Greek perfection and served them with lemon wedges. 

Pan-fried Burgers with Ouzo.

I’m from Lesvos Island and we are known for the production of Ouzo.  Ouzo is a dry, anise-flavored liquor produced from grape must. It is closely related to Middle Eastern Arak, French Pastis, Turkish Raki, and Italian Sambuca.  When you add water to the clear liquid it becomes cloudy and milky. It is delicious eaten with seafood appetizers sitting in a Tavern on an Aegean island beach soaking in the sun, the Greek music, and the gentle breeze.  For this recipe, I used the Barbayanni brand from Plomari, Lesvos.  


Barbayanni Blue Label Ouzo, from Plomari, Lesvos Island, Greece.


Burgers with Ouzo (Biftekia me Ouzo)

Burgers with Ouzo (Biftekia me Ouzo)

You can pan fry these burgers like Salisbury steak, minus the gravy. Make them into hamburgers using low-carb bread or low-carb tortilla wraps.
prep time
5 min
cooking time
10 min
total time
15 min


  • Mixing bowl

  • 1/2 cup measuring cup


  • 1¼ lb (600 grams) ground beef 85% Lean/15% Fat

  • 1 Tbsp. Ouzo

  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 Tsp. freshly grated black pepper


In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Using a ½ cup measuring cup, equally, divide your mixture into 4 patties. Try to make oval burgers, instead of round ones.
Grill, bake or pan fry to your specific temperature preference. I’m Greek, and we typically eat our hamburgers well done
Enjoy! Bon Appetit! Kali Orexi!


Serve this with a side of roasted Brussels sprouts, or roasted asparagus spears and nice salad.

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