Sunday, July 25, 2004
Lamb on a Stick
Especially since I now have a peeecture:
(Bit of a funky camera angle here - the lemons on my tree can get big, but not that big - and I didn't grill the lemons as per recipe. But you get the idea.)
Even people who think they don't like lamb (probably because they got served mutton as a young'un) will probably think this is very tasty. The trick with lamb dishes is to get a nice leg of lamb (boneless if they sell it that way) or some lamb sirloin (Jamie's recommendation, available at Costco) and then TRIM IT very well. (My dad has a butterflied marinated leg of lamb recipe that also "converts" non-lamb-eaters and he confirms that prep is the key.) I will report that the lamb sirloin is especially succulent, but a good trimmed leg of lamb will taste just fine.
It's a good party dish because all the prep work is done in advance (so you can socialize with your guests) and the skewers take only about 10 minutes to cook. Anyway, eating kebabs is fun.
If you use a barbeque, I highly recommend some sort of grill basket or foil grill pan. I used a disposable grill pan (with big holes punched through) and not only did I not have to worry about tasty morsels being sacrificed to the coals, the cleanup became a lot easier.
I served it with tzatskiki (sp) as well as the cilantro yogurt. Both were pretty tasty with it. If you have extra mint springs, by all means use them in the garnish.
Skewered Lamb with Coriander (Cilantro) Yogurt, aka Lamb on a Stick
From Mediterranean: food of the sun by Jacqueline Clark and Joanna Farrow, via Jamie U. of RFC
The authors note that lean beef or pork work equally well.
900g/2lb lean boneless lamb
1 large onion, grated
3 bay leaves
5 thyme or rosemary sprigs
grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
25 ml/1/2 tsp caster sugar (regular old US sugar - clb)
75 ml/3 fl oz/ 1/3 cup olive oil
salt and ground black pepper
sprigs of rosemary, to garnish
grilled lemon wedges, to serve
150 ml/1/4 pint (2/3 cup) thick natural yogurt
15 ml/1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
15ml/1 tsp chopped fresh coriander (cilantro in the US - clb)
10ml/2 tsp grated onion
1. To make the yogurt, mix together the yogurt, mint, coriander and grated onion and transfer to a small serving dish and refrigerate.
2. To make the kebabs, trim the lamb well of fat, cut it into small chunks (1" or under) and put in a bowl or non-metal casserole dish. Mix together the grated onion, herbs, lemon rind and juice, sugar and oil, then add the salt and pepper and pour over the lamb. (Note: if you have a food processor, by all means whizz it up together - clb) Leave to marinate in the fridge for several hours or overnight.
3. Drain the meat and thread on to skewers. Cut lemons up, brush with oil, and thread on a skewer.
4. Arrange on a grill rack and cook under a preheated grill for about 10 minutes until browned, turning occasionally. (Or cook over charcoal/gas fire until they look done - that will also be about 10 minutes -- clb) Transfer to a plate and garnish with rosemary or other herbs. Serve with the grilled lemon wedges and the yogurt.