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Lamb Kebabs

 

Most people tend to think of it as a cute little creature trailing Mary off to school.

I think of it as tender, versatile meat that is as healthy as it is delicious. Being of extremely mild flavour, it joins easily with a variety of seasonings and treatments. Lamb pleasures the palate in plebeian pots or regal racks. It is economical and deserves to be included in your repertoire.

A quick way to prepare a healthy, delicious and beautiful main course on the grill is to skewer small pieces of meat or seafood with alternate slices of savoury vegetables. The smaller pieces cook more quickly and provide more surface area for introducing flavours. The variations of flavours, textures and colours are limited only by your own imagination.

While skewers are usually cooked fully loaded, I find it more practical to hoist the vegetables on their own skewer and use only small pieces of essential savoury vegetables - peppers, onions, lemon/lime - with the meat. Veggies need a slower fire and different time than meat. Separation provides better control and allows for more variety.

For six people try this savoury broiled Lamb Shish Kebab.

Crush two cloves of garlic into 1/4 cup extra-virgin* olive oil and set aside. Trim fat and membrane from a leg of lamb and cut about 1kg into 25mm to 35mm cubes. Spread cubes in a shallow pan or tray.

 

Mix the following in a small bowl:

1 teaspoon of ground thyme
1/2 teaspoon of ground bay leaf
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of fresh black pepper

 

 

 

Rub the seasoning mixture into the meat, brush all sides with garlic-oil, cover and let warm to room temperature while you thinly slice two limes (or lemons). Slice two fennel into 25mm diagonals and quarter one large onion vertically and separate sections by growth layers.

Assemble on skewers by alternating lime, fennel, and onion slices between meat cubes. Soak bamboo skewers in salt water before using.

Fill other skewers with your choice of vegetables such as sweet or hot pepper, onion, tomatoes, mushrooms, and brush with garlic-oil.

This may be done ahead and the food refrigerated for several hours. If you do this, remove the meat from the refrigerator in time for it to gain room temperature.

Fire up the grill in advance and bring it to grilling temperature 260C-375C. Place the meat on the grill, over the coals, and allow about three minutes per side for medium rare. Place the vegetables where the heat is less intense (150C-200C) and turn as needed.

Serve at once with a little boiled rice . Salt at the table if desired