Friday, March 11, 2011

Gastronomy: Weekday Lamb

Our parents were never very fond of lamb. Naturally, I assumed that I wouldn't like it either and I managed to successfully spend most of my early culinary adventures avoiding any dish that featured this meat. It wasn't until my dear friend served a succulent lamb stew that my biases were challenged. This lamb was flavorsome, tender, juicy, and, quite frankly, love at first bite. Now, whenever I run across a lamb recipe or lamb on a menu, I'm both alert and ready to try replicating it at home.

With spring just around the corner, what better way to kick-off grill season than with sisters Jewels and Jill Elmore's lamb kebabs. I first discovered this recipe in Sunset Magazine: It's easy, delicious, and great served alone or with a soft bun or warm pita. Accompany with a side of cucumber salad and some roasted potatoes and this meal is sure to please everyone at your table, even those who traditionally shy away from lamb.

Lamb Kebabs

3 lbs ground lamb or sirloin (I often use a blend)
1 small yellow onion, very finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1/4 c flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish, finely chopped
1 T fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1 large egg
2 t ground cumin
1 T paprika
1/2 t garlic powder
2 t kosher salt
1 t freshly ground black pepper
2 T tomato paste
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Using your hands, mix all ingredients together in a large bowl just until combined (do not over-mix).

Gently squeeze meat around metal skewers to form log-shaped kebabs, each about 8 inches long. Put kebabs on baking sheet. Cover sheet with plastic wrap; chill 30 minutes.

Prepare grill for high heat (approximately 500°). Grill kebabs, turning twice, until grill marks appear and meat feels firm; 8 minutes total. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

To make ahead, prepare kebabs and chill up to 1 day; grill when ready to eat. Also, this recipe is great for hamburgers and can be used with beef only! Serves 8.



jenniekay March 10, 2011 at 6:54 PM  

That recipe looks fantastic! Lamb is a wonderful meat, and takes flavor so well. Thanks for the lead on the recipe, I have my new copy of Sunset sitting right here and looking forward to checking it out!

Aaron March 11, 2011 at 6:00 PM  

I love your gastronomy...Aaron(Dad)

Anonymous March 16, 2011 at 2:33 PM  

Are those homemade fries in that picture? If you have the recipe, do tell.

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