|My favorite thing about having a food blog is accessing anywhere and going back to make favorite recipes. I made these kebabs again a year later to add some photos. Now you can see why I love this recipe so much!|
The star dish of my sister’s housewarming and 5th anniversary barbeque was my sweet and spice-y lamb kebabs, adapted from America’s Test Kitchen. I spotted the recipe weeks prior while gearing up for the season with their Grilling & Barbeque cookbook and knew it would be one dish I wouldn’t have to fight to include on the party menu. My pescatarian sister often cooks lamb for her Mauritanian husband to varying levels of success. On their trips to New York, I’ve tried to impress him with the halal kebab at Ravagh Persian Grill and with the lamb platter from the famous 53rd and Sixth Chicken and Rice guys. Neither had the complex spices he wanted to imitate kebab from home. While he gave no merit to the authenticity of my kebab, he was definitely impressed with the taste.
|Feed a crowd with a flavor-intense protein.|
This was my first time making a whole leg of lamb and it was definitely the first time I’d tried to butcher the shank for kebab. I turned down the (frozen) grass-fed, boneless lamb because I grossly underestimated the effort it would take to prepare. Apparently legs of lamb have a lot of skin and fat and silverskin – who knew! Slowly separating the undesired bits from the meat with smooth strokes of a carving knife, it took about an hour to produce the the neat chunks for these kebabs. And then I had to start from the top and do it over again with a second shank.
|Two legs of lamb. A hefty task to prepare. Go ahead and get the boneless lamb if you make this.|
This dish was definitely worth the effort, but you can save most of that effort by buying boneless lamb. You can’t, however, skip is the time to let the marinade soak in. Start this dish the night before or first thing on the day cooking. Your taste buds will thank you and guests will beg for the recipe – make sure you send them here.
|Always seek help to prepare for a crowd.|
|Cut all of the lamb into 1-1/4″ cubes. Don’t worry if you have a few odd-shaped end pieces – you’ll be able to fold or stack those pieces on the skewers.|
|My favorite way to mix spices is to measure them all in a container and shake shake shake! Also great to make ahead and store.|
|Use your hands to rub all of the spices into the meat with the buttermilk mixture, lemon, and garlic.|
|Make sure you soak wooden skewers and have all of them ready to go before you move to the grill.|
|Pack them all on the grill.|
|Rotate as you go so the kebabs will evenly char.|
|Don’t walk too far…keep an eye as these cook.|
|Party guests like to crowd around the grill so it’s good to check in with people and see how they like their meat cooked. Pull the kebabs early for nice, medium-rare.|
|So delicious!! Definitely give this a try.|
- Make Ahead
- 2¼ pounds boneless leg of lamb
- ¾ cup milk
- 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon
- 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large red onion
- 3 medium bell peppers, all colors
- Metal or wooden skewers
- Make ahead Trim all of the fat and silverskin from the lamb and cut into 1¼-inch cubes. Cut each cube almost through at the center to butterfly and give the meat more surface area for the marinade. Round up all of the odd pieces as well - those can be folded over onto the skewer later.
- Make buttermilk by combining milk and vinegar in a small bowl and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Mix spices in a gallon-size ziplock bag or large nonreactive bowl (stainless steel, plastic, ceramic, or glass). Stir in buttermilk, lemon juice, and minced garlic until evenly combined. Add meat to marinade and make sure everything is evenly coated. Refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours.
- Assembly and Grilling: Soak wood skewers in a pan of water for at least 30 minutes. Heat up the grill or grill pan to be very hot.
- Cut red onion and bell peppers into 1-inch pieces. Skewer in the order of lamb, pepper, onion, pepper, lamb until there are 4 lamb chunks on each skewer.
- Grill lamb kebabs for 7 or 8 minutes, turning every 90 seconds to cook evenly on all sides.