With temperatures hovering right around 100 degrees in Memphis, it’s a good excuse to take a short pause in our competition schedule.
Of course I can never resist the urge to fire up the grill and cook some meat, so for dinner last night I decided to put together one of my favorite dishes….Shish Kabobs.
The word Kabob or Kebob comes from Middle Eastern origin. It means small cuts of meat cooked over or near open flames. What I like about Kabob’s is the endless possibilities you have when assembling them.
I’ve used pork, beef, chicken, venison, or even seafood, but yesterday I found a boneless leg of lamb that just begged for my grill.
Lamb is the traditional meat to use when it comes to Kabobs; I know some people shy away from it, but it’s because most people don’t know what to do with it.
First off you have to know how to trim it. The boneless portion I use contains a good bit of fat and sinew (silver skin). This needs to be completely removed because it can give the meat a “bad or gamey flavor” And after you remove it, what you’re left with is young, tender meat.
To me, lamb doesn’t have a “gamey” taste. It’s more succulent and slightly sweeter than beef. If it does taste “gamey”, it usually means it wasn’t trimmed properly.
To season the lamb, I use a simple marinade and cook it over med-high heat on a grill. I like cooking kabobs because it’s “quick grill”. Only about 15 minutes and you’re back in the house.
That’s why when assembling my kabobs, you need to think about what else is going on the skewer with the meat.
You want to use veggies like bell pepper, sweet onion and cherry tomatoes because these guys are good in their raw form… but a little heat and char brings out their natural sweetness.
Here is the recipe I used:
Boneless leg of lamb trimmed and cut into 1-1/2” – 2” cubes
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Green Bell Pepper
16oz Baby Portabella Mushrooms
1 Red Onion
1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
Marinade for Lamb:
¼ cup Olive Oil
¼ cup Soy Sauce
¼ cup Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon Granulated Garlic
1 teaspoon Cracked Black Pepper
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 Tablespoon Fresh Ginger peeled and grated
1 Tablespoon Fresh Mint chopped
In a large bowl combine the marinade ingredients and add the cubes of lamb. Toss in the marinade and place in the refrigerator for two hours.
Assemble the kabobs. If you are using wood skewers, be sure to soak them in water beforehand. I also lightly season the veggies with a brush of olive oil and Cavender’s Greek Seasoning.
Kabobs should be cooked over direct heat – coals or gas grill will work. I personally prefer charcoal because it gives another layer of flavor.
I turn them every 2 – 3 minutes to make sure everything is cooking evenly, and it only takes about 10-15 minutes total time for medium rare lamb. Just give the meat a slight press with your finger. If it feels soft, it needs a couple more minutes, but when it springs back, it’s done.
My favorite way to serve these kabobs is family style. I mound up a big pile of quick cooking Couscous (grain similar to rice) and arrange the kabobs all around the outside.
You can take the meat off the skewers if you want but I like to be able to grab a whole skewer and go to the plate with it. Served with warm pita bread and my version of a Tzatziki Sauce and you have yourself one hell of a meal.
Mississippi Tzatziki Sauce:
8oz Sour Cream
1 Whole Cucumber peeled and finely chopped
3 Cloves Garlic minced
1 teaspoon freshly minced Dill Weed
½ teaspoon Black Pepper
½ teaspoon Salt
Juice of ½ Lemon
Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving.
These lamb kabobs made an awesome dinner. It was easy, fast, fresh and different.