Monday, April 21, 2008

Lamb Kebabs with Eggplant

Lamb is one of those meats that some people love, and some people hate. It has a certain aroma when cooking that I find pleasant. Friends of mine, however, dislike the smell--and taste.


I find this a challenge. How could I prepare lamb in a way they will love?

After much searching of recipes all over the internet, I happened upon one at epicurious.com that, in the comments, someone had posted that even lamb-haters loved the dish. So I tried it, with a few of my own changes.

Lamb-haters DO love this dish. It was gobbled up in no time!


Lamb Kebabs over Eggplant
adapted from
this recipe
serves 10

5-7 pounds of boneless lamb meat, cut into cubes (I used a whole boneless leg of lamb)
1/2 cup olive or other vegetable oil
Spice Blend (recipe follows)
1 pound dried fruit (figs would be best; I used prunes)
2 large eggplants, sliced and sprinkled with salt and pepper
Glaze (recipe follows)

1. Place lamb in a zipper bag or large bowl; cover with olive oil and spice blend. Stir to combine. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight, turning lamb occasionally to redistribute spices.

2. Preheat oven to 350*F or ready grill. Using bamboo skewers that have been soaked in water for at least one hour, skewer lamb pieces with dried fruit. (I did some skewers with large pieces for those with larger appetites, and some with smaller or fewer pieces for those with a smaller appetite. It made 22 skewers.) Set aside.

3. Bake or grill eggplant slices for about 5-10 minutes, depending on desired doneness. (I like them well cooked, so mine stayed on a bit longer.)

4. Bake or grill lamb skewers, about 5 minutes per side for medium rare. (I like my lamb at about medium doneness--any more than that results in tough meat, in my opinion.)

5. Remove skewers from oven or grill and glaze generously. Arrange eggplant on a large platter, topped with lamb kabobs; drizzle with any remaining glaze and serve hot. (Couscous or a quionoa dish is a great accompaniment!)


Spice Blend

Combine in a bowl:

1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom


Glaze

Combine in a saucepan set over medium heat:
1 cup apricot jam (I used all-fruit)
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 tablespoons dried mint
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
few scrapes cinnamon

Bring to a boil; simmer to thicken 10 minutes. Use warm, otherwise it gels back up. Can be kept in a jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

8 comments:

Mary said...

I so love lamb! I'm trying to figure out how to buy a whole lamb at the butcher and split it with my sister. And these kabobs sound beautiful!

Amanda said...

I like lamb, too. And it sounds like you'll be getting lots of it. Some parts are pretty gamey--check out the original recipe at epicurious. If I recall correctly someone reviewed that they used a lesser cut of meat (like a breast) for these kabobs and it turned out well.

Andy said...

I just grilled part of a boneless leg of lamb. It was amazing and we still have more in our freezer. Looks like I've got a good recipe for the next time I cook it. Thanks.

rradoukanova said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Caramella Mou said...

Mrs W, once again you are an inspiration to me! I have two barbecues coming up in the next couple of weeks and I've been racking my brains on what to do. My mouth is watering just by reading your recipe. I'd been thinking of lamb anyway, so this settles it.

Thank you so much,

Caramella

Amanda said...

Caramella, I'm glad this post is timely for you! I can't recommend this recipe enough--I hope you love it as much as we did!

Caramella Mou said...

Hello Mrs W,
just want to say thank you so very much for this recipe, made it yesterday and just loved every minute of it. The dear hubby too, despite wrinking his nose about the figs. They were lovely and all the flavours blended in so nicely. Lucky that we made a decent amoung and will be nibbling at them for a couple of more days to come.
Thank you!

Caramella

Amanda said...

Caramella, I'm so pleased that you enjoyed this dish! I've been thinking about it lately, and craving once again this lovely spicy-sweet-tender lamb!

I do understand your husband--those figs have all of those awful seeds! Dried apricots would make a good substitution here, don't you think?

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