Barbecued Lamb Kebabs, Fattoush and Failed Muhammara

Posted By Kerri

I wasn’t feeling very well yesterday and consequently didn’t plan anything for dinner today. As soon as I saw the weather forecast, I knew we had to barbecue but I was stumped as to what I could cook that wouldn’t need marinating (I did consider taking everything I needed to work with me and whipping up a marinade in my lunch break but chickened out).

I eventually settled on lamb kebabs made with minced lamb, figuring I could get plenty of flavour into the meat without the need for a long marinating time. I was foiled when I got to the supermarket at lunchtime though since they didn’t have any lamb mince. I didn’t have a plan b and, since I’d already planned the accompaniments, I picked up some reduced lamb leg pieces instead.

As it turned out, I got home a little earlier than I was expecting so that, coupled with a later-than-usual dinner, meant the lamb got at least an hour to marinate before the coals were ready.

I did some random internet searching for these recipes and now can’t find the link for the fattoush so I’ll reproduce it here. The cut and paste job I did on the muhammara tells me it’s originally from “Cooking the Middle Eastern Way” by Christine Osborne. This turned out to be a complete failure sadly, I’m not sure what I did wrong but the texture was that of uncooked stuffing. The flavour was brilliant though and worked very well with the heat of the sumac that was present in everything else – I need to research this a little more and perhaps try another recipe.

The lamb worked out well, even with the relatively short marinating time. Stephen cooked it expertly meaning there was a decent char on the outside but the insides were still tender and pink. There was just enough spice coming through from the sumac but it did still have that slight gritty texture that we’ve complained about before – perhaps I need to pound it in the mortar and pestle before using (although now I look back I see that I said exactly that last time).

The fattoush was more successful than last time too, the flavours were more subtle and had a better balance between hot and sour. It complimented the lamb well, since a lot of the flavours were present in both dishes but the thing that brought it all together was the flavour of the muhammara, even though the texture was off-putting.

Lamb Kebabs
Serves Two

1 packet of diced lamb leg (I can’t remember what it weighed)
Tablespoon sumac
1 garlic clove, crushed
Juice of half a lemon
Tablespoon olive oil

Start by soaking the skewers in cold water.

Combine all ingredients together (apart from the salt) and coat the lamb with the mixture. Leave in the fridge for as long as you can and then, just before cooking, add the salt, mix and thread the meat onto the skewers.

Barbecue over direct heat for 15 minutes, or until cooked to slightly pink.

Serves Two

1 pita bread
1 spring onion, finely sliced
3 tomatoes, chopped
Handful chopped parsley
Handful chopped mint
1 garlic clove, peeled*
1 tablespoon sumac
1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup lemon juice

Chop the salad ingredients and combine.

Toast the pita bread, cool and then tear into pieces. Add to the salad.

Take all other ingredients, shake up in a jar and pour over the salad.

* The original recipe calls for a clove of crushed garlic. I love garlic but I don’t like a lot of raw garlic, particularly not when I have to go to work the next day. I crushed the clove, added it to the jar and then removed it before serving.

May 24th, 2010

5 Comments to 'Barbecued Lamb Kebabs, Fattoush and Failed Muhammara'

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  1. Helen said,

    Looks perfect for the hot weather we’ve been enjoying. I’d never heard of muhammara so had to google. It looks delicious – will definitely have to give it a go.

  2. Kerri said,

    I thought I’d heard you mention it actually, Helen. I must be confusing it with something else. Let me know how you get on, I’d love to perfect this as the flavours were brilliant.

  3. Cherine said,

    Those kebabs look so good!

  4. Kerri said,

    Thanks, Cherine

  5. Helen said,

    Muhammara was mentioned in the new SATC film! (the restaurant Aidan takes Carrie to does ‘the best muhammara in Abu Dabi’)

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