During my high school senior year in Massachusetts, my friendship with a Greek family magically transported me to a new and exotic land – Greece. Later on, my studies of Greek art history and culture left me in awe of what this unique land has given the world (democracy, philosophers, architecture, amazing art, lively music and a delicious cuisine). Flanked by the Aegean, Ionian and Mediterranean seas, eighty percent of Greece’s terrain is mountainous – a perfect environment for sheep. And for millennia, the peoples of Greece have relied on sheep to sustain them with milk, cheese and meat. Clearly, some of the best lamb kabobs I have ever tasted in my life have been those served to me by my Greek friends!
The instructions for this recipe look long, but they are deceiving – after marinating, these delicious kabobs are made on the spot!
Active prep time: 25 to 30 minutes
Inactive prep time: 8 hours (marinating)
Serves: 4 to 6
3 garlic cloves, crushed
Juice from 3 lemons or limes
2 tablespoons fresh chopped oregano or mint leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 pounds lean lamb steaks (bone removed and meat cut into 2-inch chunks)
1 green bell pepper, halved lengthwise, seeds and stem discarded
1 red bell pepper, halved lengthwise, seeds and stem discarded
1 large red onion, peeled and quartered
2 large vine-ripened tomatoes, quartered and pulp discarded
6 to 8 wooden skewers (10 to 12-inch length)
Salt and pepper, to taste
PREPARE THE MEAT & CUT-UP VEGGIES:
1. Mix the first four ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Place lamb chunks in a large glass bowl; pour the marinade over lamb and stir to combine.
3. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
4. Cut green and red bell peppers into 2-inch squares; set aside.
5. Pull onion quarters apart to yield 12 to 16 pieces
6. Cut each tomato quarter in half; set aside.
ASSEMBLE THE KABOBS:
1. Put 1 onion section on skewer followed by 1 lamb chunk, 1 green bell pepper square, 1 tomato section, 1 red bell pepper square.
2. Repeat until skewer is full, ending with an onion section.
3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; set aside while assembling remaining kabobs.
4. Grill kabobs on an outdoor barbeque or indoors in an oven.
PREPARE FOR OVEN-GRILLING:
1. lace kabobs on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.
2. Place baking sheet with kabobs on an oven rack set 6 inches away from top oven broiler/grill.
3. Grill 9 to 10 minutes per side, turning once.
Serve Greek Lamb Kabobs immediately with rice, a green salad or both.
Wine pairing suggestion: Barolo, Malbec, or Cabernet Sauvignon (reds).
Text ©2010 Nancy DeLucia Real
Kabob and Rice Photograph only ©2010 Nancy DeLucia Real
For those who hesitate to work with lamb, this is a tried and true recipe, guaranteed to please the pickiest meat eaters!