These Middle Eastern Lamb Kebabs (Kabobs) are eaten throughout the region. Being the most widely eaten meat, lamb sees its way into many delicious preparations. None more tasty than skewered and charred over hot coals.
The success of this simple dish is the marination of the meat, which not only enhances the flavour, it tenderises it to create succulent, juicy results every time. I use lamb, because it's most authentic, and my favourite, but you can also use this marinade with other meats like goat, beef or chicken. You can also mix this marinade with ground meats to create kofta kebabs.
Marinades change from country to country, city to city, village to village - house to house! So pinning this recipe to any given place is not possible. Let's just say, it's MY Middle Eastern marinade.
I rarely grill anything other than a steak on the BBQ that hasn't been marinated - it's so important in creating a fuller flavour. The thing about marination, and we read this in every recipe that calls for it, is that you have to give it time.
It's an endless source of frustration to me that I didn't get my act together to get something marinating in time for a meal. My greediness tells me that an hour is plenty time, while my head KNOWS I should have done it the day before. And it's evident in the final results if I've cut corners. I am now pretty disciplined in ensuring the meat gets a full-24 hours and if I didn't get my s*** together to do this, I'll often change dinner plans - because I'll just resent every mouthful!
This might sound a bit dramatic, but knowing something could have been tastier is a killer for me! So, make time to make magic!
These skewers are a triumph of texture, fragrance and flavour, and they're simple to prepare. If you're looking for some side dishes to serve alongside these kebabs, try my flavourful Beetroot & Feta Salad With Fresh Herb Dressing and an Onion & Sumac Salad or a crunchy sour Fatoush Salad - they make the perfect combinations.
How to make my Middle Eastern Lamb Kebabs (Kabobs)
- 1 kg (2.2lb) Lamb shoulder or Leg (cut into medium chunks)
- 2 tbsp melted ghee or butter (for basting) (optional)
- 1 medium onion (peeled and chopped)
- 4 garlic cloves (peeled and chopped)
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 cup Greek yoghurt (plain)
- 1 lemon (juice of)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- Using a hand blender or food processor, blend all the marinade ingredients together to form a puree.
- Place the lamb cubes into a zip-lock plastic bag and then pour in the marinade. Seal the bag and toss the meat around to ensure it's all coated. Leave in the fridge for 24 hours. If you're in a hurry - 4 hours is the minimum I would leave it. If you haven't got 4 hours... make this when you HAVE got 4 hours. :)
- Once the meat has marinated, thread around 6 pieces of meat onto skewers (if you're using wooden skewers, you should soak these in water the same time you put the meat into marinade. it'll stop them disintegrating on the grill). I use metal skewers, they're much easier than wooden.
- Heat your BBQ grill until hot - you can use coals or gas BBQ - you'll get good results with both. Grill the meat for about 10-12 minuets, turning once or twice. I also like to brush a little ghee over them during cooking to keep them moist and to create a bit of smoke action for extra flavour - this is optional. You can also cook these under a hot oven grill for around the same time, turning occasionally.
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