Minced Lamb Kofta Kebabs

I promised a while ago that I’d follow up on a recipe inspiration I had for minced lamb kebabs. They’re a little more traditional, and if you’re a fan of meat (you might have guessed that I am), you’re in for a good time.

Ingredients

  • One 500g pack of minced lamb
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2tsp each of fresh thyme and oregano, finely chopped
  • 2tbsp fresh garden mint, finely chopped
  • One egg
  • 1tsp cumin
  • 1tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 2tsp rock salt, 1tsp black pepper

Recipe

Combine all of the ingredients, at first with a fork and then using your hands (go on, get in there). Now, grab some skewers. This is the difficult part. It’s probably a good idea to soak your skewers for an hour before cooking (otherwise they’ll burn on the grill). You’ll probably get five kebabs out of the meat you’ve got, so divide the mixture. With each fifth, shape around the skewer into a sausage shape. Don’t make them too thick, and try to keep the thickness even throughout the kebab:

Enough for four big kebabs, and a burger to spare!

(The sticks are at the top of the picture). Go get those babies on the grill! They need to be turned at least twice so that each side is browned. Seriously delicious, and great with tzatziki.
Mmmmmmkebabs.

Barbecue 19: July 10

Ah, only 11 barbecues to go! Alas, not long to do them in. But we’ll get there. So anyway, this is barbecue 19 of 30. No theme, just good food, good friends and nice beer. Tweeters in attendance this time included James and Jay with Laura, who’s a vegetarian! Given my lacklustre response for vegetarian attendees in the past, I came up with a recipe for vegetarian mushroom burgers this time. Mmm.

Mmm, a little cloudy.

Weather

Not too bad. Sunny in the day time, but pretty overcast when people arrived. It cleared eventually, so we stayed outside for most of the evening.

I love my barbecue :)

Food

Right then. For the non-veggies, a treat was in store. Gemma had suggested a burger involving turkey and sundried tomatoes, so I came up with one involving mozzarella too. Very well received, I must add. Also on the menu were steak kebabs. I’m not going to include a separate recipe as they’re quite similar in preparation to Greek Lamb Kebabs, but instead the steak (simple stewing steak) was marinaded in red wine, red onion, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper. We also had a few pork sausages from the freezer.

And now for the veggie stuff! I still haven’t gotten around to buying a separate barbecue for vegetarian guests so I used a disposable one (this one was from Tesco, and behaved rather better than usual). It lasted for quite a while, so if you have to use disposable barbecues, there’s my recommendation.

I only made the kebabs. Sorry.
Apart from the usual veggie fare (potato, cheese and leek sausages – which stick to the grill, and quorn burgers) we did a couple of kebabs minus the meat, drizzled with a bit of oil and lime juice, and some garlic and chilli mushroom burgers. I was pleasantly surprised with how well these came out, even on a cheap grill. Recommended!

Next time I’m planning on coming up with some other veggie burgers. I’ve had a couple of suggestions, but please send them this way if you have more!

Barbecue 14: June 7, mon!

You might have guessed from the title that we were feeling a little Caribbean on Saturday, so we invited a bunch of folk round (including James, Steph, Mark, Jen, and some regular non-tweeting folk) and applied a theme: Jamaica. I came up with a few new recipes, and there were even some guest contributions. Bashment! (Okay, enough Jamaican words).

Hmm. Rain a-comin'.

Weather

The closest to rain we’ve had! Hit-and-miss all day, but thankfully the rain stayed off until (literally) ten minutes after we finished cooking.

Food

Well, this was a good one! For a start, Mark brought his very delicious coffee-rubbed pork tenderloin with watermelon salsa. Alas, he hasn’t given me a recipe yet, but I’ll bully it out of him, mmkay?

Ad with an 'action shot' of my Jamaican Pork Burgers.
Also on the savouries menu: Jamaican Pork Burgers with Caribbean Mango Salsa, Caribbean Chicken Kebabs, and venison sausages we happened to have (not Jamaican. Sorry). Alas, due to other beer-related things, I didn’t take many pictures (not even my trademark picture of all the food on the grill). However, the pictures in those recipes linked above are all from the barbecue.


Yum. But clean the grill first. (Sorry about the blur)
We finished with a rather nice dessert thought up by Jen (with, I believe, a little help from a cookery book). Start with sliced pineapple, grilled on the barbecue until it has scorch marks (note: best clean the barbecue with a wire brush first. We realised this the hard way). Put each grilled slice into a bowl, douse with a dessert spoon of rum, top with coconut ice cream and passion fruit pulp, and sprinkle with desiccated coconut. It’s <insert Jamaican word for “quite nice”> here. Thanks, Jen!

So that’s the Jamaican adventure done with. Any suggestions for the next one? We’re thinking Mexican…

Caribbean Chicken Kebabs

Okay, so I cheat a little in this recipe. It so happens that Levi Roots‘ Reggae-Reggae sauce is (to use his words) fabulocious. It works really well as a marinade, which is quite convenient for this recipe!

Kebabs. Uncooked. Cook before eating.

Recipe

  • 500g pack of diced chicken, or chicken breasts cut into 2-3cm dice

  • Marinade:

  • 1tsp harissa paste
  • 1tbsp dry white wine (believe me, it works!)
  • 1tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • Half a large red chilli, finely chopped
  • Two cloves of garlic, and 1cm of ginger, crushed/grated
  • 2-3 tablespoons Reggae Reggae Sauce
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • Zest and juice of one lime


  • Other kebab ingredients:

  • Pack of Cherry tomatoes
  • One onion, chopped into chunks
  • A bell pepper, chopped into chunks

Recipe

Most of the ingredients above form a marinade for the chicken. Simply combine all of the marinade ingredients in a bowl, and add the cubed chicken to it. Leave covered in the fridge for at least 2 hours. The lime juice should cook the chicken slightly, so it will get paler.

Thread and alternate chicken, cherry tomato, bell pepper and onion onto pre-soaked bamboo skewers. Note that if there’s an ingredient you’d prefer (okra might work), go for it. Aim for 3 pieces of chicken at least on each kebab, and pack quite tightly.

When you’re done, use a silicon brush to paint the remaining marinade over the kebabs. Barbecue for around 8 minutes, turning a couple of times. They’re really rather good when cooked, and go well with my Mango Salsa!

Greek Lamb Kebabs

What you do to change this recipe is really up to you. I find it works really well with the ingredients I use, but if you don’t like one of them, swap it for something else.

Makes four large kebabs

Ingredients

  • 1x250g pack lamb neck fillet. I find this cut works really well, and it’s also cheaper than buying lamb cubes. But if you’re feeling flushed, then get the expensive stuff!
  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 1tsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1tsp fresh rosemary, chopped. You could also use mint (probably more authentic) – mine just isn’t growing yet.
  • Half a mild red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1/2tsp cumin
  • Zest of a whole lemon, and juice of half of it
  • One clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1/2tsp salt, 1/4tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Kebab veg of your choice. In this case I’ve gone for cherry tomatoes, yellow bell pepper, onion and mushrooms. Peppers work very well, courgette does too. If you want to spend more, go for Greek Halloumi – it’s a Cypriot cheese that doesn’t melt on the grill. Really, really good on the barbecue. Otherwise, swap ingredients with whatever you prefer.

Recipe

Greek Lamb Kebabs
Yummy Greek Lamb Kebabs

First, prepare the lamb. It needs to marinade, preferably for 5-6 hours at least. Neck fillet can be a little tough, and the lemon juice in the marinade actually helps to tenderise the meat a little. So, combine the oil with the lemon zest and juice, all of the herbs, cumin, garlic, chilli, salt and pepper. Mix well, then cut your lamb up. Aim to get about twelve pieces – see the picture for a rough guide to size.

Mix the lamb well with the marinade, then cover it with cling film and put it in the fridge. Go to work, or whatever.

Back from work and hungry? Great. The next bit is simple – take your lamb out of the fridge about half an hour before you want to cook it, to let it acclimatise. While it’s doing that, soak four bamboo kebab skewers in cold water (this stops them burning on the grill).

Chop your veg. Everything should be roughly equal size – about an inch cubed. Veg that requires more cooking should be cut smaller, for obvious reasons. You’re finally ready to thread everything onto the skewers – thread the lamb and veg on, in whatever order you prefer. Go for three pieces of lamb per skewer.

When you’re done, use a pastry brush to brush the left over marinade over the veg and lamb. Now go cook on the barbecue! These guys don’t need very long – probably 6-7 minutes, turning once or twice. Serve with a nice cous-cous salad, like the one in the picture. Enjoy.