Spiced Lamb Skewers With Lemony Onions
This is the type of scalable recipe that is ideal for feeding large groups of people in a short period of time. More snack than a meal, the idea is to build a table of these lightly spiced, grilled skewers (if you don't like lamb, then pork, beef or chicken all work) and fill out the rest of your table with store-bought ingredients like pickles, olives, yogurt and flatbread for sopping it all up.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1 ½to 2 pounds boneless lamb leg or shoulder, excess fat trimmed, meat cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1teaspoon ground sumac (optional)
- 5tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice
- 1cup full-fat Greek yogurt
- Olive oil, for drizzling
- 1cup cilantro, tender leaves and stems
- ½cup pitted black olives, finely chopped
- Lavash, pita or flatbread, for serving
- Pickled cabbage, cucumbers, peppers or a mix, for serving
Step 1Season lamb with salt and pepper. Add cumin and turmeric and toss to coat. (This can be done up to 24 hours ahead, if you like.)
Step 2If you’re using a charcoal grill, build the fire so it’s screaming hot. This lamb is to be cooked hot and fast so it can stay nicely medium-rare, so the hotter the better. If you’re using a gas grill, set it on high. Bring a clean platter, cutting board or baking dish out to the grill for the skewers to rest in after cooking.
Step 3Combine onion, sumac (if using) and 3 tablespoons lemon juice; season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Set aside.
Step 4Combine yogurt and remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Step 5Skewer the lamb onto wooden or metal skewers, 2 to 4 pieces per skewer.
Step 6Once the grill is hot, cook the skewers on all sides until deeply browned and lightly charred all over, 2 to 3 minutes per side (less time for smaller pieces), moving the skewers around as needed to prevent excessive flare-ups. (If you’ve trimmed most of the fat away from the lamb, the flare-ups shouldn’t be too bad.)
Step 7Transfer the skewers to the platter, cutting board or baking dish to rest for a few minutes and drizzle with olive oil. Serve with the dressed onions, lemony yogurt, cilantro, olives, lavash and any pickled vegetables or peppers you like.