Lamb kebabs with rosemary
This dish is easy and fun to prepare. A barbecue is not necessary — you will grill the lamb on the stove top. The balsamic vinegar in the marinade adds an unusual tang.
The key is finding top-quality lean lamb. Here in France, I was able to get a deboned slice of a leg of lamb, which worked very well. Shoulder of lamb is another possibility.
You will also need to find wooden skewers — the kind used in Asian cooking. As they are quite popular these days, they are generally available in large supermarkets.
Get started with your recipe at least an hour before you plan to serve the kebabs to allow time for the meat to marinate. The quantities below will make 2 kebabs each for two people. For a larger crowd or heartier appetites, double or trip the recipe.
1/2 pound (250 grams) lean lamb
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
3 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. rosemary leaves
1 clove garlic
freshly ground black pepper
Using a sharpened knife, cut the lamb into small cubes, about 3/4 inch (2 cm) wide on each side. Cut away and discard any fat as you go.
In a bowl, prepare the marinade. Combine the balsamic vinegar with 2 tsp. olive oil. Stir well. Add the rosemary leaves. Peel the garlic, mince it finely and add. Grind in some black pepper. (You will salt the meat only after it is cooked.)
Immerse the lamb cubes in the marinade. Stir well. Allow to marinate for one hour or more, stirring once or twice.
When ready to cook the lamb, prepare the wooden skewers. They may be too long, in which case you can cut them to size with a sharp knife or your kitchen scissors. Each skewer should be short enough to fit in your frying pan — 6 to 8 inches (15-20 cm).
Place several cubes of marinated lamb on each skewer, leaving a margin of the skewer free at each end.
Heat the remaining teaspoon of olive oil to sizzling in a large, flat-bottomed skillet. Add the lamb skewers and sauté over medium-high heat for about one minute. Flip the kebabs — one-quarter turn — and cook for another minute, continuing in this way until all four sides are nicely browned, or four minutes in all. The lamb will be rare to medium rare. If you like your meat medium or well done, increase the cooking time by a couple of minutes.
Salt the meat generously before removing it from the skillet. Serve the brochettes in pairs or triplets, accompanied by a simple salad, veggies, rice or potatoes. Serves 2.
If you have access to a barbecue, use it to grill the lamb, setting the meat about 4 inches (10 cm) above the embers. This will imbue the kebabs with a wonderful flavor.