Grill, grill grill.
I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, aren’t I?
Of course there is a reason for this; summer is upon us. Again, broken record. Most people cover the grill in September and forget about it until May. That means that you only have two months left in the grilling foray so there isn’t a moment to lose.
With all of the grilling that goes on around here, every now and then I grill something just for me. I love lamb as does my mother, but no one else in my house will touch the stuff. What a shame I think, as lamb is one of the most wonderful meats, as well as one of the most overly abused.
How is it abused? Well, when someone cooks a leg of lamb until it is grey and the flavor is reminiscent of cod liver oil, then one can easily lose a taste for this fabulously wonderful ware.
So it is that so many people won’t even try lamb in adulthood, having had it so tortuously abused in their youth that only the stench of their childhood home on Sunday wafts in their nostrils and minds. Luckily my mom always cooked it medium-ish or a touch rarer so that we could savor the true taste of the vivacious victual.
When you decide to cook this, maybe you will be a convert to lamb. Or mayhap you will indeed already know the wonders of lamb, but either way this is an easy recipe. There is a touch of preparation at hand, but after that all it takes is a quick grill of about a minute per side and then eating like mad.
When choosing the lamb, feel free to use an expensive cut if you are literally made of money. Otherwise, choose a shoulder or leg cut and then trim it of all of its fat and sinew. Then, when you have done this, you can process it further by cutting it into skewer-sized strips.
At this point, you should have the lamb and the marinade at hand, so simply toss and let to sit in the refrigerator for at least two hours. The acids in the marinade help it to tenderize and add that mouthwatering flavor to the dish. You can never underestimate the importance of a good marinade.
The sauce for these skewers is a parsley lemon sauce with walnuts. If you can’t imagine it, just think of a chimichurri- or gremolata-style sauce with mint and walnuts and you are on the money. Make sure that you use the freshest herbs that you can find. Since I know that your summer garden is in full bloom, you can simply frolic outside in your jammies and pick some parsley and mint, and quite possibly even uproot some fresh garlic.
Otherwise, just get great ingredients from the store. Mediocre ingredients make a mediocre sauce.
When you make these skewers, the aromas of all of the fresh ingredients will fill your house if you have an indoor grill or your yard if you cook out. Whichever your cooking arena, the neighbors will be jealous and you will indeed be a happy griller, but just for the moment.
As the clock to September ticks down, you must go forth and find new things to create on your outside grill and let those who surround you savor in sadness knowing that you are having all of the fun. It’s nice to be the king…or queen…of the grill.
Lamb Skewers in Parsley Lemon Sauce
Makes 20 skewers
1 lb. Lamb, well-trimmed
½ c. Olive oil
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
As desired, cumin, salt, pepper and allspice
Juice of 1 lemon
2 c. Parsley Lemon sauce (recipe follows)
Trim the meat into small strips and marinade in the remaining ingredients for one hour
When well marinated, skewer the lamb, soaking them if they are wood
When skewered and you are ready for service, grill until medium or to a temperature of your liking
*Place the skewers on the grill so that the wood skewers are hanging over the side. This will keep them from going up in flames. Since they are so thin they will dry out sooner rather than later, so this extra step will solve any issues
Parsley Lemon Sauce
½ c. EV Olive Oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Cayenne or pepper flakes to taste
2 ea. garlic cloves, chopped
½ c. Broadleaf Parsley, chopped
¼ c. Fresh mint leaves, chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste
¼ c. Chopped walnuts
Combine all ingredients well but don’t do it too early. The flavors will marry in little time and the more you let this sit, the more you will lose that fresh and crisp flavor that is imperative to this sauce