I don’t know why so many Americans haven’t developed a liking for lamb. My only guess is that they never ate it while growing up, or if they did, it wasn’t prepared very well. If you’re cooking a whole leg of lamb, it can be a little tricky to know how long to cook, whether to marinate or how to carve. For this recipe you cut the lamb into cubes, slather them with a great herb and spice mix and grill for only a few minutes.
The recipe doesn’t call for marinating overnight in the herb mixture, but I figured it would only lend more flavor and tenderness to the skewers, so I did, and they were. The mint chutney was a refreshing and delicious foil for the skewers and something a little different from the typical mint jelly or tzatziki I normally serve with lamb.
I got the recipes from Matt Armendariz’ new book, “On A Stick,” after receiving a complimentary copy in the mail a few weeks ago.
Matt’s book contains loads of interesting recipes and enticing photos of food on a stick, from appetizers to desserts and everything in between. There are a few items that seem silly to skewer (spaghetti and meatballs for example) but there are plenty of others that look good enough and easy enough to make over and over again. This lamb dish is one. But there’s also a “fudge pops” recipe that has my name all over it now that warm weather is here.
From the book “On A Stick” by Matt Armendariz
This recipe calls for only 1 1/2 lbs. meat, but if you serve it with side dishes, (I served it with caramelized onions, green beans and Greek potatoes courtesy of a recipe from Peter of Kalofagas.ca), it easily makes enough to satisfy four or five people.
- 2 T. vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 T. tarragon, minced
- 1 T. thyme, minced
- 1 T. rosemary, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 t. cumin
- 1 1/2 lb. boneless leg of lamb, cut into 1-inch cubes (I bought 1 1/2 lbs. of boneless top round leg of lamb)
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup mint, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/4 red onion, roughly chopped
- 4 T. Greek yogurt (I used a 6 oz. container, it was more like 7 or 8 T.)
- 2 T. lemon juice
- salt and pepper
- Soak 8 bamboo skewers in water about 30 minutes.
- Make the chutney: Place mint, cilantro, onion, yogurt and lemon juice in a food processor with 2 T. water and process until almost smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high and brush with vegetable oil.
- Whisk olive oil, tarragon, thyme, rosemary, garlic and cumin in a large bowl. Add lamb and toss until well coated. (I kept the coated lamb in the refrigerator overnight and the lamb was very tender and flavorful when cooked.)
- Thread lamb onto skewers and season with salt and pepper to taste. Grill 5 to 6 minutes on each side. Let cool a few minutes before serving with mint chutney.