Tender Lamb Kebabs
Today is special for two reasons: one, it’s Friday and this weekend is going to be a blast and two, it’s my grandma’s birthday today! I’m dedicating this recipe post to her since after all—she’s the one who taught me how to make it.
My grandma is a remarkable woman and a fantastic cook. Growing up in Brooklyn I would spend weekends at my grandparents’ house a few blocks down and she would make all sorts of foods for me. My personal favorite is her French fries. They’re crispy and fluffy simultaneously and pan-fried. But that’s not the recipe I’m sharing with you.
Look at my fabulous grandma flipping that lamb.
My grandparents now live in Florida and I usually visit them twice a year (read about my latest visit). When I visit, I eat amazingly. From steak to shrimp, there’s something different for dinner every night. I’m pretty carnivorous, but lamb is one of my top proteins because it’s so juicy and tender.
I like all forms of lamb: lamb chops, lamb kebabs, lamb stew—you name it. My family knows I love lamb, too. Whenever we would go to a Russian restaurant, my family would ask me “Nina what are you getting?” and in a heartbeat I answer “lamb chops, obviously.” I’ve been saying this for years, not sure why they keep asking. When I see lamb chops at a Russian restaurant there’s a 99% chance I’m ordering it. It gets even better though, whenever I visit Florida, my grandparents send me home to DC with a frozen rack of lamb. The looks TSA gives me when my luggage goes through security are amusing to say the least.
The first time I brought home frozen lamb, I packed it near the bottom of my suitcase. Well TSA saw some funky looking object and dug through my clothes to find the lamb. I just shrugged my shoulders and said “grandparents, man” and let me through. The second time I put the lamb on top so TSA wouldn’t dig through my clothes. The agent looked at the plastic bag and I told him “that’s a frozen rack of lamb” to which the TSA agent asked me “you’re sure these aren’t human bones?” Perplexed by that response I reassured that it was a frozen rack of lamb. My brother was with me this time, he is a witness. The third and most recent time the TSA agent just suggested I remove the lamb from my suitcase before sending it through the scanner. Would’ve been nice if they told me that the first time—jeez.
I successfully flew home with a frozen rack of lamb, which made a delicious fancy dinner recently. I feel like lamb has a weird stigma to it—that it is an intimidating protein to work with; probably because it’s so expensive at restaurants or even at the supermarket. You can actually find some pretty good deals on lamb at the store, especially on sale! Lamb is a super flavorful meat and can be fatty depending on the cut. Fat adds flavor. The great thing about lamb is that it’s versatile too. You can throw in some fresh herbs for a classic take or marinate it in yogurt for a Mediterranean flare.
Now let’s get cooking with my grandma’s lamb kebabs.
Tender Lamb Kebabs
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
2 sweet peppers, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ lbs boneless leg of lamb, cut into 2 inch cubes
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
In a skillet, heat one teaspoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Sauté the onions, peppers, and garlic until slightly browned, about five minutes. Remove from the pan.
Add the remaining olive oil to the pan and reduce the heat slightly. Add the lamb to the pan and sear until the cubes are browned on all sides, about two minutes per side.
Return the vegetables to the pan and cook for an additional five minutes.
Serve with salad or side dish of preference (I recommend mashed potatoes).
Happy Birthday, Grandma! I love you tons.