Armenian Lamb Brochettes on Nutty Rice Pilaf

Armenian Lamb Brochettes on Nutty Rice Pilaf

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No matter how you spell it—shisk kabob or sis kebabi—this robust specialty features skewered chunks of meat and onions marinated in oil and spices and then grilled over an open flame. The technique apparently originated in the Caucasus and then spread southward to Mediterranean countries. The traditional meat has always been leg of lamb, a meat that seems to be permitted by most major religions. To make a perfect kabob, remove any tough membrane from the meat, cut meat across the grain—and don’t forget that the meat must be marinated before grilling. Serve with a salad of tossed greens, ripe olives, and feta cheese and for dessert, baklava and Turkish coffee.


Cayenne-Infused Meat Marinade
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1⁄3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh preferred
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 cup finely chopped onion
3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cayenne chile
1 teaspoon ground paprika
2 teaspoons fresh oregano
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Freshly ground black pepper

The Brochettes
1½ pounds boneless lamb, cut into 1 to1½-inch cubes,
or substitute capybara
1 large bell pepper, stem and seeds removed,
cut in1½-inch squares
1 small onion, cut in 1½-inch squares
12 cherry tomatoes
12 cremini mushrooms, stems removed

Nutty Rice Pilaf
1⁄8 teaspoon saffron
2 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons blanched almonds
3 tablespoons pistachio nuts
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup vermicelli, broken into 1-inch pieces
1 cup long-grain rice
½ teaspoon ground cayenne
2 ½ cups chicken or beef broth
2 teaspoons Cayenne-Infused Meat Marinade, above


To make the marinade, toast the cumin seeds on a dry skillet until fragrant, taking care that they don’t burn. Remove, cool and crush. Place all the ingredients for the marinade in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Reserve 2 teaspoons of the marinade for the rice. Transfer the marinade to a bowl, add the lamb, toss well to coat. Cover and marinate overnight in the refrigerator, turning occasionally.

To make the pilaf, pour 2 tablespoons of boiling water over the saffron in a cup and let sit for 20 minutes. In a skillet, lightly fry the nuts in the oil, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve. Turn heat to low, add the vermicelli to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat and sauté for a couple of minutes or until the kernels are opaque, about 3 minutes.

Heat the broth along with the cayenne to boiling and pour over rice mixture. Bring back up to a boil while stirring. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer covered until the rice is done, about 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving and add nuts. It also can be baked, covered in a 325 degree F. oven for 40 minutes.

To make the brochettes, blanch the bell pepper and the onions in boiling water for 2 minutes, remove, drain, and run under cold water. Remove the lamb from the marinade and place the marinade in a sauce pan and simmer for 20 minutes. Thread the meat on skewers, alternating with the pepper, onion, tomatoes and mushrooms. Brush with the reserved marinade.

Grill over a medium-hot fire until medium rare, about 15 minutes. Baste occasionally with the marinade. Cut a sample of the meat to check for doneness, and remove when a little under done.

Lachlan Valley BBQ Lamb

Lachlan Valley BBQ Lamb

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Here’s a lamb recipe from Aussie Chris Roylance. This delicious lamb is a little out of the ordinary with hints of Indian cuisine.


6 tablespoons tomato relish or salsa
1 tablespoon curry powder
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown cider vinegar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice
Grated lemon zest

1 (4- to 6-pound) leg of lamb, boned and butterflied


Whisk together all the marinade ingredients. Marinate the lamb in the mixture, covered, in the refrigerator, for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Set up your grill to cook on low to medium heat. Place the lamb on the grill, fat side down, and cook for 40 minutes. Turn and cook for an additional 20 to 50 minutes, until it reaches your desired doneness.

Smoked and Braised Lamb Shanks with Roasted Spring Vegetables

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Love the taste of lamb for Easter but don’t want to go to the bother of cooking a whole leg of lamb? This recipe combines stovetop smoking with slow cooking to produce fall-off-the-bone tender meat with a very rich, flavorful sauce. Although wonderful the day it is prepared, this entrée is even better after mellowing for a day. You’ll need a stovetop smoker and a slow cooker (alternatively, the lamb shanks could be braised in a 325 degree F oven for 3 to 3 1/2 hours after being smoked). Serve with roasted spring vegetables (recipe follows) and garlic mashed potatoes. Smoke and braise extra shanks for a wonderful lamb stew.


4 lamb shanks (about 1 pound each)
1 tablespoon apple wood shavings
1 tablespoon hickory shavings
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 large celery ribs, cleaned and chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon minced fresh flat leaf parsley
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
10 Tellicherry peppercorns
2 cups Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon
2 cups beef stock, homemade preferred
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Trim any exterior fat from the shanks and season them with salt and pepper.

Prepare the stovetop smoker by adding 2 tablespoons of wood chips (1 tablespoon of hickory and 1 tablespoon of apple) under the drip pan. Place the lamb shanks in the smoker and tent aluminum foil over the shanks. Leave one corner of the foil loose and heat the smoker over medium heat.

Once smoke begins to show, tightly seal the foil and smoke the shanks for 20 minutes. Remove smoker from the stovetop and place shanks on a plate.

Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 lamb shanks and brown them on all sides until golden brown. Remove them to a plate and brown the other 2 lamb shanks. Transfer the shanks to the plate.

Drain off all but 1 tablespoon of drippings from the skillet. Add the onions, carrots, and celery to the skillet and cook them, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic, tomatoes, parsley, basil, oregano, peppercorns, wine, and stock; heat to boiling. Transfer the vegetables and liquid to a slow cooker set on high. Place the lamb shanks on top of the vegetables and cook, covered, for 4 to 6 hours on high or 9 to 10 hours on low. Remove the shanks and keep warm while finishing the sauce.

Strain the sauce through a fine mesh colander into a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Allow sauce to reduce and thicken, about 15 minutes. (If desired, the sauce could be thickened with a cornstarch slurry.)

Yield: 4 servings

Lamb Fesenjan – Lamb with Pomegranate Walnut Sauce

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This recipe is courtesy of Saad Fayed. A restaurateur with an avid interest in preparing Middle Eastern cuisine, he has lived and traveled in many Middle Eastern countries, experiencing the flavors and specialties of each region. Saad is currently writing a cookbook that features his family’s favorite dishes. Pomegranate syrup (also known as pomegranate molasses) can be purchased online from The Spice House.


large onion, sliced

1/4 cup olive oil

2 pounds lamb, cut into 1-inch cubes

1/4 cup pomegranate syrup

1 1/2 cup chicken stock

2 cups walnuts, crushed

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon tumeric

1/2 teaspoon cardamom, ground

2 tablespoons lemon juice


In a large frying pan, sauté onions in olive oil. Once onions begin to brown add lamb cubes. Simmer on low and allow to cook for about 25 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare pomegranate sauce by combining the chicken stock, pomegranate syrup, walnuts, and sugar in saucepan over low heat. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

Once lamb is done simmering, drain fat and juices. Add spices and mix well. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes.

Add pomegranate sauce and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes.

Serve immediately with white rice. Sprinkle toasted walnuts on top for garnish.

Heat scale: mild

Barbecued Rack of Lamb

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A Recipe From:

America’s Best BBQ:

100 Recipes from America’s Best Smokehouses, Pits, Shacks, Rib Joints, Roadhouses, and Restaurants


by Ardie A. Davis and Chef Paul Kirk

This recipe and other can be found in the Book Excerpt: America’s Best BBQ



2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup chopped sweet onion

10 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (about 10 sprigs)

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves (about 10 sprigs)

2 tablespoon ancho chile powder

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon hot red pepper flakes


2 (8-bone) racks American lamb

Spice Blend

1/2 cup smoked paprika

1 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons garlic salt

1 tablespoon lemon pepper


1/4 cup honey

1/2 cup barbecue sauce of your choice

1 clove garlic, grated

1/2 jalapeño pepper, grated




To make the marinade, puree the Worcestershire sauce, onion, garlic, thyme, rosemary, ancho chile powder, pepper, hot red pepper flakes, and 1/4 cup water in a blender. Set aside until ready to use.

Trim off as much fat from the lamb as possible, leaving the fat and meat in between the rib bones intact. Place the lamb racks in a resealable plastic bag large enough to hold them and pour in the marinade. Seal the bag and shake it around a little to coat the lamb with the marinade. Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours, or overnight.

Preheat a barbecue to 275 degrees F., using oak wood. Remove the racks of lamb from the refrigerator and wipe off most of the marinade with paper towels: it’s OK to leave some on.

In a small bowl, combine the spice blend ingredients and sprinkle it all over the racks until the meat is thoroughly coated.

Place the seasoned lamb racks bone side down in the barbecue and cook over indirect heat until the meat registers 125 degrees F. on an instant-read thermometer, about one hour 15 minutes. While the lamb is cooking, combine the glaze ingredients. Remove the meat and coat with the glaze. Return the lamb to the barbecue and continue to cook for 20 minutes. Remove, wrap in plastic, and allow to rest for about 5 minutes. Cut into individual chops and season each chop individually with salt.