Grilled lamb Kebabs in January? Well, when the weather is over 70 degrees fahrenheit (21 degrees celcius) in Southern California, there's nothing better than to sit outside and enjoy something grilled on the BBQ for lunch. My daughters love lamb. I think that lamb is one of those meats that people either love or hate. I grew up with a lamb roast every Saturday for lunch. The meal consisted of roast lamb leg, roast potatoes and beet salad. Very British! In those days, there was no instant read thermometer so the lamb was usually always well done. Needless to say, the roast was always accompanied with gravy and fresh mint sauce!
Grilled lamb kebabs are much easier to make. The key to making delicious kebabs is to make sure they are well marinated, not overcooked with a sprinkling of fresh herbs! When the kebabs are skewered with vegetables, this becomes a little tricky!
The size of both the vegetables and meat are important to ensure that both the vegetables and meat are cooked perfectly,
I usually use parts of a lamb leg for lamb kebabs. DO NOT REMOVE THE FAT. The fat provides a protective layer to prevent overcooking while vegetables such as zucchini and mushrooms cook. Cut large cubes about 2 " (5 cm) square.
I always marinate lamb with an acid such as lemon or lime juice, which helps tenderize the meat, and fresh chopped garlic, sprinkled with a dry-rub and fresh herbs. Oregano and rosemary are absolutely amazing with lamb! Try marinating it with my savory dry rub. This rub can be made in bulk and used for steaks, ribs, vegetables etc.
Vegetables should be cut large enough to prevent overcooking / burning but not too large so that the meat will be overcooked before the vegetables are done! Cut or choose the variety of vegetables to ensure that they will take about the same amount of time to cook. The cut vegetables should be marinated with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and fresh herbs. The acid helps retain some of the color of the vegetables.
It is preferable to soak your wooden skewers in water to reduce burning on the BBQ. When skewering the meat and vegetables, allow a little space between the meat and vegetables to ensure even cooking.
Cooking the Kebabs.
Preheat the BBQ. If you are able to control the temperature of the BBQ, allow the BBQ to reach about 400 degrees fahrenheit (204 degrees celcius) which is fairly hot to sear the lamb and allow the fat to render / burn. This step requires observation because the skewers require rotation to prevent the meat and vegetables from burning. Once the meat is nicely browned, reduce the BBQ temperature to low to allow the vegetables and meat to cook slowly. The timing really depends on the size of your chunks of meat.
The internal temperature of the meat should be around 130 degrees fahrenheit for medium rare. Once it's off the grill and allowed to rest, it should rise to 135-140 degrees. You can use this temperature as your benchmark for your level of doneness.
GRILLED LAMB KEBABS
- 1 zucchini
- 1 yellow squash
- ½ onion
- 1 red pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tsp lime or lemon juice
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp fresh oregano
- 1.1 kg boneless lamb leg
- 2 Tbsp dry rub Less or more depending on taste
- 1 juice of fresh lemon or lime
- 3 cloves fresh minced garlic
Prepare lamb day before
- Cut lamb into large 2 " (5 cm) square cubes, keeping the fat on. (Boneless leg of lamb is a great cut for this)
- Add lemon or lime juice and fresh minced garlic
- Generously sprinkle with dry rub and allow to marinate overnight.
- Soak wooden skewers if using them.
- Cut vegetables to uniform sizes to ensure meat and vegetables will be done with same amount of grilling time.
- Combine ingredients for vegetable marinade and mix with vegetables
- Skewer vegetables and meat
- Preheat BBQ to high heat 400° F (204° C)
- Sear kebabs on high heat, making sure you rotate the kebabs to avoid burning.
- Reduce heat to low and allow vegetables and meat to cook. Time will vary depending on size of kebab cubes
- Remove from heat when internal temperature reaches 120° F (49° C) and sprinkle with fresh oregano and rosemary.