Meat on a Stick: Lamb Kebabs with Mint Yogurt Sauce

Lamb kebabs with green lentils and grilled green onions

It’s almost Opening Day here in Wrigleyville and the temperature has cooled off a bit from last week but that’s ok, it’s still grilling spring training weather.  By the time summer does roll around I’ll be in mid-season form.  These lamb kebabs are one of the first things I ever grilled for Cheryl, showing her I wasn’t just an inside cook, I’ve got an outside game too!  Kebabs, skewers, whatever you call them, these are perfect for summertime cookouts.  You can either snack on them as an appetizer or put them out as a main course.  This is also a great spring training exercise to reacquaint yourself with how your grill cooks and getting your timing down. 

There’s been some tinkering with the recipe over the years but I think simplicity is always best.  I let the kebab mixture sit for a few hours in order for the meat to take on some of the flavors.  For me, one of the signs of spring (besides watching Cubs fans get their hopes up) is seeing more lamb in the stores.  Some people don’t care for the taste of it but I like it a lot (I always make a leg of lamb for Easter).  Mint naturally goes great with lamb so the sauce is a nice complement to the kebabs.  And I’ll say this, the longer you let the yogurt sauce sit the more the flavors seep into it.  Let it sit overnight if you actually plan ahead.  You won’t be disappointed!  Also, don’t forget to soak your wooden skewers in water before using on the grill so they don’t burn up.  See!?  These are the kind of kinks you have to get worked out before the dog days of summer arrive!

Lamb Kebabs (makes 10-12)

  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • ¼ – ⅓ C onion, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

Mix all the ingredients with the ground lamb and set aside for 1-2 hours.  If using wooden skewers soak in some water for a half hour before preparing the kebabs for grilling.

When ready to grill remove skewers from water and press the meat around the skewers with your hands.  Cook on the grill and serve with the mint yogurt sauce.

Mint Garlic Yogurt Sauce

  • 6-8 oz Greek style plain yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 -2 Tbs fresh mint leaves, sliced
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ Tbs honey (more if you want it sweeter)

Stir in all the ingredients and salt to taste.  Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.  Spoon over kebabs and enjoy!

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