We finally had a Friday night without thunder and rain, perfect for grilling these lamb kebabs I have been dreaming about. The recipe comes from one of the only food magazines I still subscribe to, La Cucina Italiana. If you are looking for authentic Italian dishes, this is where you will find them.
Spiedini is the Italian word for skewers and agnello is, of course, lamb. I have to confess I have never made lamb skewers, although I have eaten them a couple of times and loved them. The problem is that you must first buy a leg of lamb. That is a major proposition but one that is easily justified. A leg of lamb can be expensive and, if you are going to buy one, it better be for a special occasion, like Christmas. Well, I have news for you. I have done the math and it is no more expensive than a couple of steaks. The small leg I found was about 3 lbs, bone in, and at $7.62/lbs came to approximately $22.00. I used half and froze the rest for another day. Four or five generous skewers can be made out of this leg for $6.00 a head, much less than the price of a good steak.
My daughter, who never raves about my cooking anymore, oohed and aahed throughout the entire meal. I splurged further and accompanied with saffron rice and red peppers. A little curry would have been great, but you know how she feels about curry. We had a leftover artichoke which we marinaded in a vinaigrette sauce and grilled before the kebabs. A peach crumble for dessert would have been nice at this time of the year but we are trying to be good and cut back on sweets. Boring.....
One last thing, make sure you use yellow peppers. They are milder and go best with the lamb. If you must, orange or red are okay, but green ones are too strong.
As I am finishing this post, it is thundering again. It figures, it is Saturday afternoon. I'm so glad we had those skewers last night.
1 3 lbs boneless leg of lamb, trimmed and cut in 1 inch pieces
A few drops of Worcestershire Sauce
Salt and Pepper
Pancetta or slab bacon cut in 1 inch pieces (about 32 pieces)
2 to 3 Yellow Peppers
Cherry or grape tomatoes (optional)
Have the butcher debone the leg. I didn't think of it at the time and now I'm kicking myself. Make a good marinade of olive oil, plenty of fresh rosemary, Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper. The longer they marinade the better. Wrap them in tinfoil and forget about them.
When ready to grill, alternate lamb, pancetta or bacon, and peppers. I started with a tomato which takes less time to grill, and put one on each end. Make sure you have at least five pieces of lamb in each skewer, even if you have to break the pattern a bit.
Light your grill to medium high and cook the skewers in lightly oiled grill rack, turning occasionally, for 6 or 8 minutes for medium rare. Only cover them if using a gas grill. When ready, transfer to a plate and let rest about 5 minutes. Enjoy!
Adapted from La Cucina Italiana magazine