Lamb Kebabs

Reading the Metro rag on the T yesterday, I thought the following recipe sounded tasty:

The photo accompanying the Metro article

THIS FUN party food gets your guests involved with the cooking by allowing them to make their own kebabs. This dish, a traditional Greek entrée that chef Michael Psilakis revised for the grill, is perfect for any season.


1 leg of lamb, boned and cubed; bamboo skewers; soaked in water for at least two hours; 2 cans of artichoke hearts, halved

For the marinade:

2 cups red wine; 1 cup extra virgin olive oil; 2 tablespoons Greek oregano; 1 tablespoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground pepper; 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard; 1 fresh bay leaf, 2 fresh basil leaves, 2 garlic cloves crushed, chopped; 1 small shallot, peeled and diced.

For rice pilaf:

1 sweet onion, peeled and diced; 3 cups long grain rice, washed to remove starch; 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, 6 cups water or chicken stock; zest of one lemon; 1 tablespoon fresh dill

How to:

  1. Place lamb in a shallow pan.
  2. Mix marinade ingredients together and pour over lamb. Tightly cover with plastic, making sure to push down onto the lamb. Refrigerate over night.
  3. Sautee onions in olive oil over medium heat until translucent. Add uncooked rice and bring up to high heat. After two minutes, add liquid and bring to boil, stirring. Reduce to a simmer and cook covered for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Add lemon zest and dill using a fork to ?uff. Preheat grill and begin making skewers, alternating artichoke and meat.
  5. Place on grill (for medium rare, about 3 minutes).
  6. Scoop rice onto plate and top with 2 skewers per order.

I didn’t follow the instructions exactly, because I wanted to make do with some ingredients on hand (and I’m cheap), and I didn’t want to marinate it all night. Here are the differences:

  • Cooking wine instead of regular
  • Lemon juice instead of zest
  • No bay or basil leaves or garlic cloves
  • Just regular olive oil, not “extra virgin”
  • Some juice from the pickle jar instead of fresh dill (that’s probably not even close)
  • George Foreman grill instead of the fire and charcoal kind
The kebab ingredients (including my substitutions)

One thing the article didn’t make clear was how many people the recipe’s supposed to serve. Since I was cooking only for my wife and myself, I just had to guess. I chopped up about 1/3 of the leg of lamb (now to find something creative for the remaining 3-4 lbs.), used 1/2 of a sweet onion and about 1 and 1/2 cups of rice. And I opened only 1 can of artichoke hearts, which was insufficient for 2 people (the recipe calls for 2 cans, which I can’t imagine holding enough for a group). Speaking of groups, the recipe says it “gets your guests involved with the cooking by allowing them to make their own kebabs.” I’m trying to imagine a bunch of people standing around in the kitchen, skewering cubes of raw meat. Do people actually do that?

The finished work

The result: tasty, tender kebabs (at least my wife says they were “delicious”). I think the rice could have used a little more seasoning, but otherwise it was fine.


  1. JUICE FROM THE PICKLE JAR INSTEAD OF DILL!!! Agh, that’s great. i love it, You’re not TOTALLY domesticated, afterall. it sounds so…bachelor. awesome, though, that made my day. i’m glad they came out well, but i also can’t believe you sacrificed the garlic. but, hey, you cook way more than i do, so crock on.

  2. Right?! A bunch of folks handling raw meat around a George Foreman in my kitchen wouldn’t be much fun for me, either. I get twitchy if anyone dares to step into my kitchen when I’m working.It’s

    Get Out, you fool! I have big knives!

    Also, I’m one of those people who expects the food to be cooked for me when I go to a dinner party.

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