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Grilled Lamb Kofta

0603 cloves garlic, minced/pasted
1 tsp kosher salt
1 pound ground beef chuck or lamb
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tbl ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
pinch ground cinnamon
pinch ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Freshly ground black pepper

Mix everything together well. Form into sausage-like shapes around soaked bamboo skewers and refrigerate for at least a half hour or up to 12 hours. Then grill 3-4 minutes a side or until done how you like. Serve with flatbread, tzatziki or whatever.


Mmm, kofta. Or is it kofte? Kefta? Koobideh? Depends on where you are or what part of the Near/Middle East you want to claim it’s from. No matter what you call it it’s seasoned ground lamb on a stick, usually grilled and it’s wicked good. You can also make it with beef or probably anything else, it’s your party, but me I like lamb.

I first came across these a while ago when I was reading about kebabs, which is the category they fall under. Apparently kebab basically means food on a stick and there are approximately a billion different kinds. Now that I have a grill I will be endeavoring to make them all. Kofta is my current favorite, probably because it’s the one I’ve had most recently. Heh.

It’s simplicity itself to make them, just take the seasonings. 009Mix in the meat.014Form around skewers and let chill.021Grill. 037Or broil, sear, pan fry, deep fat fry, however you get down. I didn’t get any pics of the sandwiches I made with these, which is too bad because I made an awesome sour cream, red wine vinegar, sriracha sauce for them. Would have used Greek yogurt, but I didn’t have any and one works with what one has. But tzatziki would be good, clearly, or pretty much any bright sauce to cut the richness of the lamb. And they are rich as the smoke from that picture on the grill testifies to. It was hard to get an action shot that wasn’t obscured by smoke. Ah well, next time. Because I will make these again, they were amazing.  045


Filed under: grill, lamb, middle eastern,

Ancho Grilled Lamb Loin Chops

Holy crap people, words aren’t enough. I mean c’mon, look at that.033

Grill marks, huge flavor and check this:


perfectly medium rare. I know it’s not the best lighting for that pic but I assure you, these were perfect. I can still taste them as I’m writing this, I just couldn’t wait to share. I’m so stoked to have a grill again, it’s insanely exciting for me. I even built a DIY chimney starter, although I need to adjust it. 017023024I’ll do a full post on it once I’ve made one that works how I want it to.

Anyway, the chops. Simplicity itself, salt, pepper and ancho chili powder. I did grill them over 50/50 charcoal and mesquite coals which lent a marvelous flavor, but however you choose to do it would be delightful.   028 - Copy  One of the great things about lamb is that it’s almost impossible to overpower them so you don’t need to be shy with the seasonings, even when it’s something like ancho chili powder. And it’s perfect for the grill just trim the excess fat to reduce flare ups, season to taste and slap it on there. Even if you cook it past medium rare it’s still going to be enormously flavorful just because it is what it is.

So please, if you like lamb grill some soon, I know I’ll be grilling more asap.

Wicked. Good.

Filed under: lamb, on the grill

Lamb Pilaf

From the Vault: Well I spent all morning playing with my 18 month old niece instead of writing so here’s another repost. Plus my computer has been freezing for a few seconds and then unfreezing whenever I’m on the internet. Stupid jerk computer. Anyway, enjoy!


Just a quickie today kids, I’m not even telling you about the butterflied leg of lamb I got the meat (and fat) for this from. Saving that for next week. But this was good.

Really, really good. What I did was took the fat cap off the cooked leg of lamb, chopped it up, rendered it up and poured off the fat and cracklins (mmmm, cracklins). I got some good fond, deglazed that with some weak chicken broth, poured that off, added some of the fat back in and sauteed onions and garlic in it.

Then I cooked the rice like you would for any other pilaf (would have added orzo, but I couldn’t find it, stupid unorganized kitchen), plus some salt, pepper and a little oregano, added the chopped up cooked lamb at the end and… well, that’s it. Except I added the cracklins back in.

Because I’m a madman. It was as unctuous as a dictator’s sycophant, with little bursts of rich lamby goodness from the cracklins. I just love saying that, say it with me, “cracklins”. Good times. If you like lamb, leave a comment and I can try to make up a recipe for it.

Filed under: lamb, rice

Lamb and Beef Gyros


  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 lb ground lamb
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1 tsp dried ground rosemary
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 325. Whiz onion around in a food processor (chopping blades) for about 5 seconds then put it in a towel or cheese cloth, squeeze out the juice and put the onion back in the processor. Toss the juice, unless you have some kind of use for it. Put everything else in the processor and whiz it around until it’s a fine paste, about a minute and you’ll want to scrape the sides periodically. Press the mixture firmly into a loaf pan and bake in a water bath for 60-75 minutes. or until it’s about 170. Place the pan on a cooling rack and put a foiled wrapped brick or similar heavy thing on the meat. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes, you want the internal temp to be 175. Slice and serve, or slice, fry and serve, with pita, tzatziki and anything else you like.
Adapted from Alton Brown
Gyros! Pronounced like “hero”, just so you know. They are one of my very most favorite things ever and yet I had never made them until just a little while ago. They aren’t hard to make, although they do dirty up a big machine and a bunch of other stuff. But the meat also freezes well and reheats like a champ so it’s something you can make a big batch of without having to worry about waste. Enough talk, here’s the tutorial.
First, onions. You must whiz them(and yes, that’s a technical culinary term).
Then plop them in a towel or in my case cheesecloth, and squeeze out the liquid. 255
Feel free to throw out the juice, although if you have a use for it I’d love to hear it. Waste not, etc. Squeezing the onion is a step that some recipes call for and some don’t. I did it because I was aping Alton Browns version and he does it, but I have a hard time imagining that not doing it would make things too wet. There’s plenty of other liquids already and with the pressing at the end any excess will come out, I assume. Next time I make them I won’t do it and I’ll let everyone know how it works. Alright, now everything else.
Oh, wait, no.
My stupid grocery store doesn’t carry ground lamb. So I need to make my own. This is about half a pound of lamb shoulder chops (for stew) that I pulled off the bone and trimmed of fat and other stuff (which I then froze to make stock with, that’s another post though). 267
I whizzed it around until I felt I could call it ground.
Then I put everything else is. 269
After that got pasted I filled this little Pyrex pan thing I have that isn’t really a loaf pan but I don’t have one so who cares.
I also like to fill my sentences with more words than they can hold. Heh. Into the 325 degree oven, then out of the same.
Mmm, lovely. Sort of. So, I don’t have a culinary brick like Alton or Shane , but I do have something similar.
Hey, it’s just about as thick, heavy and unreadable as a brick. Heh. Anyway, that wrapped in foil and a couple cans performed the same function.
Then it’s just wait (the hardest part, like the song says), slice, brown and eat. 008
Yeah baby. 017Browning the slices is technically optional, but really why skip it? It’s so marvelously delightful. So that’s how gyros get made, at least one way. The traditional way involves a spit, slices of meat and fat, a marinade and at least 24 hours. I don’t have the equipment for that, although I wish I did. So if anyone wants to send my an upright spit roaster I’ll be more than happy to do a post about making them like that! Just putting it out there. Heh.

Filed under: beef, Greek, lamb, sandwich

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