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Persian lamb skewers

We’re trying to squeeze in as much use of the barbecue as possible as the English summer quickly fades, and trying to be as varied as possible with what we throw on it. These lamb skewers were inspired by ones we had at friends’ barbecue which were from their village butcher (thank goodness village butchers stil exist).

I added a small amount of breadcrumbs to my mixture which is not authentic at all. I found a pure meat mixture very difficult to easily shape around the skewers and it also fell off the skewers during cooking, so decided to add the breadcrumbs as an additional binder. Feel free to go with a competely meat mixture.

minced lamb kebabs

While these are perfect for a barbecue, especially when you need to feed lots of people, it would work just as well cooked on a griddle pan over the stove. The amounts are also easily halved to make a smaller amount for a family main course.

You can prepare the meat mixture the day before and leave it in a bowl in the fridge, or shape the meat around the skewers and leave them in the fridge overnight ready for the next day. Remember if you’re using wooden skewers that could burn on the barbecue, soak them for about 30 mins before putting the mixture on them.

Nicholas loves meat anyway, but particularly loved these “meat lollipops”. Of course be careful of skewers with children. You could also add some grated vegetables to the mix to get some more veg into your little ones.

Wonderful served with grilled vegetables, or with Greek yogurt with a squeeze of lemon juice and some chopped mint added.

PERSIAN LAMB SKEWERS

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 15-20 mins
Makes approx. 15 skewers

600g minced lamb
1 onion, grated and excess juice squeezed out
1/4 cup breadcrumbs (optional)
2 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp ground cumin
2 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl mix all the ingredients together (easier if you do it with your hands).

With wet hands to avoid the mixture sticking to them, take a small handful of the meat, shape it into an oval shape and then mould it around the skewer.

Cook on a preheated very hot griddle pan or barbecue, turning regularly to cook evenly, until cooked through (about 15-20 mins).

Variations:

  • Use a mixture of minced beef and lamb.
  • Add some grated vegetables to the meat such as carrot or courgette/zucchini.

 

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Kofte

There’s no doubt my offspring loves meat. How could he not when he’s half Australian?! The other night I made him a fish pie. He’s had something similar before and eaten it but not with any great enthusiasm. This time I put a nice topping of mashed potato and carrot on the top with some fresh bread crumbs and grated cheese. Lots of grated cheese. I was hoping the cheese (one of his favourite foods) would encourage him to eat the fish. To skip to the end of the story, he had slow cooked lamb for dinner, part of the leftovers we were eating, and was very happy about it!

This recipe has a little bit of spice in it (ground cumin). If you’re not sure about your little one having spices, you can leave it out without any problem.

KOFTE

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Makes about 16
Freezable

400g lamb mince
1/4 onion, diced as finely as possible or coarsely grated
1/4 tsp ground cumin
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
A little oil for greasing the grill pan
Yogurt to serve

Heat a grill pan over high heat.

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together until combined. Shape into short sausages about 5cm in length.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turn the grill pan down to medium heat and brush the bars lightly with oil.

Cook the kofte for about 10 minutes until just cooked through (they’ll be quite chewy if you cook them too long), turning every few minutes onto each of their four ‘sides’ so they cook evenly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serve with yogurt as a dipping sauce.

Variations:

  • use 1 shallot instead of the onion for a lighter sweeter flavour
  • used dried herbs rather than fresh
  • add some herbs to the yogurt dip
  • hide some vegetables in the mixture

Other uses:

  • dip them into houmous
  • serve in a pita bread or wrapped in a flatbread with salad