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Traditional lamb and pistachio kebab with smoked eggplant and garlic yoghurt

Serves 4
Preparation 1hr
Cooking 20min
Skill level Mid

Somer Sivrioglu



250 g veal rump, cut into cubes
250 g lamb leg, deboned, cleaned
250 g lamb fat (tail fat or lamb bunting fat)
100 g pistachios, finely crushed
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp pepper
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chilli flakes

Eggplant and yoghurt

4 large eggplants
2 tbsp butter, melted
75 g butter
2 tbsp salt
4 garlic cloves
800 g yoghurt, strained (should make 400 g yoghurt)

Chilli butter

75 g butter
1 red capsicum, chopped
50 g marash chilli flakes

Cook's notes:

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

Marinating time3 hours

Drink 4 Pines Brewing Company Kolsch, Manly, NSW

Chop the veal, lamb leg and lamb fat finely. Add the pistachios, salt, pepper, cumin and chilli flakes. Mix until combined. Marinate overnight, or a minimum of 3 hours. Prepare the wood charcoal. Heat until the charcoal changes colour to ash white. Alternatively, use a chargrill plate and heat until smoking.

If using a chargrill plate, shape the meat into round meat ball shapes, as the meat may not stay on the skewer if using a chargrill. If using a wood charcoal, hold the meat in your palm; mould the meat around each skewer, ensuring that the shape of the meat is flat. The meat should occupy three-quarters of the length of the skewer. Rest the skewered meat in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Place the kebabs on the barbecue. Turn the skewers when the fat starts to drip, roughly 3-4 minutes each side.

To make the eggplant and yoghurt, pierce the eggplants with a fork. Place on the charcoal, and turn until blackened all over. Strain in a colander to drain excess water. When cool, peel the skin off and strain once again in a colander for a further 10 minutes. Mash the eggplant flesh with a fork. Add the melted butter.

Melt the remaining butter in a pan. Add to the mashed eggplants and 1 tablespoon of salt.

In a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic with the remaining 1 tablespoon of salt. Mix the strained yoghurt with the crushed garlic.

To make the chilli butter, melt the butter in a pan. Add the capsicum and marash chilli flakes. Cook over a low heat for 2 minutes.

To serve, place the chopped eggplant on the plate. Add the garlic yoghurt. Take the meat off the skewer, and slice into 3 pieces, placing on top of the yoghurt. Drizzle chilli butter over the top of the meat. Serve immediately.

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