Sunday, April 17, 2016

Grilled Lamb Skewers with Roasted Carrots #SundaySupper

These grilled lamb skewers are made with tender marinated leg of lamb chunks, cooked over high heat in a grill pan, then left to rest on sweet roasted young spring carrots. A sprinkle of feta and mint lend even more flavor and just the right touch of saltiness to this flavorful dish.

A number of years ago, when we were living in Kuala Lumpur, I had a friend who would buy the organic new baby carrots, greens still attached, that would turn up on occasion in one of our grocery stores. They weren’t cheap but she said that they were worth the splurge. As much as I like carrots, I didn’t imagine that she could be correct. Who would pay that much – don’t remember the exact amount except that it seemed like a lot – for carrots? Not me. After all, how special could they be?

Last week I decided that a simple spring vegetable minestrone would be the perfect recipe to share on the Sunday Supper Movement website for today’s Welcome Spring event, and since it was for the website and not just this little blog, I did splurge. I bought freshly hulled peas, fine French beans, baby zucchini, baby leeks and tiny corn on the cob along with a large bunch of spring carrots, greens still attached. Such a pot of sweet wonderfulness.


I used just a couple of the carrots in the soup so I started looking for another recipe to show off the rest. My original plan for this post was simply spring lamb but when I came across a recipe on Bon Appétit for lamb skewers with carrots, it seemed like kismet. (Which is comes from the Arabic word for fate, by the way.)

Of course, Bon Appétit being Bon Appétit, the dish was complicated with two marinades and then a dressing, so I simplified it down to one marinade for the lamb and a mere sprinkling of feta and mint for the finished dish. Ain’t nobody got time for all that. I can’t imagine how this could be improved upon. It was perfect in every way and the carrots were fabulous. Sweet, tender and with such wonderful flavor. Now I know what my friend was talking about! Next time I make this, I will double the carrots so I suggest you do too. I’ve already been back to the store and bought another bunch.

Ingredients to serve 2-3
For the spring lamb skewers:
1 lb 3oz or 540g leg lamb chunks

For the lamb marinade:
2 large garlic cloves
1 small red chili pepper
2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/4 cup or 60ml dry white wine
1 teaspoon large grain sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup or 60ml olive oil

For the oven roasted spring carrots:
9 1/3 oz or 265g spring carrots
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (a good drizzle to coat)
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

To serve:
8-10 fresh mint leaves
2 oz or 57g crumbled feta
Freshly ground black pepper

Method
Cut the lamb into bite-sized pieces and put them in a Ziploc bag.


Mince your garlic and red chili pepper. Strip the rosemary leaves off of the stems and chop them finely.

Add all the marinade ingredients into a mixing bowl up to and including the black pepper, then whisk in the olive oil until well blended.



Pour the marinade into the bag with the lamb. Mix it around until the lamb is well coated, then press all of the air out and seal. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes but you can also make this early in the day and leave it marinating till you are ready to cook dinner. Mine marinated about three hours.

To roast the carrots, preheat your oven to 400°F or 200°C.

Scrub the carrots well and cut the long tops of the greens off. You can leave on a little bit for color, if desired. If some of the carrots are thicker than the others, cut them in half lengthwise.

Pile the carrots on a baking pan, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then spread them out so they aren't touching each other.



Roast in the preheated oven until lovely and golden and caramelized, turning once in the middle of roasting time of about 20-25 minutes.



Thread your lamb onto wooden skewers cut to fit snugly in your grill pan. Discard the bag with the marinade.


Heat the pan over high heat. You’ll need to turn your extractor fan on or perhaps even open a window because this is going to smoke. But it’s going to be fast and worth it, I promise.

Once your pan is scorching hot, lay four of the lamb skewers in it, quickly searing one side. You don’t want to crowd the grill pan so don’t try to cook them all at once.

Cook for 2-3 minutes on that side, then turn and cook the other side for another 2-3 minutes.

This will leave your small bites of lamb still pink inside. If you want them done more, cook for another minute or two on each side. I encourage you to leave them pink inside though, because they will be more tender.

As you remove the cooked lamb from the grill pan, rest the skewers on the roasted carrots.

Continue until all of your lamb skewers are done and are resting on the carrots. Give the whole pan another few grinds of fresh black pepper.

Crumble the feta and rip the mint leaves onto the lamb and carrots.



Enjoy!



Who is ready to welcome spring with me? My Sunday Supper family sure is. Check out all the lovely spring recipes they are sharing today!

Breakfast:
Appetizers:
Beverages:
Main Dishes:
Side Dishes:
Desserts:
Plus Spring Vegetable Minestrone and more Spring Recipes from Sunday Supper Movement
Sunday Supper Movement

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