Lamb and Cherry Kebabs from Aleppo
|Source:||From the Wine Enthusiast Pairings Book|
This recipe is adapted from Little Foods of the Mediterranean by Clifford A. Wright (Harvard Common Press, 2003). The spice blend, baharat, is a necessary ingredient. The amounts below will yield far more than the 2 tablespoons needed, but the blend will keep for several months.
|Number of Servings:||Makes 10 skewers|
|Ingredients:||For the baharat
1/4 cup black peppercorns
1/4 cup allspice berries
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
For the kebabs
1 1/2 pounds boneless leg of lamb, trimmed of fat and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons baharat
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Ten 8- to 10-inch skewers (see above)
50 fresh black or Bing cherries, pitted
Pitted black olives
|Directions:||To prepare the baharat: In a spice grinder, grind the peppercorns and allspice together, transfer to a bowl, and blend with the cinnamon and nutmeg. Store in a jar in your spice rack, away from sunlight. It will lose pungency as time goes by, but properly stored, it will be good for many months.
To prepare the kebabs: In a medium bowl, toss the lamb, baharat, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, salt, and pepper together. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Meanwhile, prepare a hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill for 15 minutes on high heat. Skewer the lamb, interspersed with cherries, using 5 pieces of meat and 4 or 5 cherries per skewer. Place the skewers on the grill and cook, turning occasionally, until the meat is browned and springy to the touch, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately on a platter with pita bread, tomato wedges, and black olives.