Chef Brian’s dishes usually have three or four components, so I was really confused by Week 13, Meal 2: Marinated lamb kabobs with a pomegranate, pistachio, citrus and mint relish.
I saw lamb and I saw relish, but was confused at how such a seemingly simple recipe would satisfy.
One bite of the smoky, lemon-softened meat paired with the sweet-tart, crunchy relish and I was sold.
Sometimes keeping it simple yields the best results.
The Recipe (Yield: 2 servings)
1 lb. cubed lamb
4 8-10 inch wooden skewers (soaked in water for 30 minutes; metal skewers would work too)
2 shallots, rough chopped
1 lemon, juiced
1 1/2 T dried mint
1 1/2 t dried oregano
1 t cumin
1 t coriander
1/8 t clove
1/2 t cinnamon
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup shelled pistachios, unsalted, chopped
1 T mint, chopped
1 t olive oil
2 t frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
Salt, to taste
Prepare the marinade in two steps. First, make the spice mix by combining 1 1/2 T dried mint, 1 1/2 t dried oregano, 1 t cumin, 1 t coriander, 1/8 t clove and 1/2 t cinnamon.
Juice 1 lemon and drop the rough chop on 2 shallots. Combine the lemon juice, shallots and 2 T of the seasoning mix in a blender and puree.
In a plastic bag or plastic container, combine the mixture with 1 lb. of lamb and let marinate for about 1 hour. Don’t let it go much longer, or overnight, because the lemon juice tenderizes the meat pretty quickly, and you don’t want to break down the meat too much.
Halfway to when the lamb is ready, soak your skewers so they don’t burn when they are on the grill.
While the meat is taking its flavor bath, remove the arils from a pomegrante so you end up with 1 cup. You can also buy just the arils pre-packaged, but they’re a freakin’ rip off. Here’s an easy way to tame the maroon beast.
Chop 1 T of mint and your prep is done.
Preheat your grill to high. Thread 1/4 of the lamb cubes on each skewer and hit with a little salt, pepper and the remainder of the spice mix.
The final step before grilling is preparing the relish. In a bowl, combine the pomegranate and mint with 1/4 cup shelled pistachios, 1 t of olive oil, 2 t of orange juice concentrate and a little salt. It needs to sit for about 10 minutes, which will be enough time to grill the meat.
Shopping tip: Trader Joe’s sells shelled pistachios for $6 a bag. It’s worth every penny to go this route.
Oil the grates (I use PAM for Grilling) and cook the lamb for about 3 minutes per side. The aim is to go medium-rare with lamb.
Once it’s done cooking, let the skewers rest for a few minutes. To plate: Top two skewers with half of the relish.