Lamb and porcini kebabs with sage and parmesan
Maybe I've got a bit overexcited with all the sun this week but the barbecue season doesn't seem that far away so it was good to find Dan Vaux-Nobes' 101 BBQ and Grill recipes arriving through my letterbox.
Dan (who's a friend so maybe I'm just a teeny bit biased) has selected some great recipes and given each a practical and quite often hilarious introduction, typical of his blog Essex Eating. The intro below is comparatively restrained but he picked the recipe because it was one of his favourites from the book and could also be cooked on a ridged grill which is useful since it could well be snowing next week. You never know at this time of year.
This is what he says: (good tip about the porcini!)
"Beautiful Italian flavours of sage, porchini mushroom and parmesan are used here to compliment chunks of chargrilled lamb. The recipe calls for fresh porcini which unless you live in rural Italy isn't the easiest (or cheapest) thing to obtain so use the dried and reconstituted in water variety - just make sure you get a pack with dried pieces and not a bag of dried dust. Good luck with threading that on a skewer! Otherwise use chestnut mushrooms. Lovely stuff!"
1 lb. (500g) tender lamb, from the leg or shoulder, cut into bite-sized chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
freshly squeezed juice of 1–2 lemons
leaves from a bunch of fresh sage, finely chopped (reserve a few whole leaves)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4–8 fresh medium-sized porcini/ceps cut into quarters or thickly sliced
truffle oil, to drizzle
Parmesan cheese shavings
grilled or toasted sourdough bread
* Put the lamb pieces in a bowl and toss in the oil and lemon juice. Add the sage and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cover, refrigerate, and leave to marinate for about 2 hours.
* Thread the lamb onto skewers adding a quarter, or slice, of porcini every so often with a sage leaf. Brush with any of the marinade left in the bowl. Prepare a charcoal grill. Cook the kebabs for 3–4 minutes on each side.
* Serve immediately with a drizzle of truffle oil, Parmesan shavings, and toasted sourdough bread, if liked.
What to drink: Frankly any medium-bodied red would be pretty good with this but given the influence is Italian I'd probably go for a Chianti or other Tuscan red. That said, a pinot noir would be great too, especially with the truffle oil.
101 BBQ and Grill Recipes compiled by Dan Vaux-Nobes (CICO Books, £12.99)
Photos © Richard Jung
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