When spring rolls around it’s a good time to start checking for marked down lamb (especially around Easter). I almost did my happy dance when I saw this boneless leg of lamb marked $2.99 a pound.
It’s usually $7-8 a pound or more. A big ole chunk of lamb for less than $18 is a lucky find indeed. I brought it home and chucked it in the freezer.
Memorial day weekend seemed like a great time to use it up. I decided to make souvlaki, basically a Greek kebab (kebab being a middle eastern word).
First, we need to separate the fat from the meat. I hacked away at the leg making chunks to marinate. I ended up with three piles. One of just plain fat, one of fat with some meaty bits and one of the meat to be grilled. The fat goes in the garbage and the meat fat bits I wrapped in foil and stuck in the freezer to make stock later. I’m guessing most people won’t bother with this step.
On to the good stuff. I put all the meat chunks in a bowl and made up a marinade in a Ziploc bag. First off, we need garlic and a lot of it. I don’t think you can have too much garlic with lamb. I use the prechopped stuff. I put a healthy blop in the bag. Now on to lemons. I bought a bag at Costco knowing I would be using a bunch this weekend. I squeezed 3 lemons with my little citrus juicer, one at a time, a good arm workout. I chopped up 2 green onions I had in the fridge and threw those in there. For seasoning I used a combination of 2 commercial products.
A Penzey’s Greek seasoning (salt, Turkish oregano, garlic, lemon peel, Tellicherry black pepper and marjoram) and Cavender’s Greek seasoning which is a bit more secretive but contains onion, parsley and 5 “other” spices. I suspect the reason I prefer it is the MSG flavor enhancer that they add. I add several hefty shakes of each into the bag with the lemon, garlic, onions, and a glug of olive oil. Even though lamb is very fatty you need to add the oil so that the lemon doesn’t just eat away at the meat (it sorta precooks it) and it helps coat the meat with the spices. I pour this all over the lamb, stir it up and stick it in the fridge.
Onto the side. I juice another 2 lemons, more olive oil, pepper, salt and less of both seasoning mixes into the bag I used before. The I add my veggies. I have mushrooms, zucchini, yellow squash, purple and white onion. I chunked them up and filled the bag. I squished it around to coat all the veggies and then put those in the fridge as well.
I will also make hash browns and grill some Roma tomatoes.
Several hours later we thread the lamb onto skewers and grill away. When the lamb is mostly done we added the veggies to the grill. Inside I’ve already made the hash browns. During the last few minutes we stuck the halved tomatoes on the grill to cook. Then we pile it all onto the table and feast.
Lucky for us, lamb souvlaki made a great meal.