I had the hardest time deciding on what to post about today. I have a couple more holiday and party recipes I want to share but I also realize that dinner still has to happen. So, I decided on a recipe that works for both. These lamb and shrimp kebabs are great for dinner but you could also make them into small meatballs for a party appetizer. Lamb and shrimp is not a combination you see often but it totally works. The shrimp lightens up the lamb nicely; the onion, cilantro, and cumin punches up the flavor. You could serve the kebabs/meatballs with a harissa sauce but I have always found these to be so flavorful that a sauce really isn’t required.
I will warn you that making the kebabs will require some patience and practice. The lamb mixture is pretty soft and will, initially, not stick well to the skewer. Press the meat firmly around the skewer to help it adhere to the skewer. This is why it is essential to use a flat skewer rather than a round skewer. The flat surface provides more area for the meat to cling to. I ordered my flat skewers from Amazon. If you are short on time and/or patience, just make traditional meatballs. They are equally tasty and require less work. The original recipe called for grilling the kebabs but my version calls for roasting the kebabs. I have found roasting to be easier than grilling and the taste is the same.
- 1 1/4 pounds ground lamb
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined, and coarsely chopped
- About 24 flat bamboo skewers
- Olive oil
- In a large bowl, mix together garlic, onion, cilantro, cumin, salt and black pepper. Add lamb and mix until spices are evenly mixed in. Add shrimp; mix to combine.
- Using about 2 tablespoons of the lamb mixture; form a 2 inch long oval meatball with one hand. Slide a flat skewer halfway into lamb mixture with your other hand. Press the lamb mixture around the skewer to adhere. Lay kebab on a lightly oiled plate. Repeat with remaining lamb mixture and skewers. If the meat mixture sticks to your hands too much, moisten hands slightly with water.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches and adding more oil as needed, brown kebabs on both sides and then lay them in a single layer on a rimmed baking pan lined with aluminum foil. Roast kebabs in the oven until cooked through, about 20 minutes.
Kebabs can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill in refrigerator until ready to cook.
I really recommend using flat bamboo skewers if you are making kebabs. The standard thin round skewers really don’t work well. If you don’t have flat skewers or just don’t want to deal with skewers, I recommend making traditional meatballs instead.
To save time and keep from having one more pan to clean, you can skip the browning step and just roast the kebabs/meatballs in the oven. You may need to increase the cooking time depending on the size of your kebabs/meatballs. The kebabs/meatballs won’t have the nice sear on the outside but will still be very tasty.