Grilled Lamb Kebab

Our 2017 Whistle Punk offers aromas and flavors of ripe plums, rose petals, herbs and caramel which stands up exceptionally well to richly flavored grilled lamb. I have modified my favorite recipe to create these Grilled Lamb Kebobs to pair with the Whistle Punk and served hot off the grill, arranged over a vibrant bed of yellow saffron rice and a crisp apple-fennel-carrot slaw.

Hope you enjoy it! – Ray

YIELD: 4-6 servings

Ingredients for BBQ sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cups port wine
  • 3/4 cup black cherry juice
  • 4 tablespoons of fig jam
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Ingredients for marinade paste:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger powder
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced thyme (or 2 teaspoons dried thyme)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced oregano
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce

For the lamb kabobs:

  • 3 pounds boneless leg of lamb, cut into 2 inches cubes (gristle and membrane removed)
  • Wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes

YIELD: 4-6 servings

Make the sauce:

  • Place the port wine, figs or fig jam, rosemary and black cherry juice in a medium sauce pan, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the mixture has reduced by half. Stir occasionally.
  • In a second, larger sauce pan combine the white wine vinegar, ketchup, honey, brown sugar, chili powder, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and reduce by half.
  • After both mixtures have reduced, strain the figs out of the port wine mixture, add it to the vinegar mixture and stir well. Let cook for an additional 3 minutes and remove from the heat. Sauce will keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

Marinate the lamb:

  • In a large mixing bowl combine the marinate paste ingredients and mix well. Add the lamb cubes, and stir until all of the meat is well coated. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours before grilling.

Make the kabobs:

  • Preheat a grill on medium to medium-high heat.
  • Place 3-4 pieces of marinated lamb on each pre-soaked skewer.
  • For medium rare, grill the lamb kabobs for two minutes on each side, for a total of 8 minutes.
  • When finished grilling, brush with the fig BBQ sauce, and serve extra sauce on the side.
  • Serve immediately.

To Plate:

Place one cup each of the fennel – apple – carrot slaw and yellow rice side by side on the plate.  Arrange the skewers of lamb off to one side and brush additional Fig BBQ sauce over the lamb.  Serve the lamb hot!