Rosemary Lavender Lamb Kebabas

In early July we have a beautiful purple hill-side flourish of fresh lavender that gently waves in the early summer breeze. I like to pick the fresh morning lavender stems while the flowers are still buds and hang them upside down to dry and intensify the flavor. I then make a paste of lavender, rosemary, garlic, Dijon mustard, salt and olive oil to rub on either lamb chops or in this case boneless leg of lamb cubes to macerate. As the kebabs grill over hot coals the aroma of lamb, lavender, rosemary and garlic perfumes the air.  This is truly a Mediterranean delight.

6 servings

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup fresh rosemary leaves (stems reserved)
2 teaspoons dried lavender
8 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds boneless leg of lamb, trimmed and cubed

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a food processor mix and pulse the herbs, garlic, mustard, salt, pepper and olive oil.
  2. Trim the lamb of excess fat and sinew. Cut into 1 ½ inch cubes. In a non-reactive pan, smear the herb paste over both sides of the lamb. Marinate overnight.
  3. Skewer the lamb cubes on the reserved rosemary stems.
  4. Preheat a grill or barbeque. Place any extra rosemary stems in a wood burning barbeque, if using. When the stems begin to smoke grill the lamb skewers until 130°F to 135°F measured on a thermometer in the thickest part of the lamb cubes for medium rare.*
  5. Remove from heat and serve. 

*Rare = 120°F to 125°F (bright pink internal color)
*Medium = 135°F to 145°F (pinkish brown internal color)
*Well done = 150°F to 160°F (Grey or light brown internal color)

*The internal temperature will raise approximately 10 degrees if allowed to rest before serving.

For a nice flourish, skewer the lamb cubes with a metal skewer and remove. In the metal skewer’s place use a three-quarters stripped rosemary stem with one inch of leaves on the end. Cover the leaves with foil before grilling the lamb. Serve with another skewer of fresh vegetables on a bed of couscous. 

Lilly Stenbroten