Today’s recipe comes courtesy of my Italian in-laws. After marrying into an Italian family, I learned one of the many Italian traditions that I would come to love. This recipe is traditionally cooked each time we would gather to celebrate a church sacrament. When one of the grandchildren were baptized, or made their first communion or confirmation we celebrated with a lamb and more particularly with this special recipe.
My in-laws Josephine and Tony always prepared this meal, and I am in love with Lamb Skewers. When it came time for my children’s celebrations, I took it upon myself to work side by side with my in-laws in the kitchen to learn this family tradition.
After they passed away, the family looked to me, the keeper of the recipe to continue the tradition. With Easter approaching, this dish comes to mind, because it also makes a wonderful Easter meal.
Barbecue Lamb Skewers
Prepare the meat the day before.
Tony and Josephine always went to the local farm and bought a young lamb and had it slaughtered for the event. (This is not for the faint of heart or vegetarians.) I am not quite that adventurous, I make a trip to my local butcher and usually buy just lamb legs, I find this provides the most amount of meat. Allow for about 1 lb per person.
With a very sharp knife, you will simply cut the meat off the leg bone into small pieces, about the size of your thumbnail. Don’t worry about cutting your meat into nice square pieces; this is a very rustic dish. Also do not trim all the fat off the meat, leave some on, this offers lots of flavour.
Once you cut all the meat off the bone, skewer the meat. Metal skewers are best and particularly skewers that are not very thick as your meat will not be in large pieces. Once the meat has been skewered, lay them on the cookie sheet, and sprinkle generously with kosher or sea salt. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
On day 2, prepare a charcoal BBQ, I cannot stress enough that it must be charcoal, nothing else compares. My father-in-law actually built a BBQ just for this event that would hold the skewers for ease of cooking. You can see it in the pictures. Once the coals are hot, place your skewers on the BBQ turning while they cook. We salt them again as they are cooking. I wish I could give you a time but it is basically done to taste. They are best just when the fat starts to get a little crispy. Serve them hot of the grill with a side of pasta, some bread and a glass of red wine.
|Lamb is on the BBQ!|
|The men love to BBQ the lamb skewers|
|My husband his cooking, brothers watching!|
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