Seriously Simple: Celebrate Dad with lamb brochettes on Father’s Day
Sometimes it’s hard to come up with a novel dish to celebrate Dad on his day. My dad loved lamb, and this recipe was always a standout for him and our family. Cooling minted yogurt sauce, an Indian staple condiment, functions as both a marinade that tenderizes the meat and a crunchy, refreshing sauce to serve on the side.
Something wonderful happens to the meat as it grills on an outdoor fire: The orange, cumin and yogurt come together to lightly caramelize the meat. Metal skewers are preferred here, because the meat needs a sturdy skewer to keep it from slipping. Ask your butcher to cut the lamb into 2-inch cubes. I prefer lamb loin or leg of lamb for this dish.
Lamb, particularly American Lamb, has become very expensive. While American is my choice for its refined flavor, New Zealand lamb will work nicely here. Also, sometimes lamb can have a gamey flavor by itself, but marinating the cubes in this creamy spiced blend will help reduce any gaminess in the lamb.
The complementary tomato-mint bulgur suggested here is lovely as a bed for the lamb. Bulgur is wheat that has been steamed and then dried before being ground or crushed, which is why it cooks so quickly. Don’t mistake bulgur for cracked wheat, which takes much longer to cook and has an entirely different texture.
This Mediterranean-inspired grain dish gives the heavy-textured bulgur grain a fresh, light style. I might serve some sauteed green beans to complete the meal. Don’t forget to serve warm rounds of pita bread on the side. The creamy/tangy character of the yogurt suggests a young red such as a zinfandel, pinot noir or syrah to accompany the meal.
Lamb Brochettes with Yogurt Sauce and Tomato-Mint Bulgur
Serves 4 to 6
For the sauce and marinade:
2 cups yogurt
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint