Chef Michael Solomonov of Zahav in Philadelphia adds onion juice or pureed onions to his Middle Eastern–style marinades to tenderize and caramelize the meat. The marinade is great on chicken breast as well as lamb.
1 onion, quartered
1 peeled garlic
4 flat-leaf parsley sprigs
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon kosher salt
pinch of saffron threads
1 1/4 pounds trimmed lamb loin, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Warm pita and Greek-style plain yogurt for serving
How to Make It
In a blender, combine the onion, garlic, parsley sprigs, lemon zest, lemon juice, allspice, salt and saffron and puree until smooth. Transfer the marinade to a resealable plastic bag, add the cubed lamb and turn to coat. Seal the bag, pressing out any air. Refrigerate the lamb for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight.
Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Drain the lamb, shaking off the excess marinade. Thread the lamb onto 4 long skewers, leaving a bit of room between the cubes. Brush the lamb with the oil and grill over high heat, turning occasionally, until lightly charred, about 5 minutes for medium-rare meat. Serve the lamb skewers with warm pita and yogurt.
This marinade is unique and insanely good. I used about 3/4 lb well-trimmed cubed leg of lamb steak, and also threw some chunks of zucchini, vidalia onion, mini sweet peppers, and mushrooms into the marinade and let it sit in the fridge for about 5 hours before threading onto skewers. Sooooo amazing! I definitely will use the marinade again w/ lamb and probably also chicken or pork kabobs, maybe even shrimp, and will serve to guests for sure... this will be my go-to kabob marinade from now on. The only complaint was the 3/4 lb lamb plus the veggies wasn't really enough for two of us, which surprised me. Next time I would maybe serve with couscous or orzo on the side, or just make more skewers... picky boyfriend said he was still hungry but didn't want to eat anything else because he "didn't want to lose the flavor in his mouth!"
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