Glazed Lamb Skewers with Charred Tomato and Apricot

Glazed Lamb Skewers with Charred Tomato and Apricot
Staff Writer
Skewers
Food and Photos by Patrick Phelan, Executive Chef, Sonnier & Castle for Assouline

Skewers

For this lamb recipe, the chef drew inspiration from some of the flavors that he found in Coca-Cola, particularly the nutmeg. He used that to create a salty rub on the meat that was then balanced by the tartness of the tomatoes. 

Click here to see the Summertime Cooking with Cola story. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoons orange rind
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup Coca-Cola
  • 3 pounds cubed lamb stew meat
  • 8 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 12 dried apricot pieces
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon apricot preserves
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Directions

Combine the mint, orange rind, lemon juice, honey, vanilla, and Coca-Cola in a mixing bowl. Add the lamb and toss to mix. Cover, and refrigerate 4 hours to overnight.

Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, and lightly oil grate.

Strain the marinade from the lamb into a small saucepan; set aside. Thread the lamb, dried apricot, and cherry tomatoes onto the skewers, using a piece of each per skewer. Cook the skewers on the preheated grill until the lamb has cooked to your desired degree of doneness, about 8 minutes for medium-well.

Meanwhile, bring the reserved marinade to a simmer over medium heat, reducing by 1/3. Add the apricot preserves, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer gently for 5 minutes, adding water if needed to keep the sauce from burning. Dissolve the cornstarch in 1 tablespoon of water, and whisk into the sauce to thicken; simmer the sauce 30 seconds longer.

While lamb is cooking on the grill baste the skewers with the sauce reduction. You can also serve the sauce alongside the lamb.

Lamb Shopping Tip

Look for meat that is bright red. Red meat turns paler as the hemoglobin within releases oxygen – a sign that the meat has been sitting too long at the butcher's counter.

Lamb Cooking Tip

When browning meat, resist the urge to move the meat – you must allow a flavorful crust to form over high heat. Once it has formed, the meat should slide freely with the shake of a pan.

Lamb Wine Pairing

Most red wines, especially cabernet sauvignon, but also including cabernet franc, mourvèdre, Rhône blends, zinfandel, petite sirah, nebbiolo, nero d'avola, primitivo, barbera, and sangiovese.