It was a nice warm day, and I had some lamb and inspiration hit! Naturally the desire for something nice and charred overcame me, but if you like, these can also be prepared in the broiler or oven.
For the Kebabs
- 1 1⁄2 lbs ground lamb (may use up to 50% ground beef chuck)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large white onion, grated
- 5 -6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1⁄2 lemon, juice of (without seeds)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano (may use 1/3 amount dried)
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced (may use 1/3 amount dried)
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced (may use 1/3 amount dried)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 9 -12 metal skewers or 9 -12 bamboo skewers
- 9 -10 large warmed pita bread or 9 -10 large lavash bread, pieces
Suggested Pita Toppings
- prepared tzatziki, sauce (buy this or you may use Tzatziki) (optional)
- crumbled feta cheese (optional)
- chopped fresh Italian parsley (use heavily for the best effect) (optional)
- chopped ripe tomato (optional)
- minced white onion (optional)
- za'atar spice mix (buy this or may use Za'atar) (optional)
- cayenne pepper (optional)
- If using bamboo skewers, soak them submerged in warm water for 30 minutes to one hour before using.
- Combine ingredients for kebabs in a mixing bowl and stir thoroughly or use hands to mix until all ingredients are evenly incorporated.
- Prepare grill.
- Oil your hands and make meatballs (koftas) or, if you prefer, torpedo shapes about 6-inches long and place these on prepared skewers (about 3 koftas per skewer) and set them onto waxed paper while finishing the others.
- When all skewers are prepared, grill them over moderately hot coals (may also use broiler or oven, but will lose the char-grilled flavor), until cooked through, turning once.
- Prepare sandwich by warming pita or lavash and placing three (4 if necessary) koftas on the bread or one torpedo, plus some of the tzatziki.
- Sprinkle heavily with the parsley, add some feta cheese, some chopped tomato, a light sprinkling of minced onion, a few pinches of za'atar and cayenne (if you like it spicy, but the za'atar gives a nice flavor!) (Or you may use whatever toppings you prefer).
- Roll up the bread without tearing it, wrap gently with foil or plastic wrap, and serve (I like to serve this with Greek Salad recipe#26384, and some fresh fruit, but lots of Greek and/or Middle Eastern recipes would go great with this!).
The flavors in this dish are exquisite! We loved it 5 stars for flavor and enjoyment! Even my 2 & 4yo grandsons devoured them. I only gave 4 stars because I had to add about a cup of breadcrumbs for binder to get them to hold together well enough to grill. And even then they barely hung on until they were cooked enough not to fall through the grill. Otherwise I followed the recipe exactly as written. Next time I make these (and there will be a next time) I will add the bread crumbs and just form elongated patties. The meat didn't want to stay on the skewers anyway, it was just too soft of a mixture. We used all the suggested toppings and I highly recommenmd the za'atar. Thanks Lorie for a very delicious meal!!!
I love Greek food, but I had never made it at home, so I went on a search for good, well written recipes that were thorough. This one definitely measured up. Lamb is strong tasting, but this recipe has a lot of "zingy" ingredients that seem to tame the lamb and make it incredibly flavorful. I used a little extra lemon, so I added breadcrumbs from one slice of bread to help bind the meat mixture. I also blended the ground lamb with all the ingredients in a food processor before putting it on the skewers. It gave it a more "pressed" texture like gyros look on spits in Greek restaurants. Since you can't sample raw meat to make sure you've gotten enough salt and spices; I sautéed a small meatball to taste before grilling. I prepared the suggested tzatziki sauce (80959) which was thick and yummy, and also made baked Greek (garlic) lemon potatoes (451) which were fantastic! I also highly recommend using recipe (59898) for Greek-style salad dressing. It has traditional ingredients, plus feta and buttermilk. My kitchen was a complete mess, but the entire meal was delicious!