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Shish Kebab

Published: September 9, 2011
Photo by John & Tanya Bäck
This classic skewered meat dish makes a terrific sandwich on warm pita with a side of tzatziki (see recipe, below). It’s also good on a plate of rice with some grilled vegetables on the side. If you’re using bamboo skewers, be sure to soak them for 20 minutes in cold water before using, but I prefer larger metal skewers to hold the heavy meat. Makes 6 servings.

½     cup olive oil
¼     cup lemon juice
4      garlic cloves, minced
2      tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
        Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2      pounds boneless leg of lamb, cut into 1½-inch cubes

1. Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and oregano in a gallon-size ziplock bag, and add a hefty pinch of salt and pepper.
2. Put the lamb chunks in the bag, seal, and turn it to coat all the pieces in the marinade. Marinate for 2 to 3 hours, or as long as overnight, in the refrigerator.
3. When ready to cook, heat a gas grill on high for 10 minutes with the lid closed, or build a medium-hot charcoal fire, with a layer of gray ash over red coals.
4. Thread the meat onto the skewers, leaving a little space in between chunks to allow them to cook through, and place directly over the flame. Cook about 10 minutes, turning a couple times and moving them around the grill to prevent charring, until the edges are golden-brown. (Overcooking dries the meat out.)

This classic Greek sauce is incredibly simple to make, but filled with complex flavors. To make your own version at home, simply peel, then grate and squeeze a cucumber, mix it with Greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper to your taste.
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