These Turkish-style lamb shish kebabs are juicy and delicious, served hot and fresh from your own oven on a bed of rice flavoured with sweet, succulent, buttery leeks.
The tomato and leek salsa is the perfect companion to those wonderful marinated kebabs, much more mellow than the more common versions with raw garlic and onion, as the leeks are sweeter and much less pungent. Add extra chilli if you like some heat.
Marinating time: up to 3 hours
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
For the kebabs:
500g lamb (neck fillet), cut into cubes
1½ tbsp olive oil
1½ tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp garlic powder (or two fat cloves garlic crushed)
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp tomato puree – optional to add richness (the sundried version is best)
For the rice:
15 g butter
15 g olive oil
2 cloves garlic
200 g rice – long grain white basmati (don’t use easy cook rice, as it is no easier and produces disappointing results!)
480 ml chicken or veggie stock (check gluten free if needed)
For the tomato leek salsa:
100 g fresh tomatoes
5 cm of fresh leek – finely chopped
½ mild red chilli – to taste
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil
Generously season with salt, pepper and chopped fresh parsley or coriander.
To make the kebabs
Chop the lamb into roughly 3 cm 1″ pieces. Trim off larger pieces of fat but don’t remove it all.
Put the lamb in a bowl and add all the other ingredients. Stir well. Cover the bowl and leave to marinate in the fridge. Ideally, leave the lamb for at least 2–3 hours. If you need to, though, you can marinate for a minimum of half an hour. While the meat is marinating, make the salsa.
Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking and slide the meat onto 8 skewers. If you are using bamboo skewers rather than metal ones, you should soak these in water first. Once you have prepared the kebabs start the rice.
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C / 180°C fan / Gas 5 / 375°F. Arrange the skewers in a baking pan, ready for the oven. If you can, set them on a trivet in the pan, so that any excess fat can drain off.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. If you like, you can finish the meat off on a hot, oiled griddle or frying pan to char the edges.
To make the salsa
Simply combine all the ingredients in a bowl, cover and leave in the fridge, allowing the flavours to mingle while you prepare the rice and the lamb.
To make the rice
Peel and dice the onion. Cut the clean, prepared leeks in half, then quarters lengthwise. Then dice.
Melt the butter and olive oil in a casserole or saucepan with a lid that fits well. Sauté the leek and onion gently, until soft and fragrant. This takes about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and the rice. Fry gently until the grains of rice become translucent.
Season with salt and pepper. Add the stock, put the lid on and turn the heat right down (use a diffuser if necessary to keep the heat low and even). Put the kebabs in the oven.
Cook the rice for 18 minutes. Then turn the heat off and leave to rest for 10 minutes whilst the kebabs finish cooking.
Fluff up the rice with a fork and garnish with freshly chopped parsley or coriander to serve.
Once cool, transfer leftover rice to airtight containers in the fridge and eat within 2 days. Alternatively, it can be frozen. Ensure the rice is thoroughly reheated and is piping hot before eating.
I like to make a double batch of the lamb and freeze the seasoned pieces for another day.