Etheric Recipe #2: Grilled Lamb on Flatbread

Grilled meat, grilled bread, and cool yogurt make this dish a well-balanced way to kick off the summer

A bit of friendly note, this is a very meat centric post, so if that isn’t quite your thing you may want to skip this post.

Onto my second recipe installment for Daniel Swensen’s Orison, hot off tail of the last beverage recipe of Barley Cocoa Tea. So if you wanted something a bit more substantial you’re in luck, I’m giving it to you with a take on street food. Daniel asked for something a soldier would partake of, so I wanted to make something hot, savory, and filling.

Given the time of year, I really wanted to leverage the freedom to grill something up, and try a few takes on lamb. I’ve gone a bit further and grilled the flatbread over the charcoal as well, which I imagine would translate well into fiction, ideally into a three person operation over a very long built-in grill so they could work the fires side by side, one dutifully turning the meat skewers, another firing bread to order based on the number of people in line, and finally a runaround handling any prep work needed for the resting meat and add-on condiments.

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Now if you want to skip straight to the recipe, go ahead and click here.

I’ve been on a real lamb kick for a while now, particularly after paying a bit of attention at the supermarket and realizing a good leg of lamb was actually cheaper per pound than several cuts of beef. Given the lovely gamey flavor and prominence in swords and sorcery stories, I had to make something with lamb for the Etheric collection. (I’m still desperately eager to try mutton someday, which seems incredibly hard to source outside of certain special restaurants in Kentucky).

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Due to a leg shortage at the store, I actually experimented with shoulder chops as well, but in my opinion, a leg of lamb works best for both of the approaches I attempted. Boneless is a lot easier to work with, but if you’re handy with a knife, a bone in leg isn’t too hard to deal with.

You’ll want to cut it into roughly 1.5 inch cubes.

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For my first take, I turned to my usual standbys of citrus, onion, garlic, and Italian seasoning, and of course salt and pepper. A whole medium onion diced will do.

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Why use a few cloves of garlic when you can use five or more. I might have taken it a bit easy here, more garlic rarely hurts in my opinion.

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With a bit of Italian seasoning thrown into the mix for a bit of an accent, the whole lot will be mixed into two cups of fresh squeezed orange juice and a half cup of pure olive oil.

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Important, don’t forget the salt. A tablespoon was pretty good for 1.5 lbs of lamb.

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Allow to marinate for at least a few hours.

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Next I wanted to go with a more South Asian approach. This is some Garam Masala, sourced from Penzey’s. Two tablespoons.

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I kicked it up a bit with some homemade chili flakes. These are not your pizzeria’s chili flakes, so you may want to add more if you want more kick.

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I blended a tablespoon of kosher salt, two teaspoons of chili flakes, and the garam masala together.

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About five cloves of garlic were minced and tossed on.

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Along with a quarter cup of olive oil, all of this was well incorporated into the lamb by hand, and rubbed evenly throughout.

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I wanted to add a nice bit of garnish, so I sautéed some sliced bell pepper.

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Along with some red onion.

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to make a nice caramelized addition to the finished product.

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I figured something yogurt based would make an excellent spread as well, particularly with the spicier lamb.

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So I whipped up a quick cucumber raita. I think a Tzatziki would do nicely as well.

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After your meat has marinated for a while, it’s time to get cooking. Remember to soak your skewers in water for at least a half hour before skewering the meat and grilling it.

I noticed that the citrus marinated lamb turned much paler in color than the spice rubbed one. Interesting effects of acid on meat I suppose.

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As far as the flatbread is concerned, I wanted to fire it up on the grill as well. It’s your basic 5:3 ratio bread, but instead of put into a loaf for the second rise, it is flattened into disks and allowed to rest a bit in olive oil before throwing directly onto the grill.

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A large flat tin is particularly good for resting your bread in due to its lightness and how nicely oil spreads into it, but any large flat piece of cookware will do in a pinch.

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Ok, fire up your grill with a sizable bed of coals. You’ll want a good spread of coals over at least half of the bottom, if not just under two thirds. You’ll want a cooler spot to move cooked items to.

Carefully lay the bread onto the grill and let cook for a few minutes, then check every few minutes.

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You’ll want it to get a bit of color and have it come easily off of the grill, then flip it over. Watch like a hawk, then move to cool side for a few minutes to finish the “baking.”

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Repeat until all the dough is dealt with.

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top off the remaining coals with a fresh layer, and allow that to get ashy if you have the patience. Or not, like me. Temperature is what’s important. You want it to be uncomfortable to place your hand over the heat for too long. That’s when it is hot enough.

Now let’s get to the meat! This will actually be fairly quick, but you’ll need to keep an eye on it. Lay down the skewers for about 2-3 minutes. Then start turning until all the exposed meat is cooked.

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This is about a 6-8 minute grilling time total. Yes, those are chicken gizzards in the lower left. I’ll share that recipe later if there’s any interest.

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Remove the skewers to a bowl or plate to rest as they come off the grill. Here’s the spicy variant (alongside some skewered gizzards).

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And here’s the citrus.

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After the meat is rested, remove it from the skewers and chop/slice it into bit size pieces.

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Spread a layer of yogurt based dip of your choice onto a piece of flatbread, then layer on top with a good amount of sliced lamb.

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Finally, lay on a layer of griddled bell peppers and onion. Fold over as necessary, take a huge bite, and make any adjustments you might need with salt or more spread.

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So what’s the verdict? If you like the full forth of the meat and to feel the lamb, then the citrus method is a go. But something about the spiced version was incredibly addictive, and I would actually recommend that one personally. Or try both and let me know!

Well, I hope you enjoyed this installment of Etheric recipes. Stay tuned for what’s next! Feel free to tell me if you’d prefer a dessert, a drink, or an appetizer for the next installment!

Recipes:

Grilled Lamb on Flatbread (serves many)

  • Grilled lamb skewers, rested and sliced (recipes follow)
  • Grilled flatbread (recipe follows, or substitute store-bought pita bread)
  • Cucumber raita (recipe here) or Tzatziki
  • Griddled pepper and onion
  1. Spread a piece of flatbread with cucumber raita or Tzatziki.
  2. Put down a thin layer of lamb.
  3. Top with griddled pepper and onion.

Citrus Marinated Lamb Skewers

  • 2-3 pounds of lamb, cubed
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1/2 cup pure olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 6-10 long skewers, soaked in water for at least half an hour.
  1. Combine all ingredients except lamb and mix thoroughly to make a marinade.
  2. Place lamb into a large bowl and cover with the marinade.
  3. Cover bowl with plastic and allow to marinate for at least two hours or overnight.
  4. Remove lamb from marinade and allow to drain. Discard marinade.
  5. Slide lamb cubes onto skewers, not too tightly.
  6. Start your gas grill or fire up a chimney of charcoal.
  7. Over high gas or a hot bed of charcoal, grill for a few minutes, then turn every few minutes until the meat is well browned, then remove to a plate to rest for at least fifteen minutes.

Spicy Grilled Lamb Skewers

  • 2-3 pounds of lamb, cubed
  • 2 tbsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1/2-1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup pure olive oil
  • 6-10 long skewers
  1. Combine all ingredients except lamb and garlic and mix thoroughly to make a rub.
  2. Place lamb into a large bowl and add the garlic and rub. Toss well by hand to distribute the rub, add oil and toss again to distribute the oil
  3. Cover bowl with plastic and allow flavors to meld for at least an hour and as much overnight.
  4. Remove lamb from marinade and allow to drain. Discard marinade.
  5. Slide lamb cubes onto skewers, not too tightly.
  6. Start your gas grill or fire up a chimney of charcoal.
  7. Over high gas or a hot bed of charcoal, grill for a few minutes, then turn every few minutes until the meat is well browned, then remove to a plate to rest for at least fifteen minutes.

Grilled bread

(Note, you should really bake using a scale, but I provide standard measurement for the flour as well)

  • 20 oz bread flour (roughly four cups)
  • 12 oz lukewarm water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar or honey, optional
  1. Place flour in bowl and add salt. Mix well or sift.
  2. Top with water and yeast (and honey if using), then allow yeast to dissolve and activate, roughly 5-10 minutes
  3. Knead with bread hook of a stand mixer for ten minutes or knead by hand until it passes the windowpane test, about 15-20 minutes. (To do the windowpane test, take a piece of dough and stretch until it turns translucent. If it tears before this, you need to knead more).
  4. Remove dough to an oiled bowl and let rise until it doubles in size.
  5. Punch down dough, knead for a few minutes then divide into 8 portions and flatten, then toss with oil and lay onto a flat sheet or tin. Let rest for an hour.
  6. Start your gas grill or fire up a chimney of charcoal.
  7. Over high gas or a hot bed of charcoal, grill for a few minutes until the bread peels away easily and with good color.
  8. Continue grilling on other side until the same color is achieved, moving to the cool side of the grill to finish. Tap with a utensil if you are unsure, it will sound dry and a bit hollow when done.
  9. Remove from grill and let rest on a plate until ready to use.

Griddled pepper and onion

  • Two green bell peppers, sliced thin
  • 1 large red onion, sliced thin
  • Pinch of salt
  • Vegetable or pure olive oil for sauteing.
  1. Set a heavy skillet over medium heat for a few minutes to come to temperature
  2. Spread a thin layer of oil across the surface of the pan.
  3. Add the peppers and pinch of salt to release the moisture.
  4. Continue cooking and tossing for a few minutes.
  5. Add red onion. Continue to toss in pan until it reaches desired softness, then put in a bowl until ready to use.

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