While we’re still in autumn, and hopefully while the weather is still good enough to light a barbecue, give this a go. The juicy lamb kebabs with herby, spicy chimichurri salsa are fabulous with the smoky hummus. All you need on the side is a leafy salad and some warmed flatbreads.
This is a recipe I created for Suffolk magazine to accompany a feature in October’s issue on Hill Farm Oils, a Suffolk company who were the first in the UK to make and market cold-pressed rapeseed oil.
Obviously, as I was writing about Hill Farm, I used their flavoured oils and was given a set free to try. You can, of course, substitute others but I genuinely like the balance of flavours in theirs and their regular oil, which I usually buy retail, is my kitchen standby.
You can see Hill Farm in action in this video from Red Tractor. They’re a family firm and the oil they press on site is a million miles away from industrially processed rapeseed oil, normally labelled just as vegetable oil (or canola in in north America), sold in giant plastic bottles in supermarkets.
Chimichurri is very much not local to me, although all the ingredients came either from my own garden or from Suffolk companies. It’s a herby Argentinian salsa with a touch of chilli heat. It’s normally eaten with beef steak but works perfectly with lamb.
Lamb Kebabs with Chimichurri and Smoky Hummus
Ingredients for the chimichurri:
300g parsley leaves, picked from stems and roughly chopped (keep a few sprigs for garnish)
3 heaped tbs fresh oregano or marjoram leaves, picked and roughly chopped, or 3 tsp dried
1 shallot, peeled and chopped
¾ tsp salt
A good grind of black pepper
30ml red wine vinegar
60ml cold-pressed rapeseed oil
2 tsp chilli oil (or less, if yours is really fierce)
Ingredients for the kebabs:
Approx 750g lamb leg, trimmed of skin, fat and sinew
1/3 or the chimichurri, see recipe
Ingredients for the smoky hummus:
400g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
2 or 3 tbs tahini paste
Zest and juice of ½ a lemon
A good pinch of salt
Approx 30ml water
60ml smoked rapeseed oil + more to drizzle
To make the chimichurri, put all the ingredients except the oils in a food processor and whizz until roughly chopped. Keeping the machine running, add the oils slowly through the funnel, until the sauce is emulsified but still has texture. Check the seasoning and heat level and scrape into a bowl.
Cut the lamb into large bite-sized chunks and place in a bowl with about one third of the chimichurri. Stir to coat, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
If you’re using wooden skewers, put them to soak in water so they don’t burn.
To make the hummus, reserve 2 tbs of the chickpeas and put the remainder, with all the ingredients except the oil, in the bowl of a food processor. Whizz to a chunky paste, then add the oil slowly through the funnel while the machine is running. Blend to your preferred texture – I like mine a bit nubbly. If it’s too thick, add a little warm water. Cover and set aside.
Heat a barbecue, grill or griddle pan to hot. Thread the meat onto skewers and cook for 3 or 4 minutes a side until browned and charred on the edges but still juicy. Remove and keep warm. While they rest, heat a teaspoon of rapeseed oil in a small pan and quickly brown the reserved chickpeas, stirring so they don’t catch.
Spread the hummus over the centre of a serving plate and arrange the kebabs on top. Scatter over the toasted chickpeas and garnish with the reserved herbs. Drizzle the meat with a little more of the chimichurri, serving the rest on the side.