Fruity & Spicy Lamb Kebabs with Coriander Pesto – Carey Boucher Erasmus

Carey Boucher Erasmus Fruity & Spicy Lamb Kebabs with Coriander PestoCarey Boucher Erasmus’s Fruity & Spicy Lamb Kebabs with Coriander Pesto

Carey says: “As a child, our family went through a phase where we often braaied an assortment of ”sosaties” (kebabs). One I remember in particular was a lamb and dried fruit combination. Come to think of it, we haven’t had fruity lamb kebabs in years! I think my mom marinated them in a curried chutney mixture, it was pretty delish.
So with that memory is mind, I thought I’d bring my version to the table. Firstly, I make a homemade spice rub for the cubed lamb steak and I soak a selection of Cecilia’s Farm dried fruit (Bon Chretien Pears, Elberta Peaches, Royal Apricots and Pitted Prunes) in hot rooibos tea for 30 minutes to allow the fruit to soften and absorb some South African flavour. The spiced lamb cubes and soaked fruit are skewered alternately onto kebab sticks together with some red onion leaves, then ready to grill on a moderately hot griddle pan or over coals. Delicious served with a vibrant coriander pesto made with Cecilia’s Farm MD & founder’s favourite (and mine), Smoked Almonds. I love how soft, squishy and caramelised the fruit becomes and how their sweet and tart flavours are accentuated and marry beautifully with the lamb spices and the freshness (and slight smokiness) of the pesto. It truly is a delight to eat served with a couscous salad packed with chickpeas, feta, herbs and roasted butternut. It’s the perfect meal for any season!”

Fruity & Spicy Lamb Kebabs with Coriander Pesto

Ingredients
6-8 Dried Bon Chretien Pears
6-8 Dried Elberta Peaches
6-8 Pitted Prunes
6-8 Dried Royal Apricots
1 cinnamon quill/stick
1 litre strong hot rooibos tea

6-8 wooden meat skewers, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes

Rub
5 ml coriander seeds
5 ml cumin seeds
2.5 ml black mustard seeds
4 cardamom pods, crushed open
5 ml black peppercorns
2.5 ml dried chilli flakes
2.5 ml coarse salt
2.5 ml dried rosemary
2.5 ml dried oregano
2 ml smoked paprika

800 g lamb steak (ask your local butcher), diced into 4 cm cubes
30 ml olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 small red onions, cut into quarters then separated into leaves

Coriander Pesto

[Makes +- 250 ml]
60 g fresh coriander leaves
50 g Cecilia’s Farm Smoked Almonds
1 fat clove garlic
a pinch of dried chilli flakes (optional)
juice and zest of 1 lemon
5 ml white wine vinegar
50 g feta cheese, crumbled
+- 180 ml olive oil
Freshly milled salt and pepper to taste

Method
Place the dried fruit and cinnamon stick in a large shallow dish and cover with rooibos tea. Allow to steep for at least 30 minutes or until the fruit softens.
In a small pan, toast the coriander, cumin, mustard seeds and cardamom until fragrant. Remove and grind with remaining herbs and spice using a pestle and mortar.
Rub the spice mixture onto the meat and allow to stand at room temperature while preparing the pesto and waiting for the fruit to soften.
For the pesto: In a food processor, blend the coriander leaves, almonds, garlic, chilli, lemon and vinegar together until it resembles a chunky pesto consistency. Add the feta, and then slowly add the oil until desired consistency is reached. Season well with salt and pepper. Spoon into a jar, seal and chill in the fridge until ready for use.
Remove fruit from rooibos tea. Rub the olive oil and garlic onto the spiced lamb.
With the soaked kebab sticks, skewer the lamb and soaked fruit alternately with the red onion leaves. You should have 1 of each fruit on each kebab.
Heat a griddle pan until smoking hot, then grill over moderate heat for 15- 20 minutes (for medium-rare), turning the kebabs every 2 minutes. These can also be done over moderately hot coals. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Serve with coriander pesto and a simple couscous salad with chickpeas, roasted butternut, herbs and feta.

Michael’s wine recommendation – CLICK HERE

KWV Perold Tributum 2011 cork

Carey Boucher ErasmusCarey Boucher Erasmus

Carey Boucher Erasmus is a food writer, photographer, recipe developer and restaurant consultant.

She says, “As far as I can remember, I loved being in the kitchen. I grew up watching my mother in wonder as she prepared a myriad of dishes on any given day. And when my grandmother baked, I would be the official bowl licker.  I even owned a mini wooden oven and stove set and always imagined myself being a chef while “cooking up” pots of mud and grass.

When I was old enough to reach the real stove and sink, I started cooking and experimenting – from dodgy rubbery microwave chocolate cake to edible and sometimes rather delicious meals. I loved home-economics in high school and even joined a “catering society”.

After matric, I studied Food science and Nutrition at Cape Technikon where I specialised in recipe, product development, nutrition and food communication (styling, food demonstrating etc.).  In my final year, I graduated with 8 distinctions and  achieved the title of Class valedictorian which I was pretty chuffed about. I was ready to go out into the food industry!”

Do follow her on her website – http://bitsofcarey.co.za

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