In the Christian faith, Easter marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ and it’s also a time of sharing. That’s why, in my family, we love to gather for a copious Easter meal. Even though, I no longer live with my parents, I try as best as I can to continue my family tradition by cooking, almost every year, an Easter meal for my family and friends.
And today, I will be sharing with you another of my favorite recipes for Easter. As you probably guessed it, it’s another lamb recipe. That’s because Easter wouldn’t be Easter without a piece of Lamb on my table.
I made honey lamb skewers with grilled vegetables and saffron couscous. I love to use honey in my marinades, especially when I cook meat like beef, veal and of course lamb, because it helps tenderise meat with succulent savour. When you make lamb skewers, it’s always best to turn to your butcher for some advice. However, I love to use pieces like lamb shoulder or leg when I make skewers. Just make sure to trim the fat. Otherwise it will burn.
I decided to add some North African twist by serving my lamb skewers with grilled vegetables and saffron couscous. Saffron gives a beautiful yellow color to the couscous that I love so I may have had a heavy hand on the quantity of Saffron I used. And couscous always goes best with vegetables.
You will see that despite the many ingredients I put into this recipe, it remains a very simple dish to make and doesn’t require a lot of technique. Anyone can make it.
Prep: 30 min Cook: 15-20 min 4-6 servings
2,2 lbs of Lamb cubes
3 tablespoons of Honey
2 tablespoons of Onion and garlic purée
2 teaspoons of Chili flakes
2 cups of Couscous
1 cup of Kalamata olives
2 tablespoons of Saffron
2 cups of Grape tomatoes
Optional: Herbs, lemon juice, pine nuts for the couscous.
Soak the skewer sticks in water so they won’t burn while cooking.
In a mixing bowl, mix honey with onion and garlic mixture, chili flakes then add lamb cubes. Let it marinate for at least an hour or two. Just remember the longer it marinates, the better.
In the meantime, prep your vegetables, but cutting zucchinis, eggplants, onions, leeks and carrots into halves. Coat the vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper before grilling them over medium heat. The grilling time of vegetables always differ depending on their categories. I always grilled first the vegetables with the longest cooking time.
After your vegetables are nicely grilled removed them from the heat and keep them warm under aluminum foil and reserve or later.
Let the meat rest for few minutes at room temperature after removing it from the fridge before thread it onto bamboo or wood skewers (I’m not a bit fan of metal skewers, but feel free to the type of skewers you prefer). You can use vegetables to space meat but I choose not to.
Over medium heat, grill the lamb skewers for 10-15 min for medium or medium rear meat.
For the Couscous:
It always best to follow the instructions on the back of the couscous package because each brand has its own cooking method. As far as I’m concerned, I used a very simple technique: my ratio was one cup of couscous for 1 ½ or 2 cups of boiling water. In a bowl, I mix saffron and couscous before pouring hot water onto the couscous, add a pat of butter or two tablespoons of olive oil, cover and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes or until the liquid is completely absorbed. Once the liquid is totally absorbed, uncovered, and, with a fork, fluff the cooked couscous before adding sliced Kalamata olives, toasted pine nuts, lemon juice and chopped herbs of your liking.
In a large serving plate, assembly the dish by putting the couscous and vegetables on the bottom of the plate before placing the lamb skewers on top. Et bon Appétit!
Grilling vegetables like carrots can be time consuming, so the best way to gain some time, it’s to blanch them for few minutes before putting them on the grilled.
I made a summary table for cooking times for the vegetables I grilled in this recipe. I hope it will be helpful.
How I prep them? How long I cook them? Eggplants Cut in half lengthwise, coat with olive oil, salt and pepper. 5 minutes per side Onions Cut into halves and coat them with olive oil before sprinkling them with salt and pepper. 8-10 minutes per side Leeks Cut in half lengthwise, brush olive oil, salt and pepper. 4-5 minutes per side Zucchinis Cut into halves lengthwise, coat with olive oil, salt and pepper 5-6 minutes per side Carrots Blanch for 4-5 minutes, then coat with olive oil, salt and pepper. 3-6 minutes per side