It's easy to dismiss, forget the virtues of lamb during the non-holiday months, focusing our attention on more traditional items such as chicken, steak, and fish; but really, lamb is as versatile and delicious on the grill as it is braised, roasted or when pulled from the oven. Lamb has a b-a-a-a-a-d reputation for being too gamey, overpowering for certain palates; yet cooking it over an open flame or gill has a brilliant way of tempering the gaminess, making it exponentially more appealing to even the most discriminating, finicky diner.
So, of course I enthusiastically added lamb to the menu of our annual Thrill of the Grill al fresco dinner party for Citiscapes magazine, and it was the surprise hit of the party.
Not to mention, the main course for the party was also the easiest to prepare; Fresh Herb Crusted Lamb Skewers with Grilled Grapes can actually be prepped and completed in under 30 minutes.
We start with three pounds of boneless leg of lamb from Richard’s Meat Market, then once home, sliced the rich meat into small 3 to 5 inch slivers that went into a medium sized mixing bowl. I then embellished with syrupy extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and a myriad fresh chopped herbs that included basil, thyme, rosemary, mint, and chives.
After 10 minutes of lamb, herb collusion I then skewered the meat, alternating the marinaded pieces between rough chopped green onions. Once skewered, the lamb hit a high heat grill for about three minutes on each side, a bit shorter or longer depending on your preference, but a total of six minutes will yield a nice medium rare temperature.
After reaching desired temperature, it's critical to allow the lamb to rest for five to seven minutes, this ensures that we lose less juice when we cut into it, thus, allowing a juicier, more delicious bite for our guests.
While the lamb rests comfortably, we then coat small clusters of red and green grapes with olive oil, salt, and pepper before applying to the high temperature grill; just until the grapes begin to turn smoky and gently split.
Then simply serve both the skewered lamb and grapes on the same platter, garnished with a drizzle of olive oil and rough chopped basil, chives. Please note how the sexy, slightly come hither split grapes seem to temper the stylized, gamey flavor of the lamb making it the perfect dish to serve at your next outdoor party.
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