Eight Bells

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Barbequed Lamb and Panzanella

I had to show off my new toy, this is the Webber 22 1/2 inch charcoal burning kettle. I have always had gas barbeques in the past but I have been getting sick of the mess and the taste. The fat seems to get everywhere and the taste is nothing like a charcoal burning barbeque. The Webber lived up to the high expectations I had of it. The meat tasted fantastic and instead of the fat from the meat going everywhere it simply drips on to the coals and burns away. When I bought the barbeque I also bought the Webber brand skewers and skewer rack which turned out to be a great buy.

500g of lean lamb (I used thigh steaks so I could get decent sized chunks of lamb for the skewers)
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
2 teaspoons of ground paprika
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt & plenty of freshly ground black pepper

Cut the lamb into cubes roughly 2cm square trimming most of the fat as you go. Place the lamb in a bowl with the other ingredients and mix well to coat the lamb. Cover the bowl with cling film and place in the fridge for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
When you are ready to cook the lamb place it on skewers and barbeque until lightly brown on the outside and still slightly pink in the middle. Serve with a dressing of unsweetened youghurt mixed with a little lemon juice.

Panzanella (serves 4-6)

1 small loaf of Italian ciabatta
2/3 of a cup of extra virgin olive oil
3 red peppers
3 yellow peppers
1 small tin of anchovy fillets
6 large ripe tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
4 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
1/2 a cup of black olives
1/4 of a cup of capers
Salt & pepper
Basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 200C. Cut the ciabatta into 2-3 cm chunks and place in a metal baking dish. Drizzle the bread liberally using half the olive oil coating all sides of the bread and bake in the oven until lightly golden.
Put the peppers in a metal baking dish and bake for around 45 minutes until the skin begins to char. Remove from the oven and place in a bowl covered with cling film until the peppers cool slightly (this will help the skins to come away more easily when you peel them). Pull the skin from the peppers and cut them into large pieces. Roughly chop the ancovies and set aside.
To make the dressing for the salad remove the skin from the tomatoes by immersing for 5 minutes in water you have just boiled and then peeling them. Halve the tomatoes and scoop the seeds and central flesh into a sieve set over a bowl. set the emptied tomato halves aside after cutting them into large pieces. Use the back of a spoon to press the pulp into the sieve so that the tomato juice runs into the bowl. Once you have as much juice as you can get from the tomatoes discard the pulp and add the vinegar, remaining oil and garlic, salt & pepper.
In a large bowl mix the bread, peppers, tomatoes, anchovies, olives and capers. Whisk the dressing briefly, pour over the salad and mix well. Leave to stand for 30-60 minutes mixing occasionally. Garnish with chopped basil and serve with the lamb.


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