Ground Lamb and Shallot Kebabs with Pomegranate Molasses
- ACTIVE: 25 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR
- SERVINGS: 4
Burhan Cagdas makes ground-meat kebabs (kofta) from hand-chopped lamb mixed with diced lamb-tail fat. In place of the fat, Paula Wolfert uses crème fraîche, which keeps the meat rich-tasting and meltingly tender.
- 2 tablespoons crème fraîche
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 12 large shallots—peeled, halved lengthwise and root ends trimmed but kept intact
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped scallions
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Warm pita bread, for serving
- Light a grill. In a medium bowl, gently knead the crème fraîche, garlic, salt and pepper into the ground lamb. Using moistened hands, roll the ground lamb mixture into 16 balls. On each of 8 short metal skewers (10 inches or less), alternate 3 shallot halves with 2 lamb balls. Brush the kebabs with the olive oil and grill over moderately high heat, turning once, until browned on the outside (but not cooked through), about 3 minutes.
- Transfer the kebabs to a very large (12 to 14 inches), deep skillet. Add the water, 1 teaspoon of the pomegranate molasses and the lemon juice; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer gently over low heat until the shallots are very tender and the meatballs are cooked through, about 30 minutes.
- Uncover and increase the heat to high. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of pomegranate molasses and cook, basting occasionally, until the meatballs and shallots are glazed, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer the kebabs to a platter and drizzle with any remaining sauce. Garnish with the scallions and parsley and serve with warm pita bread.
The fruity glaze on these kebabs is echoed nicely by a ripe Southern Italian red like Primitivo, which grows primarily in the fertile vineyards of Apulia.