Ludo Lefebvre pairs his juicy lamb skewers with a simple Meyer lemon bean stew.
In this episode of Ludo (and Luca) à la Maison, Ludo Lefebvre has a killer recipe that takes advantage of the rarely-used, oft-forgotten rotisserie attachment many of us have on our outdoor grills. His recommendation? Load your skewer with minty, garlicky lamb shank.
Ludo starts with whole, bone-in lamb shank—though boneless lamb from the supermarket will work as well. He loves the de-boning process, though, saying “I think, now, that we don’t eat enough with our hands—we don’t feel enough things. I think it’s very important to feel.” Get your hands dirty and slice the shank with a trusty boning knife, with the tip of your knife following against the line of the bone. Slowly separate it from the meat with short, intentional cuts—Ludo says “you really want to get as much meat as you can from the bone.”
Once your lamb is de-boned, trim the fat—“this fat is not very good fat,” according to Ludo, “and the skin is very chewy”—and break down into manageable slices. For the marinade, smash sliced garlic in a mortar and pestle (Ludo enlists his son Luca for this task) and add mint to form a paste. Season with salt and sugar—which Ludo says will add a nice coloration to the lamb—before mixing with olive oil and spreading over the meat. Slide each piece onto the rotisserie skewer attachment of your grill, and “make sure you press very well,” says Ludo, “to make sure the meat doesn’t move.” You’re ready to start spinning, first on high (“to get my crust”) and then cooking slow and low.
“I just love kebab,” says Ludo. “So easy, so healthy. No butter.” At this point Ludo begins melting a pot of butter. “I mean, I’m going to add butter today, of course." He bastes the kebab every so often with vadouvan-infused butter (vadouvan is a spice blend popular in France, similar to garam masala with shallots and garlic). For optimal flavor, Ludo suggests a brush made of rosemary sprigs.
While the kebab cooks, Ludo prepares a simple bean stew to serve with the meat. “The idea of this bean stew,” he says, “was really an inspiration from a good chef I like called Iñaki” (a reference to Iñaki Aizpitarte of Le Chateaubriand). Ludo calls for whole beans: cannellini, garbazo and black eyed peas. “A lot of people cook beans too fast,” warns Ludo, who suggests adding cold water to the simmering pot every ten minutes or so to prevent bean breakage. Once they’re ready, add chicken stock, salt, white pepper, diced Meyer lemon, finely chopped chives, and finish with brown butter.
Slice into your medium-rare kebab and serve over the stew, topping with the vadouvan butter.