Kebabs with Pistachio Sauce

I have been awful, not writing for a few days and after promising all of these yummy recipes. Most sincere apologies. Hopefully you will think this one is worth the wait.

I really like this recipe for a few reasons. One, it is easy to prepare, two, it can be made in advance and three, it tastes amazing. For me, this ticks all my boxes.

The important part here is to make sure you read through the recipe first. Also, have your meat ground twice. In other words, ask your butcher to run it through the grinder a second time, and three would be even better. It really integrates the fat into the meat and gives you the moistest kebabs you can imagine.

I would recommend serving this with a Pinot Noir, or if you prefer white, a bold German Riesling.


2 lbs of ground lamb or beef or combination of the two.
3 garlic cloves, crushed
10 oz of finely chopped shelled pistachios, I find it easier to grind/chop them in a small food processor.
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1tsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked hot or sweet paprika
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground coriander seeds
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 red onions, finely chopped.

Begin by chopping/grinding your pistachios and put into a bowl with all of the other dry spices. In a food processor, pulse the onions until they are finely chopped then add the parsley which has been roughly chopped and the crushed garlic. Then continue to pulse it until it is almost a puree.

Now in a large bowl pour the onion mixture over the ground meat and work in well with your hands until it is completely blended. Then sprinkle on the pistachio and spice mixture a bit at a time and incorporate it into the meat until it is all completely mixed. This will take about 5 minutes of working the mixture.

Put into the refrigerator allow it to rest. This can be as little as 30 minutes, or up to overnight. However, I think it is easier to form them into the kebab shapes after a shorter period of time and then let them rest in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook. I have left them up to two days and they have been absolutely fine.

When you are ready to form them, make sure that you make them about the size of a short Italian sausage. Approx. 4 inches long by 1 1/2 inch around. This should make about 12 kebabs. I find it much easier to split the meat mixture into 4 equal parts and then each part into three parts and then mold them. This ensures that they are all the same size and that they will cook evenly.

When ready to cook, bring them out of the refrigerator and allow them to sit for at last 30 minutes, so they are not quite so cold. Otherwise, you will find that they will be well done on the outside and raw on the inside.

There are four ways to cook these kebabs. You can brush them with olive oil and cook in a pan/griddle until browned all over, or you can put them on a baking sheet and into a preheated 350 degree oven for approx. 20-25 minutes. Or you can grill them under the broiler for approx. 8-10 minutes, turning them once during grilling. Or, you can cook them on a outside grill.

In the next post, I will give you the recipe for the pistachio sauce. It can easily be made while the kebabs are cooking

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