Lamb Kebabs

Lamb Kebabs, marinated in plain yoghurt, allspice, garlic and bay leaves

Compared to last weekend this new Lamb Kebabs recipe turned out to be an absolute treat. I was so right in choosing to marinate the lamb with plain yoghurt, allspice, garlic and bay leaves. The flavour of the meat was magnificent! As for the tenderness I’m pleased to say that even after reheating this (after grabbing some shots) the meat was melt in the mouth. Okay, the kebab itself isn’t exactly photogenic as I chargrilled two peppers/capsicum last night as I’ve just figured out how to use my oven grill/broiler to its best effectiveness. Two shelves down works beautifully to get the peppers absolutely blackened and blistered. Believe me the extra effort pays off as their flavour is so much better than just skewering chunks of raw pepper – unless slightly crispy is preferable. If that’s the case I’d use green. As I researched this a couple of weeks ago but couldn’t get the right cut (it has to be from the leg) the only recipe I found using yoghurt and allspice is this fabulous recipe Middle Eastern Lamb Kebabs, which gave me the confidence to try it. As it was only the second time for me to use allspice I really wanted to keep this as clean as possible (as the allspice is already complex in flavour) which is how I’ll be cooking this again. Especially to go with the flavoursome aubergine and mushroom stew. As for the rice I went with long grain with chopped dried apricots, flaked almonds toasted in rendered lamb fat (I certainly wasn’t going to throw that fat in the bin) and a spoonful of fresh yoghurt. I’d like to try using freshly toasted and ground coriander to sprinkle over the rice just before serving and possibly pistachios as well. Next time! Oh, and the rice is a bit fuzzy in the photo as the kebab was steaming hot. Anyway, this would be really good to serve for a late lunch or sups with friends as apart from the rice most of this can be prepared and cooked the night before. Leaving only the lamb to be skewered and grilled (it only takes 10 – 15 minutes to cook), the rice cooked fresh with any additions scattered in at the end.

Lamb Kebabs


  • 125g (4.40 oz) x lamb leg steak (suitable for grilling), rinsed, any fat, sinew or gristle cut out (fat can be rendered), meat cut into small cubes about 2 cm or 1 inch – more meat for bigger meat eaters (if more meat is used I would add additional allspice sparingly as it’s very strong in flavour)
  • 1/4 x teaspoon ground allspice (it’s very potent as spices go!)
  • about 6 x tablespoons low fat natural yoghurt
  • 3 x medium garlic cloves, root end cut off and discarded, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 x dried bay leaves, broken into large pieces
  • 2 x peppers/capsicum (I’ve used one red and one orange), washed, cut into chunks if crispy grilled pepper is preferred. Otherwise see instructions below on hot to chargrill them
  • metal or wooden skewers (the latter have to be soaked in cold water for 30 minutes before use)
  • lemon wedges to serve, for the aubergine and mushroom stew
  • long grain rice, cooked to pack’s instructions
  • flaked almonds, if adding to the rice
  • 2 x dried apricots per person, chopped into small chunks
  • extra natural yoghurt, if using with the rice

Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.


  • After preparing the meat and cutting it into small cubes I added the pieces to a non reactive container and sprinkled over the allspice. This was stirred thoroughly to coat the meat as evenly as possible. If a more subtle taste is required I’d suggest following the linked recipe as they’ve added the allspice to the yoghurt instead. Add the sliced garlic and broken bay leaves, add a lid and place in the fridge overnight. Take out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before needed and soak wooden skewers in cold water, if using, for the same amount of time.
  • If the peppers/capsicum are to be chargrilled, after washing them keep them whole and place on a suitable ovenproof tray. Preheat the grill/broiler to 200°C, 400°F or Gas 6. Place on the second shelf down (I’m using an electric oven/grill) and as they blacken turn them over slightly to get them evenly blackened and blistered. Once they are done simply allow them to cool. Then peel off the skin carefully, keeping any juice (without seeds) for the stew. Set aside until needed.
  • If not using chargrilled peppers then wash, deseed and cut a green pepper into chunks.
  • If cooking rice then do cook that using the guidelines on the pack. I never use salt, and never stir the rice until it’s partially cooked. That way it won’t be as sticky. If using flaked almonds I put a heavy-based pan on electric heat No 2 (out of 6) and added a rind of fat that came off the lamb leg steak. Use oil if not using lamb fat. Simply allow the almonds to settle and turn them over once during cooking time. If using dried apricots then chop those into small chunks and add them to the rice minutes before the rice needs to be drained.
  • Preheat the grill/broiler to 200°C, 400°F or Gas 6. Skewer the cubes of lamb unto skewers, alternating with the peppers. Don’t overcrowd the meat. Place under the grill on the second shelf down and set timer for 5 minutes each side. Carefully lift out tray, place the rack to the high position, return the lamb kebabs and grill for a further 1 or 2 minutes each side to help crisp them up a little bit. If, however, rare lamb kebabs are needed place the rack to the highest point and only grill for 3 – 5 minutes each side.
  • For the aubergine and mushroom stew please click here.

All photographs within (Todas las fotografías dentro de) Feed the Piglet:
All rights reserved (© Todos los derechos reservados) – Copyright © Johnny H Hepburn


    • It was delicious! Have to admit I’m nervous of using allspice as it’s so incredibly potent. This was just the right amount. It’ll be interesting to have the rest of the lamb tomorrow as it’s still in the marinade – possibly even more tender.


  1. Johnny, I was showing a friend your blog and we both agreed that you should have your own show and book. Your recipes are exquisite and unique! I love lamb and have only prepared it with mint jelly. I want to try this recipe!


    • Your comments always seem to leave me wide-eyed and incredulous! Thank you so much.
      Yes, do try this combination as the flavour of allspice is superb. No other spice is need, IMO. It’s far too complex to play around with. Certainly as I still haven’t cooked with it often enough. Pleased to say the kebabs were delicious with the aubergine (eggplant) and mushroom stew. Oh, and the slightly fragrant rice – which is where I would play with other flavours, including coriander leaves or cilantro. The latter perhaps too overpowering.


  2. -It is very difficult (at least for me) to take a great photo of perfectly cooked/done dish. Considering, your photo looks great!
    -Persians use yogurt (onion and microscopic amount of saffron) to marinate meat for kabab (brush on oil/butter while grilling). But to the best of my knowledge we don’t use allspice. I think I have tasted kababs with taste of spices at Afghani restaurant. Reading your commentary, I like to try your recipe. Thank you. 😀 Fae.


    • -Yes, isn’t it! And the light wasn’t especially good yesterday. Managed to grab another photo today that I’m in the process of uploading – if that ever happens.
      -I don’t know much about allspice, excepting that it’s used in Caribbean cuisine. Must read up on it through Wiki to find out. Until I do I’ve no idea why the recipe linked to would call it Middle Eastern lamb kebabs. Wherever this comes from I’m more than pleased with it as I do like the lingering peppery quality of the allspice.


  3. Even though I don’t like lamb, this looks really good! I bought Allspice in the UK a while ago just in case I’d need it as you can’t that that here, but have never used it. Your post just reminded me it must be hidden in my spice cupboard somewhere, and that I should probably start using it…


    • -It’s very seldom I eat lamb, yet with the stew I knew it would go really well. It’s also relatively expensive here, even though the Cornish lambing season has started already.
      -I’ve no idea of what to use my allspice for! I don’t think it’s a British thing. Mace is, though I’ve never tried it. Incidentally, mace would have been used along with cinnamon in Ye Olde English posset. Or so I read on Wiki last night. Apparently it is a very old recipe. The recent version is very different as ale/wine and spices were used back then. They even had particular vessels to drink it from. So glad you posted about it!


      • Oh, thanks for putting me onto Wiki re: posset. Just read through it, very interesting! Wouldn’t have thought those were its origins…


        • Oh, shoulders suddenly drooped. Should have linked that info to you. Yes, I found that interesting. Especially curious about the drinking vessels as I’ve never seen those before. Posset is presumably typically English and, with making a comeback, is possibly why I’ve never heard of it. So glad of your post! Now to find mace…


  4. Even though I don”t eat most meat, I can totally appreciate the artistry behind these kebabs. I’ve also been impressed with several of the recipes featured on And I’m looking forward to that potato gratin recipe. Looks great!


  5. All your dishes look so delicious but I do not like lamb, ok let me rephrase that. I do like lamb when it has the real strong lamb smell and taste. However seeing as you marinate them with the allspices and yoghurt over night then I think I will gobble this up and be asking for seconds ‘Please Johnny can I have somemore’ as there won’t be much of the strong lamb taste that I detest 😉


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