Shashlik (Russian Lamb Kebab with Tomato-Prune Sauce)
Robust lamb and onion kebabs steeped in a tenderizing seltzer and vinegar marinade are paired with a sauce of tomatoes, prunes, and herbs.
Yield: serves 6-8
- 1⁄2 cup minced dill
- 1⁄2 cup seltzer water
- 2 tbsp. white vinegar
- 1 1⁄2 tbsp. ground coriander
- 1 1⁄2 tbsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 1⁄2 lb. boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 2" pieces
- 3 small yellow onions (2 cut into 2" wedges, 1 minced)
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
- 16 pitted prunes, roughly chopped
- 1 (28-oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed
- 1 cup minced cilantro
- 1⁄2 cup minced parsley
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 (12") metal skewers
- Combine half the dill with seltzer, vinegar, 1 tsp. coriander, and paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Add lamb and onion wedges; cover and chill overnight.
- Heat oil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add minced onion and garlic; cook 6-8 minutes. Add remaining coriander, plus paste, chile flakes, prunes, salt, and pepper; cook until caramelized, 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes; simmer. Cook until thick, 15-20 minutes. Stir in remaining dill, plus cilantro, parsley, and juice.
- Heat a charcoal grill or set a gas grill to high; bank coals or turn off burner on one side (see How to Cook on a Grill). Thread lamb and onions onto skewers. Grill over coals, turning as needed, until cooked to desired doneness, 18-20 minutes for medium rare. If outside burns before lamb is cooked, move to cooler side of grill until done. Serve with sauce.