Shashlik (Russian Lamb Kebab with Tomato-Prune Sauce)

  • Serves

    serves 6-8


Robust lamb and onion kebabs steeped in a tenderizing seltzer and vinegar marinade are paired with a sauce of tomatoes, prunes, and herbs.


  • 12 cup minced dill
  • 12 cup seltzer water
  • 2 tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1 12 tbsp. ground coriander
  • 1 12 tbsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 12 lb. boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 2" pieces
  • 3 small yellow onions (2 cut into 2" wedges, 1 minced)
  • 14 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
  • 12 cup minced parsley
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 (12") metal skewers


Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.