Skew­ered per­cep­tion

The Saturday Paper - - Food -

This dish comes out of a tra­di­tion from cen­tral Asia.

The meat changes from coun­try to coun­try, as does the prepa­ra­tion. Some­times it is minced and shaped onto sticks. More of­ten it is cut into chunks and skew­ered.

A key flavour that makes a ke­bab a ke­bab is the coals it is cooked on. The wood in­fuses the meat with its great­est char­ac­ter. The con­cept of dic­ing the meat into two-cen­time­tre cubes means there is more sur­face to take on the flavour of the coals and also of the mari­nade.

I’ve used lamb leg for this recipe, be­cause I like the lean­ness of the meat. But re­ally there are no rules. All I would say is to al­ways work a day ahead: there’s no point mar­i­nat­ing for half an hour.

I al­ways add a small amount of salt to a mari­nade, not only to gen­tly sea­son the meat, but also to draw out some mois­ture. A lit­tle salt seems to bring the whole thing to­gether.

I’ve paired this dish with egg­plant, which is how it is of­ten served in Tur­key. For me, I al­ways like to cook egg­plants over coals, so it seems a waste to have the coals burn­ing and not use them.

The egg­plant recipe here is quite dif­fer­ent. The base is a bechamel sauce, which gives the egg­plant more of a struc­ture and body and makes it less dip-like. If you are a reg­u­lar reader of this page, you will know this is

• im­por­tant to me. I hate dips.

Pho­tog­ra­phy: Earl Carter

AN­DREW McCON­NELL is the ex­ec­u­tive chef and coowner of Cut­ler & Co and Cu­mu­lus Inc. He is The Satur­day Pa­per’s food ed­i­tor.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.