Skewered Lamb with Spicy Pomegranate-Rioja Red Wine Vinaigrette and Mint-Almond Relish

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 20 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Inactive: 2 hr
  • Cook: 5 min
  • Yield: 4 appetizer servings
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Ingredients

Skewered Lamb:

1 cup canola oil

1 head garlic, cloves separated, peeled and coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves

2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

1 pound lamb loin, cut into 1-inch pieces

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Spicy Pomegranate-Rioja Red Wine Vinaigrette:

1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice

1 1/2 cups Rioja red wine

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1 tablespoon plus 1 tablespoon clover honey

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons aged sherry vinegar

Mint-Almond Relish:

1/4 cup lightly toasted almonds, finely chopped

1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Special equipment:
6-inch skewers, soaked in water for at least 1 hour
  1. For the skewered lamb: Combine the oil, garlic, parsley, rosemary and thyme in a bowl. Add the lamb, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours. The longer the refrigeration time, the better.
  2. For the spicy pomegranate-rioja red wine vinaigrette: Combine the pomegranate juice, wine, peppercorns, thyme and 1 tablespoon honey in a small saucepan. Cook over high heat until the syrup is reduced to 1 cup. Remove the syrup from the heat and cool. Remove the thyme and peppercorns with a spoon. 
  3. Whisk the remaining 1 tablespoon honey, mustard and vinegar in a bowl. Whisk in 1/2 cup of the red wine syrup. Cover and refrigerate the remaining syrup to keep up to 1 month. Yield: about 1 cup.
  4. Remove the lamb from the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling. 
  5. Preheat a charcoal grill for direct grilling. Remove the lamb from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the lamb with salt and pepper on both sides. Thread 2 or 3 pieces of the lamb onto each skewer, so the lamb lays flat. Grill the lamb until golden brown and charred on both sides and cooked to medium doneness, about 2 minutes each side. Transfer the lamb to a sheet pan. Drizzle the lamb with some Spicy Pomegranate-Rioja Red Wine Vinaigrette and let sit for 5 minutes.
  6. For the mint-almond relish: Mix the almonds and mint and sprinkle with salt and pepper just before serving. 
  7. Drizzle the remaining Spicy Pomegranate-Rioja Red Wine Vinaigrette over the lamb and sprinkle with the mint-almond relish.