Lamb Souvlaki with Tzatziki

Lamb Souvlaki with Tzatziki
Variable Servings 6
per serving
500 ml plain 2% yogurt, 2 c
1 medium English cucumber, unpeeled & roughly grated
1 bunch radishes, trimmed & roughly grated
4 large garlic cloves, minced
15 ml white wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp
15 ml fresh dill,minced, 1 Tbsp
15 ml fresh mint, minced, 1 Tbsp
15 ml fresh rosemary,minced, 1 Tbsp
3 ml ground white pepper, 1/2 tsp
5 ml Extra-virgin olive oil (optional), 1 tsp
500 g ground lamb*, 1 lb.
1 small onion, grated or minced
5 garlic cloves, minced finely
5 ml dried oregano, 1 tsp
5 ml dried mint, 1 tsp
10 ml ground cumin, 1 tsp
10 ml ground coriander, 2 tsp
30 ml fresh rosemary, minced, 2 Tbsp
30 ml tomato paste, 2 Tbsp
1 Jalapeno pepper, seeded & minced
60 ml pine nuts, toasted & minced, 1/4 cup
60 ml fine dry Italian bread crumbs, 1/4 cup
5 ml coarse salt, 1 tsp
5 ml coarse black pepper, 1 tsp
5 ml Extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tsp
60 ml chopped fresh rosemary, 1/4 cup
  1. *You can pick up frozen 1 lb. (500 g) chubs of ground New Zealand lamb in the freezer chest.
  2. To make the tzatziki: Place the yogurt in a fine sieve over a bowl and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Discard the liquid and combine the drained yogurt with all the other tzatziki ingredients; cucumber, radishes, garlic cloves, vinegar, dill, mint, rosemary, white pepper and olive oil and mix well. (It is important that the cucumber and radishes be very roughly grated and visible as chunks or flakes in the sauce.) Cover and refrigerate until serving time.
  4. Combine all the lamb ball ingredients; Ground lamb, onion, garlic cloves, dried oregano, dried mint, ground cumin, ground coriander, rosemary, tomatoe paste, jalapeno pepper, pine nuts, bread crumbs, salt and black pepper in a bowl and mix well (use your hands in plastic disposable kitchen gloves for best results).
  5. Cover and marinate in olive oil and rosemary for 4 hours at room temperature or refrigerate overnight.
  6. Place about a dozen short wooden skewers in a shallow dish of water. (If you are using metal skewers, omit this step.) Pour some extra-virgin olive oil into a shallow dish and add the chopped rosemary (the rosemary can be quite roughly chopped so it is very visible).
  7. Roll the lamb mixture into tiny balls, pressing the mixture together as tightly as possible. Place the balls in the marinade and roll around to coat completely with oil and rosemary leaves. Let stand while preheating the barbecue or broiler.
  8. Thread 3 balls onto each skewer. Grill the skewers about 3-4 minutes a side or until browned and cooked through but not dry (a little pink in the middle is fine). Discard remaining marinade.
  9. Serve skewers with tzatziki, salad and rice or couscous. Or tuck the lamb balls and salad into pita pockets and top with dollops of tzatziki. Any extra tzatziki can be refrigerated up to 4 days and used for other meals in many ways.