Arrosticini (grilled skewered lamb) is the local speciality in Abruzzo, a largely mountainous region straddled between central and southern Italy.
Here’s Gino’s take on the dish, using a barbecue to create the effect of an Italian-style outdoor grill, served with a salad accompaniment. If you haven’t got a barbecue, cook the meat under a hot grill for 5 minutes.
– 600g lamb loin fillet, cut into 3cm cubes
– 100ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
– 4 teaspoons runny honey
– 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
– Small handful (about 25g) of chopped fresh mint
– 300g fine green beans, trimmed
– 125g soft goat’s cheese
– 25g pine nuts
– 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into 3cm pieces
– 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into 3cm pieces
– ½ lemon
– Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put the lamb in a medium bowl. Add the oil, honey, fennel seeds, mint and some salt and pepper and stir to combine. Set aside.
To make the salad, bring a small saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the beans for 3 minutes or until just tender. Drain and rinse under cold running water (so they retain their crunch), then drain again thoroughly. Put the green beans in a bowl while they are still warm, crumble over the goats cheese and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the pine nuts and drizzle over a little olive oil.
Light the barbecue. Thread 4 metal skewers, 25cm long, with the lamb and the peppers. Brush over any excess marinade.
When the barbecue is ready (the coals will be covered in a fine greyish white ash) place the skewers on the barbecue and grill for about 4-5 minutes each side or until the meat is cooked through and the peppers are starting to char. Serve the skewers with a squeeze of lemon juice and the salad alongside.
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