well a week or two into this cookoff i promised to do a step by step guide to forming kebabs onto skewers. A mere two months later, i finally remembered to take pictures while making kebabs, so i figured better late than never so here it is.
i had a friend of mine take the pictures, and he had to be bribed with quite a bit of Arak to agree, so bear that in mind with the photoraphy...
First, the minced lamb, i had the butcher mince it fine, with a little added fat for binding. mixture is probably about 25%-30% fat.
here is my mise en place, (sounds a bit silly to say that with kebabs, but there is a first time for everything)
lamb, minced onion, minced garlic, salt, pepper, allspice, olive oil and a bowl with ice water.
first you get as fine a mince into the onion as you can
a little olive oil helps
then you add the onions and parsley to the meat
you mix them, with salt, pepper, and allspice until you get them well bound. if you make any kind of sausage you need to just get to the binding stage
here is where the ice water comes in... you have to keep everything as cold as possible, i put the meat and skewers in the freezer for 15 mins beforehand, but my hands need to cooperate too.
once the meat is bound, you form it into a log and stick it in the freezer for a few more minutes, then you take a pinch and get it onto the skewer. i use heavy square skewers but if you cant find them, the flat metal ones work pretty well.
you form the meat into the kebab shape, and pinch the ends so it doesnt fall off. sorry the impact of the Arak is beginning to show in the focus of the pictures, but you get the idea.
you finish the skewer by genty rolling it in one hand while coaxing the meat into shape with your fingers. this is where the square skewer makes things a lot easier.
then you stick the skewers in the freezer fo ten minutes which helps them hold their shape, and you partake in some well deserved Arak, to catch up with your totally drunk friends.
With more Arak, and some mezze, you get the charcoal (lump of course) going and you have a fantastic time. of course with the amount of lubrication, you totally forget the photography you promised your egullet friends.
here is where the real value of Kebabs come in. a couple of them will steady the best drunk, and remind you what you need to do. by this time, your prize perfectly formed kebabs are all eaten, and you have to show the grilling with the misshapen kebabs that you did not grill yet. Nonetheless, this is a project that is too far along to be abandoned, so here they are... the unloved, the rejected, the last kebabs, on the grill with some lamb chops.
and a final out of focus shot of a finished kebab. i cant blame anyone for this other than myself and the Arak. ... thats right i can blame the Arak...
so if this was at all useful, it is all my excellent work. if it is a crudely photographed mess, please direct your complaints to the Arak company. i dont make the stuff, i only drink it...