Shish! Is it Father’s Day Again Already?

By Victoria Glass •


British dads are in for a treat this year. After pondering over ideas for butch dinners fit for Father’s Day, Victoria’s fairly confident she’s turned a sacred and transgressive weekend pleasure into a celebratory feast. How about a homemade kebab for Father’s Day (complete with home made pitta too)?

 

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Ah, kebabs! Who doesn’t love a kebab? Mostly at 2am after a skinful, I grant you, but there’s nothing quite so satisfying after a night on the sauce, than to get your chops round a giant pitta stuffed with meat. There’s something inherently manly about a kebab shop. Maybe it’s the enormous quantities of raw meat just hanging around, the hot chilli sauce or the lingering odours of sweaty beer breath that does it, but there’s no getting away from the fact that kebabs are fantastically and deliciously blokey.

My dad really loves kebabs. In fact, if ever the mothership is out for the evening without him, he uses it as the perfect excuse to indulge in this illicit pleasure: a late night kebab with extra chilli sauce. As I’ve never been the daintiest female when it comes to my eating habits, I am also partial to a kebab, especially a kebab eaten with my dad. They’re usually consumed under a bus shelter or in front of the telly, straight out of the polystyrene box (to save on washing up), but as it’s Father’s Day on Sunday, I thought I’d push the boat out and warm some plates.

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Homemade pitta bread, tender cubes of marinated lamb threaded on to a skewer with juicy hunks of onion and pepper and thrown on the barbie (or griddle pan in my case) before a generous dousing of hot harissa. Who could resist? I’m even shredding some iceberg and red cabbage for further authenticity and popping some lagers in the fridge in preparation – well, it would be rude not to, wouldn’t it?

If you love your dad, give him something he really wants this Father’s Day: a big bready pocket stuffed to the gills with hot meat and hot sauce. Happy Father’s Day!

Pitta Bread Recipe

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Makes 6

250g strong white bread flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. sugar

7g sachet of fast acting yeast

185ml water

1 tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for oiling the work surface.

Sift the flour into a large bowl and place the sugar and yeast on one side of the bowl and the salt on the other. Add the oil and two-thirds of the water and mix together. Add more water, a little at a time, until you have a smooth, soft dough.

Oil your work surface and knead the dough on it for 5 – 10 minutes or until your dough is soft and elastic. Pop the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with cling film and leave somewhere warm to rise (I like to put mine in the airing cupboard) for an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to its highest temperature and place two baking sheets in to heat up.

Once the dough has doubled in size, knock it back and knead it again for about a minute. Roll the dough into a sausage shape and cut it into 6 equal sized pieces. Roll one piece of dough into a ball and roll it out into an oval about half a centimetre thick. Repeat with the remaining dough balls. Dust the hot baking sheets with flour and transfer the rolled out pittas on to them. Bake for about 7 or 8 minutes, or until the pittas puff up and slightly colour. Wrap the hot pittas in a clean tea towel until you want to eat them. They’re best eaten on the day they’re baked or you can freeze them.

Lamb Shish Kebabs with harissa
 

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For the harissa

200 g fresh red chillies

3 heaped tsp. caraway seeds, ground

3 heaped tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp cumin seeds, ground

4 cloves of garlic

100 g piquillo peppers or roasted and peeled red bell pepper

2 tsp. tomato puree

2 tsp. red wine vinegar

4 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp. smoked paprika

Sea salt

½ tsp. sugar

De-seed the chillies and peppers and toss all the ingredients into a food processor. Pulse until everything is combined. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

For 6 kebabs

450g cubed lamb

2 onions, cut into chunks

1 yellow pepper, cut into cubes

1 green pepper, cut into cubes

Shredded red cabbage and lettuce tossed in a little lemon juice, oil and salt plus any other salad items you want to include - jalapeno chillies are nice!

For the marinade

6 cloves of garlic, minced

2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped

The juice of 2 lemons

1 tbsp. dried parsley

3 tsp. ground cumin

3 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper

Place all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and add the lamb cubes. Toss together and cover with cling film to marinade for a couple of hours.

Thread the meat, onion and peppers on to metal skewers and throw on the barbecue or hot griddle pan. Turn the kebabs regularly and baste with the leftover marinade. Once cooked through and slightly charred, take the kebabs off the heat. Slide the meat and veg off the skewers, slice open the pittas and stuff them with salad, the lamb, onion and peppers and dollop over a generous spoonful of harissa.

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For more delicious Father’s Day recipe inspiration visit Great British Chefs. What are your family's favourite take aways? Which have you tried making at home? Let us know here or over on Great British Chefs Facebook page.

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Victoria Glass

Victoria is a London based food writer. She founded Victoria's Cake Boutique in 2008 & her first two books, Boutique Wedding Cakes and Deliciously Vintage are out now. Her celebrity clients include Miranda Hart, Dave Gorman and Zach Braff. She's cooked her way through the alphabet from artichokes to za'atar zebra on her blog, Alphabet Soup. She is currently writing her fourth book and her third is out in September. She has just been appointed the food writer in residence at The Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre.

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