Lamb shish kebabs with harissa and pitta bread

Lamb shish kebabs with harissa and pitta bread
  • Main
  • easy
  • serves6
  • 1 hour 45 minutes, plus proving and marinating time


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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.

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!

To start, make the pitta. 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
To make the harissa, 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
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
Serve with a generous spoonful of harissa
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