BBQ on July 4th: Try Lamb Kebabs

Cooking on the Grill: Kebabs for a change. Beef and chicken kebabs are popular but this recipe for lamb kebabs is a tasty favorite of mine. Easy to prepare and grill. A simple marinade of lemons, onions, salt and pepper infuse chunks of lamb. Marinate overnight and grill the next day. Serve suggestions: Rice Pilaf and Three Bean Salad or tomato, green pepper and red onion salad.

Did you know?

Baltimore City is the number one spot on the BBQ Obsessed Cities list, according to

grill2Lamb Kebabs, a recipe handed down through the ages.

  • 8 pounds lamb leg, cut into 1 to 1 ½ inch cubes
  • ½ dozen lemons
  • 6 large onions, sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • Options:
  • 6 large onions, chopped instead of sliced
  • ½ cup burgundy
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro

Season meat with salt and pepper. Add sliced onion. Squeeze lemons over meat and onion, leave the lemon rind for marinating. Best to marinate overnight. Stir up the meat 3 or 4 times during the marinating to season evenly. Place on skewers and barbecue over charcoal briquettes or hardwood coals. Keep tight on skewers to avoid drying.

Some of you might recognize this as a variation of the Russian recipe for Shashlik or the Armenian, Shish Kebab. Shish Kebab requires the removal of the bone and fat before marinating. I enjoy both versions but prefer to keep the fat and bone on. The fat helps the meat stay moist during grilling. Serve with three bean salad and pilaf. See below.

According to the 2014 annual Weber GrillWatch Survey, 84 percent of American grill owners use their BBQ on the Fourth of July.

grill3These are the most popular foods for cooking on the grill, according to the Hearth, Patio & Barbeque Association (HPBA).

  • Hot Dogs – 72%
  • Steak – 71%
  • Burgers – 69%
  • Chicken parts – 64%

And here’s a list of the most popular side dishes prepared on the grill:

  • Corn – 41%
  • Potatoes – 41%
  • Other Vegetables – 32%

Thought you’d like to know!

*Baltimore took the #1 spot on the Top 10 BBQ Obsessed Cities list.

Top 10 BBQ Obsessed Cities:

  1. Baltimore
  2. Nashville, Tenn.
  3. Philadelphia
  4. Phoenix
  5. Raleigh-Durham, N.C.
  6. Boston
  7. Charlotte, N.C.
  8. Tampa-Saint Petersburg, Fla.
  9. Houston
  10. Washington D.C.

Methodology:’s BBQ Loving Cities list was calculated by using the possible savings and coupon transactions of frequent coupons users in cities across the U.S. from May 1, 2014-October 1, 2014. Frequent coupons users are defined as people who use at least one coupon per month for 6 months – consecutive or non-consecutive. Cities are ranked with overall savings determined by both population (over 1MM) and savings per person in each market.

Three Bean Salad, 1950s

Choose any combination of canned beans below. I’ve used all four. Three Bean Salad recipes call for a green bell pepper. The red onion is optional.

  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can string beans, drained
  • 1 can wax beans, drained
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped or sliced
  • 1 sliced red onion


  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup salad oil
  • 2/3 cup wine vinegar
  • Pinch of salt

Mix together and pour over beans. Cover and chill in refrigerator overnight.

Rice Pilaf: Rose, Dorcas Guild cookbook, 1985

  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • ½ cube butter
  • 1 coil vermicelli-crushed
  • 2 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • dash of pepper

Melt butter in saucepan, add vermicelli and brown lightly. Add rice and mix. Add broth and bring to a boil, lower heat, cover, simmer 20 minutes until water is absorbed and rice is soft. Turn heat off and let set for a few minutes. Stir once, then serve. Serves four. For variation add blanched almonds sautéed in butter until lightly toasted. Raisins or steamed apricots (1/2 cup), prunes or dates may be added over rice.