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Lamb Shashlik | Central Asian Lamb Skewer Recipe

Lamb Shashlik skewers on a large wite plate.
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Lamb Shashlik is a Caucasian cousin of Turkish Shish Kebab, and for us, it is a must-cook BBQ item! The meat is cut into thin slices and then left to marinade in a light water-based marinade for hours to create wonderfully juicy and tender meat. The lamb is threaded on metal skewers and cooked on high heat on a BBQ grill! Perfect served with spicy tomato relish, especially Georgian or Armenian Adjika!

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BBQ Season

BBQ season is officially open for us! Yes, we have finally got round to barbequing some meat, and some vegetables and have it all with a glass of wine in the sun in our garden! It felt amazing! Being in the sun, and feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin was always among my TOP 5 biggest pleasures in life. But after a year of lockdown, and only being outside when walking our dog, it felt extra special.

Shashlik used to mark the beginning of summer when I was growing up. Whilst other families had burgers and hotdogs, we always had shashlik as a summer bbq. We had a small portable grill that we’d pack up and drive to the nearest lake to have a family BBQ party by the water.

Using a fork, cooked lamb is being taken off the metal skewers.

What Meat To Use For Shashlik?

There are many versions of these delicious succulent lamb skewers across Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia. Georgian Shashlik is typically made with pork shoulder. Armenian Shashlik often uses various cuts of lamb. Ukrainian, Lithuanian and Russian Shashlik recipes vary with most calling for pork or chicken thighs. We used a boneless leg of lamb for this recipe, but beef and pork work well too (pork cooks quicker though).

Lamb Shashlik cooking on a bbq grill.

Lamb Shashlik Marinade

Bone the leg of lamb, and cut off any large bits of fat and any sinew. Cut the lamb into thin (approx. 1cm thick) pieces, the size of about 4x4cm. Place the lamb pieces in a bowl. Add the salt and pepper, oil and juice of a lemon. Then mix well, ideally with your hands massaging the meat as you go.

Add the quartered red onion and bay leaf, and mix to distribute. Then pop everything in an airtight box, pour 100ml of water over and place in the fridge to marinate for at least 6 hours, or overnight.

Cooking Lamb Shashlik

When ready to cook, get the coals hot on your BBQ. Skewer the pieces of lamb snuggly, alternating with a piece of onion every couple of pieces of lamb.

Place the skewers of lamb on a BBQ and cook for 15-20 minutes, turning often. The meat should be lightly charred and the meat fully cooked. Take the skewers off of the heat and leave them to rest for a few minutes.

What To Serve Shashlik With?

Serve Lamb Shashlik with your favourite BBQ side dishes: slaw, potato salad, and greens will all work brilliantly! We like these lamb skewers with:

Other Summer BBQ Recipes

For other BBQ ideas, visit our Summer Recipes section, where you will find a variety of summer BBQ meat, side dish and summer salad recipes, including:

Recipe Card

Lamb Shashlik on a large wite sqaure plate with side dishes in the backgorund.

Lamb Shashlik | Central Asian Lamb Skewer Recipe

Lamb Shashlik is a Caucasian cousin of Turkish Shish Kebab, and for us, it is a must-cook BBQ item! The meat is cut into thin slices then left to marinade in a light water-based marinade for hours to create a wonderfully juicy and tender result. The meat is threaded on metal skewers and cooked on high heat on a BBQ grill! Perfect served with spicy tomato relish, especially Georgian or Armenian Adjika!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Marinading Time: 6 hrs
Total Time 6 hrs 35 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Armenian, Caucasian, Central Asian, Georgian
Servings 4 skewers
Calories 303 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 
 

  • 500 g lamb leg
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 red onion
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 100 ml water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon juice only

Instructions
 

  • Bone the leg of lamb, cut off any large bits of fat and any sinew.
  • Cut the lamb into thin (approx. 1cm thick) pieces, the size of about 4x4cm.
  • Place the lamb in a bowl. Add the salt and pepper, oil and juice of a lemon. Then mix well, ideally with your hands massaging the meat as you go.
  • Add the quartered red onion and bay leaf, and mix to distribute. Then pop everything in an airtight box, pour 100ml of water over and place in the fridge to marinate for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
  • When ready to cook, get the coals hot on your BBQ. Skewer the pieces of lamb snuggly, alternating with a piece of onion every 2-3 pieces of lamb.
  • Place the skewers of lamb on a BBQ and cook for 15-20 minutes, turning often. The meat should be lightly charred and the meat fully cooked through. Take the skewers of the heat and leave to rest for a few minutes.
  • Serve with your favourite BBQ side dishes.

Notes

** For an extra boost of flavour, spray the lamb with some beer towards the end of the cooking. The coal will start smoking giving the shashlik an even smokier aroma and a mild hint of beer.

Nutrition

Calories: 303kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 34gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 685mgPotassium: 617mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 19IUVitamin C: 33mgCalcium: 41mgIron: 3mg
Keyword BBQ Lamb, Caucasian Shashlik, Central Asian Recipes, Lamb Kebab, Lamb Shashlik, Lamb Shashlik Recipe, Lamb Shashlyk, Lamb Skewers, Summer BBQ Ideas
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4 Replies to “Lamb Shashlik | Central Asian Lamb Skewer Recipe”

  1. 5 stars
    This is the perfect grilling recipe. We loved it. Thank you!

    1. That’s great to hear, Keri! Thanks 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Such a great bbq idea! Perfect with a pita and yogurt sauce. Love this!

    1. Katherine, you have a perfect combination! Love it 🙂

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