This was my first use of the bottle of pomegranate molasses which has been sat in my cupboard calling to me for weeks now. I’m thinking of creating a cocktail using it, it’s such a fabulous ingredient. Sweet and sour at the same time, thick and syrupy and sweet and just when you think it’s going to become sickly it stops and turns into a fabulously sour, fruity concoction. Marvellous, it should be added to everything. Here it’s added to pomegranate juice and garlic to make a lovely marinade that slowly permeates the lamb, plus a glaze to caramelise on the outside of the kebabs when you grill them. Sweet, but not too sweet, it’s all offset by the sour, but not too sour (though really quite spicy) relish. Make enough to put with burgers too if you’re having a big bank holiday BBQ.
Pomegranate-glazed lamb kebabs and spiced pomegranate relish
From Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume
200ml pomegranate juice
3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
4 juniper berries, crushed
10 pink peppercorns, crushed
2lbs lamb (I used leg fillets), trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
Arils (seeds) from 1 pomegranate
1 orange, supremed
4 spring onions, white and green bits, finely diced
2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
1/2 red chilli, finely minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon paprika
4 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon honey
1. Make the marinade by whisking together the pomegranate juice and pomegranate molasses in a large bowl. Add the crushed garlic cloves, juniper berries and pink peppercorns and put the prepared lamb chunks into the marinade. Toss to make sure they are all well coated then cover the bowl and leave to marinade in the fridge overnight. It will smell very garlicky. Don’t worry, the end result won’t be.
2. Combine all the ingredients for the relish in a bowl. Season with salt and toss, toss, toss. Set aside for at least an hour if possible, so all the flavours can infuse.
3. Prepare the glaze by stirring together the pomegranate molasses, lemon juice and honey. Drain the marinade off the lamb and divide the lamb chunks evenly between 8 skewers. Lay the skewers on a baking sheet and brush with the glaze. Cook under a preheated grill for 10-15 minutes, brushing with more glaze each time you turn the skewers. The glaze, being very high in sugar, will make a damn mess of your baking sheet and is likely to burn on the outside of the lamb if your grill is turned up too high as well. Don’t worry though, the lamb inside the crispy, glazed exterior will be beautifully tender.
4. Serve the lamb with the pomegranate relish, with a side of potato moutabel and a simple tomato and red onion salad.
Serves 4. I paired this with a lovely 2004 rioja, Pagos de Tahola Reserva, quite smoky, it enhanced the grilled flavours very nicely.