Simone Appetit: The Shashlik Redemption |

Simone Appetit: The Shashlik Redemption

Simone Grandmain
Whatever you have done, this recipe will redeem you. 
Courtesy Simone Grandmain |

You know the great thing about one of my favorite movies, Shawshank Redemption, besides that line, “Get busy living or get busy dying,” is that you never have to remember when it is going to be on any network. It is like the Law and Order of movies. In fact, you can catch it on commercial breaks.

Then we come to Mother’s Day. Is it really this Sunday? Why don’t they just give us a date, like Valentine’s Day? What? Our mothers aren’t saints? Have any those saint-giver-outers met my brother? We’ve all been there done that; forgotten Mother’s Day. Then you rush to Rite Aide and buy one of those huge cards measuring two-by-three feet and pray there is something left on the Russell Stover’s display located directly adjacent to the cash register.

This year, why not redeem yourself with my Mom’s favorite recipe, taken from an ancient family cook baook, and modified for this century?

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Ingredients for skewers:

4 pound leg of lamb cut into 2 inch squares, about 1 / 4 inch thick

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

2 medium sized onions, peeled and grated

small ripe tomatoes

mushroom caps

1 red bell pepper cut into one inch pieces

1 yellow bell pepper cut into one inch pieces

2 zucchini cut into 1/2 inch slices

1 crumbled bay leaf (Which is cool. Then someone won’t be stuck eating the whole one.)

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

2 tsp chopped parsley

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

3 ounces olive oil

Dry red wine (No specification given. My guess would be a thimble. We all have that on hand.)


1 tsp caraway seeds

1/2 cups butter

1 cup sour cream

little salt

fresh pepper

cayenne pepper

1/2 cup brandy

2 tbls. chopped parsley

2 tbls. chopped onions


Mix salt, pepper, onion, bay leaf, garlic, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, olive oil and wine. Rub this into lamb cubes and chopped vegetables. Cover and allow all to marinate, covered, for 24 hours.

In sauce pan, mix the caraway seeds, butter, sour cream, little salt, pepper and cayenne to taste, brandy, parsley, onions, and boil for 5 minutes.

When ready to cook the Shashlik, thread individual skewers with alternating assortments of lamb and vegetables. Roll the skewers through the sauce and set to cook. In the home, with a good gas broiler, place the wire rack so that the filled skewers will be as close to the flame as possible. Remove every few minutes to roll in the sauce and turn them, then return under the flame. Wait until meat is brown around edges, This takes about 10 minutes. Outdoors, broil Shashlik over charcoal fire, removing every few minutes to roll in the sauce. About 10 minutes. Serve.

Simone Grandmain is an internationally published travel and food writer who currently calls Truckee home. Email:


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