One thing’s clear to Asado’s executive chef Ollie Gould: “Lamb is always a winner”.

“It’s full of flavour no matter where you buy your lamb,” Gould says. “It’s a lot of bang for your buck in terms of flavour and texture.”

It doesn’t necessarily take an expert to cook it well either. “If you stick to certain recipes and temperatures and times, then it’s difficult to stuff it up,” he says. “A lamb shoulder can go in the oven for 12 hours at 80 degrees and it will come out falling off the bone every time.”

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When catering for a bunch of friends or family, Gould recommends his easy lamb shoulder skewers. “It doesn’t take much time and effort. It’s just something simple for the home cook,” Gould says. “From a Spanish perspective, it’s what we do at Asado. The pinchos morunos is a southern Spain tapas dish that is really popular over there.”

The best part is you can prepare your lamb well before guests arrive. Marinating the lamb the day before ensures the right balance of flavour, then it just comes down to giving them a 10-minute cook.

But if you’re short on time, that’s okay too. “[The marinade] can go on half an hour before. It could go on the day before,” Gould says. Put simply: the longer the better.

At Asado, they cook on a flat-grill parrilla over charcoal half the time, but a backyard barbeque will give a similar flavour at home. “It really helps to amplify the caramelisation of the fat and meat,” Gould says. “Ideally, if it’s cooked right, it will have some nice crispy bits on the outside and inside it will be nice and juicy and moist.”

Gould pairs it with a simple potato salad. “Potato salad is just always something that works well in the middle of the table,” Gould says. “You can take your lamb off your skewers, mix it all about and eat it together.”

To top it off, a herb-based condiment is added for something fresh. “The gremolata gives it that really acidic, punchy flavour to cut through some of the spices,” Gould says. “The bones of it are lemon, garlic, parsley, oregano, olive oil, [and] sometimes vinegar. Almost a bit like an Italian version of a chimichurri.”

The easy, help-yourself meal is best enjoyed with a beer (such as Gould’s go-to Furphy), or a nice glass of white wine. “If you whip up 20 lamb skewers and cook them all, everyone just grabs as many as they want,” Gould says. “It’s crowd-pleaser food.”

Lamb Shoulder Skewers with Potato Salad and Gremolata, by Asado
Serves 4

Ingredients:

Lamb Shoulder Skewers
800g lamb shoulder, diced in 4cm cubes
20g garlic powder
5g sugar
5g salt
5g spicy pimento (paprika)
2g dried oregano

Gremolata
60g hazelnuts toasted and peeled
250g green pitted olives
40ml red-wine vinegar
200ml olive oil
2 lemons, zested
1 bunch flat parsley, picked

Potato salad
2 large boiled potatoes, chopped roughly
1 tbsp mayo
1/2 bunch spring onions, chopped
1 boiled egg, chopped

Method:
Mix together garlic, sugar, salt, pimento and oregano. Generously season the lamb with the dry rub, then put on metal skewers (approximately 5 pieces per skewer). To cook, grill for 3 minutes each side over medium heat. Rest for 2 minutes.

Mix the potato salad ingredients together and season.

For the gremolata, chop the olives and hazelnuts roughly. Add the oil, vinegar, and lemon zest.

To serve, dress the gremolata over the lamb skewers.

Tips:
If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in water first so they don’t burn on the barbeque or in the pan. Metal skewers are an easier choice.

Cut away any sinew from the shoulder first, then dice the meat evenly to ensure each piece cooks to the same degree. Another time saver: some butchers offer it pre-diced.

Cook your skewers over a medium heat, with little oil so as not to smoke and burn the meat.

From scratch, cook the hazelnuts on a tray in the oven at 150°C for 10 minutes. Once browned, Gould says to rub the skin off in a tea towel. Alternatively, buy them skinless.

This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Australian Lamb.