“I was a vegetarian for 19 years,” says Aaron Chambers, Executive Chef at Boulud Sud across from NYC’s Lincoln Center. Of course, things have changed now that he heads the kitchen at Daniel Boulud’s Mediterranean-influenced restaurant, where spice-marinated, flame-grilled Colorado lamb kebabs are not to be missed. We followed him around the kitchen to learn the recipe.

“Normally a kebab is not a first cut of meat, it’s a second cut of meat like leg, shoulder or belly. You’ll want to cut it into small pieces,” Chambers says. Small pieces cook fast, which means less time until you’re eating some of the juiciest, most flavorful lamb you’ve ever had.

Where are the veggies interspersed with the lamb? None to be found here, and for good reason.

“I’m not opposed to it,” says Chambers, “but I feel like the vegetables never cook through. Your meat will be perfect and rested to a nice medium-rare, and the onions and peppers will still be raw and crunchy.” 

By gosh, he’s right.

Here’s what you’ll need for six hearty skewers (plan on two to three per person):

  • 1 1/2 pounds lamb leg or shoulder, trimmed
  • 1 cup harissa powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon each dried mint and cilantro
  • Grapeseed oil as needed
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  • Tzatziki sauce, for serving

All photos by Gabi Porter. Click on any photo to launch a slideshow.