Pomegranate molasses is the sour element here, lending a depth and richness that you’ll not get from anything else – it’s easily sourced from Middle Eastern, and some general, supermarkets. A specialty from two regions along the Caspian Sea, Gilan and Mazandaran, this Irani dish is traditionally made from beef and served with rice. We’ve gone for a fresh feel by pairing goat skewers with grilled vegetables and bread.
SKILL LEVEL EASY
1 kg goat shoulder, excess fat trimmed
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
½ small onion, chopped
155 g (1¼ cups) walnut pieces
125 ml (½ cup) pomegranate molasses
60 ml (¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil, plus extra, for cooking
2½ tbsp Greek yoghurt
large handful flat leaf parsley leaves
12 wooden skewers, soaked in water for 1 hour
pita or lavash, to serve
mint leaves, to serve
olive oil, for brushing
2 red onions, peeled and cut into sixths
6 Japanese eggplants, halved lengthways
3 large, firm ripe tomatoes, cut into thick wedges
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Marinating time 4 hours or overnight
Cut the goat into 2.5 cm pieces. Combine the garlic and onion in a food processor then process until a smooth paste forms, scraping down the mixture occasionally. Add the walnuts, pomegranate molasses, olive oil, yoghurt and parsley then process until smooth. Combine the walnut mixture with the meat in a bowl, using your hands to coat the meat well. Cover with plastic wrap then refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
Thread the meat on the skewers then use your hands to flatten the meat on the skewers. Set aside.
For the grilled vegetables, heat a barbecue or chargrill pan over medium. Brush the vegetables all over with oil. Add the onions to the grill then cook for 3-4 minutes or until partially cooked. Add the eggplants and tomatoes then cook the vegetables for 7-8 minutes, turning once, or until they are charred and tender. Remove to a large serving platter.
Drizzle the goat skewers with oil and season well with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt. Cook, in batches and turning often, for 6-7 minutes or until the goat is just cooked through. Serve with plenty of bread, mint leaves and grilled vegetables.
Photography by Sharyn Cairns. Styling by Lee Blaylock. Food preparation by Peta Gray. Creative concept by Lou Fay.