These grilled lamb skewers with Haitian epis are a fantastic option for BBQs or al fresco dining. Serve them as finger foods or canapes when you have family and friends over or can be enjoyed as part of a family meal with some rice, pasta, or side salad.
Marinate lamb in the delicious finger licking Haitian epis paste, along with some Maldon salt, black pepper, and smoked paprika for additional color and a slightly smoky flavor. Add onions or sweet bell peppers to the skewers, if you like but this is completely optional (I used red onions to simply add some crunch and additional sweetness to the lamb).
What Is Epis Paste?
Haitian epis is made from a blend of fresh herbs, onions, garlic, and peppers (both sweet and spicy peppers)—the exact ingredients and quantities will differ from person to person. This paste works extremely well with barbecued and grilled meats, and I’m sure you will love this on lamb!
This seasoning paste is just as great for the grill as it is for stews and other dishes. You can use lamb, beef, or chicken—anything that strikes your fancy.
Prepping Lamb for Skewers
The best cuts for lamb skewers are boneless lamb shoulder, lamb sirloin, or lamb leg. I decided to go for the lamb shoulder cutlets as I feel it provides the right amount of meat to fat ratio which makes it nice and tender. You want the meat to have a bit of fat, but not too much.
If you purchased bone-in lamb, you’ll want to remove the bone and cut it into chunks. You can do this by first cutting your meat into vertical strips then follow up by using the strips to cut them horizontally into about 1-inch cubes.
Marinate for the Best Flavor
Coat the lamb in a generous amount of the Haitian epis and let it rest for at least 30 minutes so that the flavors of the epis can seep into the lamb chunks.
Prior to adding the epis, you’ll need to season the lamb well. In this recipe I use Maldon salt flakes, black pepper, and smoked paprika.
No Grill? No Problem!
The best part of this recipe is that you do not need to have a gas or charcoal grill for outdoor grilling, though of course you can and should use one if you like. If you live in an apartment, you can enjoy lamb skewers by broiling them to perfection!
Epis Is Magic for Grilling
Haitian epis is great for grilling a variety of meats, or even fish or seafood. You can even serve a mixed grill platter for friends or family by following the exact recipe and using chicken, prawns, diced salmon fillets, beef steaks, or pork.
What to Make Ahead
You can make the epis 2-3 days ahead of time and refrigerate it in an airtight container.
You can also season the diced lamb with the dry spices and the epis. This can also be done 4 to 5 days ahead of time and left in the fridge.
Make It a Meal
Enjoy these skewers on their own with the cooked-down Haitian epis paste, which can be used as an additional dipping sauce or simply smothered on top of the skewers.
More Grilling Recipes to Make
- Grilled Chili Lime Flank Steak
- Grilled Buffalo Wings
- How to Grill the Best Steak
- Mojo Marinated Grilled Pork Kebabs
- Beef Kebabs
Preheat your grill or broiler to medium high heat, about 400°F.
Season the lamb:
In a large mixing bowl, season the lamb and red onion with 1 teaspoon Maldon salt flakes, smoked paprika, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Toss to combine.
Marinate the lamb:
Add 4 tablespoons of the Haitian epis to the meat and red onions. Thoroughly mix until the meat and onions are coated.
Allow the meat and onions to marinate for a least 30 minutes, this can be left overnight to marinate too.
Make the lamb skewers:
Assemble the lamb and onions onto the skewers, alternating between lamb and onion pieces. You want to add 3-4 pieces of onion and lamb to each skewer.
Grill or broil the skewers:
Using a broiler: Place all the skewers onto a sheet pan lined with a rack and place under the broiler for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through, so that both sides get a nice golden color.
Using a grill: Place the skewers on the grill using tongs and cook, about 10 minutes, flipping every 2-3 minutes to ensure all sides are well cooked. You will know your skewers are cooked once each side is well charred with a beautiful golden-brown color but not burnt.
Cook down the epis:
While the lamb skewers are underway, cook down the Haitian epis for dipping. In a medium pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil.
Add the Haitian epis, 1 teaspoon Maldon salt, and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5-7 minutes. You will notice the color changing from bright green to a darker green color. The consistency will also become thicker as the water evaporates from the paste.
Remove from the heat and set aside until ready to serve.
Serve the lamb skewers with cooked-down epis, a light salad and some flatbread, fried rice, or a pasta salad.
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