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The Hirshon Armenian Khorvatz Shish Kebab - Խորոված

The Hirshon Armenian Khorvatz Shish Kebab – Խորոված

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  • Author: The Generalissimo


Units Scale
  • 1/2 leg of lamb, about 2 lbs., trimmed of excess external fat, silver skin, and tough sinew, and cut into 1-inch wide by 1/2- to 1-inch-thick pieces
  • ***
  • Chaimen spice blend – use 1/2 in marinade and reseve 1/2 for use as garnish, made from:
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 4 Tbsp. sweet or smoked paprika, TFD prefers smoked, but the original recipe calls for sweet
  • 2 Tbsp. chaimen (ground fenugreek)
  • 2 tsp. freshly-ground allspice
  • 1 tsp. freshly-ground wild cumin (regular cumin can be substituted)
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly-ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly-ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • ***
  • Marinade:
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves peeled garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 3 Tbsp. freshly-ground coriander seed
  • 1/2 chaimen spice blend recipe
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. Aleppo pepper
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 3/4 cups dry red wine
  • ***
  • 1 cup olive oil, blitzed in a food processor with the leaves from one sprig fresh oregano, the leaves from one sprig fresh thyme, 3 garlic cloves and 4 basil leaves (Basil, garlic, thyme and oregano are all highly-optional TFD additions and can be omitted), reserve 1/2 the mixture for tableside dipping, use the other 1/2 for grilling only
  • ***
  • Metal skewers
  • 2 fireproof bricks and charcoal if using a charcoal grill (and you should be!)
  • “Scallion brushes” for grilling
  • Maldon sea salt to taste as garnish
  • 1/2 chaimen spice blend as garnish
  • Pita for garnishing
  • Grilled vegetables of your choice


  1. Put the lamb cubes in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Combine all solid marinade ingredients in a food processor. Process to a chopped state, then combine with the liquid. Put the marinade into a Ziploc bag and add lamb. Combine thoriughly, cover and refrigerate overnight, mixing again at least once.
  3. Thread lamb on skewers and set up the grill for skewers, making sure to adjust the distance between two fire-proof bricks set on a grate to the length of your skewers.
  4. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly in the channel between the bricks. Alternatively set burners on a gas grill to the highest heat setting, cover, and preheat for 15 minutes. Clean and oil cooking grate.
  5. Place skewers on grill (directly over coals if using charcoal, balancing them on top of the bricks, with the handles overhanging the bricks closest to you, and the tips balancing on the farther wall of bricks).
  6. Cook (covered if using gas, you HEATHEN!), turning and basting with the marinade and using the “scallion brush” frequently, until meat is lightly charred and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the thickest piece registers between 135°F and 145°F (57 to 60°C), 6 to 9 minutes for charcoal and 8 to 12 minutes for gas; if flare-ups occur, move the skewers around as needed to avoid scorching.
  7. Sprinkle on sea salt and chaimen when done and serve immediately with remaining, unused olive oil for dipping, plus grilled vegetables, the grilled scallion brushes (chopped into pieces) and pita bread.
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