Friday, 8 April 2011

K is for... Kaffir lime leaf-marinated kudu kebabs and kohlrabi salad

When researching where I could buy kudu, I discovered the excellent Freedown Food Company which, conveniently for us, is located just down the road in Battersea.  Kudu is incredibly lean and, as such, I wasn't convinced it would be suitable for kebabs. I hoped that marinating the meat for a very long time would guarantee tenderness, but really is was just an excuse to get another K for kebab on the menu. In fairness to this cut of kudu, I knew really that a slow cooking would be kinder to the meat but I was seduced by the Freedown Food Company's cooking recommendation:

                              "A great low-fat low-cholesterol alternative to beef. Ideal for kebabs or stir-fries, and makes 
                               great stews and pies. Versatile meat to have in your freezer".

Right, I thought, kebabs it is! And if I keep brushing the meat with oil I'm sure it won't get dry. And I was right! The meat wasn't dry, but neither was it tender. It was juicy whilst remaining sinewy and chewy at the same time. My guests didn't seem to mind, but I felt sure it was just politeness. The dish wasn't terrible, but did require strong teeth and jaw muscles - which isn't really what you want from a kebab. I would buy kudu again, its flavour was deliciously rich and subtly gamey, but it's not suitable for kebab-ing.  Next time I will be slow cooking my kudu in bucket-loads of red wine and leaving the skewers in the cupboard.

Kaffir lime-leaf marinated kudu kebabs

1 kilo of diced kudu
A handful of kaffir lime leaves, scrunched up
The juice of 4 limes
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp ground cumin
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 finely chopped shallots
1 red chilli, finely chopped (seeds in or out depending on personal taste)
Salt and pepper
Bamboo skewers, soaked

Toss all the ingredients into a bowl, ensuring that all the meat is well covered. Pop some cling film over the top and leave to marinate, stirring every now and then, in the fridge for 6 hours, or overnight. Take the meat out of the fridge 45 minutes before cooking to bring the kudu up to room temperature. Thread the cubes of marinated meat onto the skewers and place under a preheated grill. Brush the kebabs with oil as they cook, turning them over until all the meat has nicely browned. Serve alongside a kofta (kid or otherwise) with kohlrabi salad.

Kohlrabi salad

1 or 2 kohlrabis, finely sliced

for the dressing

4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 garlic clove, crushed
The juice of 2 limes
1 tsp sugar
A small handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper

Mix together the salad dressing ingredients, taste for seasoning and pour over the kohlrabi and toss just before serving.

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