Spiedini di Agnello con la Pancetta Affumicata

Grilled Lamb Skewers With Bacon

Pancetta Affumicata—bacon—plays a tasty, juicy role here: While basting the lamb as it grills, it laces it with some of its tangy flavor. The bread, moreover, absorbs some of the savory bacon fat as it melts in the cooking. The quantity of garlic in the mixture with which the lamb is coated should be calibrated carefully to keep its presence from being too intrusive. If it is particularly dry and pungent, you may use even less than the small amount indicated in the recipe.

Ingredients

  • ½ teaspoon garlic chopped very fine
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary chopped fine
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper in a grinder
  • 1¾ to 2 pounds boned lamb shoulder, cut into -inch cubes
  • 10 slices slab bacon, cut ¼ inch thick
  • Stale country-style bread trimmed of its crust and cut into 1 ½-inch squares

Method

  1. If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal early enough so the coals are well lit and have formed a coating of white ash when you are ready to cook. If using a gas or electric grill, turn it on in time for it to be hot when you are going to use it.
  2. Put the garlic, rosemary, oil, salt, and liberal grindings of pepper in a bowl and mix thoroughly with a fork.
  3. Add the lamb cubes and toss until the meat is well coated with seasoning all over.
  4. Cut the bacon into ¼-inch squares.
  5. On each skewer alternate the ingredients in the following order: a piece of bacon, bread, bacon, lamb, bacon, bread, bacon, and so on, ending with bacon.
  6. If grilling over charcoal, place the skewers not too close to the heat to avoid scorching. If grilling in a gas or electric broiler, which cooks with less intense heat, place the skewers in the level closest to the source of heat. Grill for 2 minutes on one side and 1 minute on the other, if you like your lamb pink.

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