Recipe: Russian Shashlik

weekend gourmet  

So, it seems like forever that people who know this man have been asking for his recipes. He's the type that comes home from a stressful day at work, and needs to be creative in the kitchen for therapy (I don't mind this kind of therapy!) He's mostly resigned to getting crazy on the weekends, and for years we've called him The Weekend Gourmet.  I've tempted him to share here on the blog, write them down on index cards, you name it. But when this man cooks, he just cooks. He's not in it for anything else. But he's finally convinced to share his secrets. I posted on Facebook and Instagram to see if you'd be interested, and after a few hundred "YES!!!" responses, I think he's in.

So, every so often, Kenneth will be sharing some delicious yummy dishes.

Today, with Easter in a few days, it's a special traditional recipe. A little manly and great for the spring.

Ok! Take over Chef!


Russian Shashlik:  The Reshatoff family version 


 Let me begin by saying that I have never celebrated a single Easter without eating Shashlik.  And if 80 years from now I’m in a hospital on a feeding tube I will still sneak out on Easter to fire up the grill.  It’s that good.  Most cultures have a version of skewered meat but because of my Russian roots this has been and will always be my favorite.  My Grandpa Reshatoff taught me how to make this when I was old enough to see over the counter, and I’ve made it every year since.  Your turn to find out why:)



1 Leg of lamb (deboned unless you’ve done this before.  Costco is where I get mine)

1-2 Large yellow onions, or any sweet onion, Diced.

2-3 Lemons, just the juice.

3-4 Tablespoons Olive oil

Fresh ground pepper

2 Teaspoons of salt (or more to taste)

2 Minced cloves of garlic (Optional, but I like it in)




  1. Trim most of the fat from the lamb and wash and dry it.
  2. Cube the meat into 1 ½ inch cubes
  3. Place everything listed above in a large mixing bowl and give it a good stir.  Get your hands in there.  This is no job for a wimpy spoon.
  4. Put everything in a gallon zip bag and put in the fridge overnight.
  5. Pull bag out an hour before you grill
  6. Fire up your grill to HOT.  500+ degrees.  We’re not baking, we’re grilling! The meat is in small pieces and you want to cook it fast or it will get dry.
  7. Put the meat on skewers with a little space between each piece so it will brown on all sides.  Traditional shashlik is done on large metal skewers right over the coals with no grill, but if you don’t have 3 foot spears like me you can put them on smaller skewers and do it on the grill.  Just coat the grill with cooking spray or and oil soaked cloth first to prevent sticking (don’t spray the grill when its on the coals.  Can you say ‘fireball’?)
  8. Depending on the heat cook for about 5 minutes and then rotate until browned (maybe a little black if my mother-in-love is coming.  She likes it burned) on all sides.
  9. When they’re brown (10-12 minutes over high heat) Use a knife to check if they’re pink (not red) in the center.  Leave them on if you want them more done but remember, they’re going to cook more when you pull them off.
  10. Get a thick metal or ceramic pot (crock pot works nice, not plugged in).  Pull the meat off the skewers and put them right in the pot and PUT THE LID ON! (Imagine my Russian Grandfather yelling at you).  If you don’t they’ll dry out and be lamb jerky.  No good.
  11. Try to time this as close to your eating time as possible.  You want to pull it off the grill and let it sit in the pot for 5-10 minutes as everyone sits down.
  12. Add a little more salt and pepper to taste if you want and dig in.
  13. We serve this over rice pilaf, a great big green salad and Easter Bread, another Russian Easter favorite.



So are you in? If so, I'd love to have you comment below and say hello! Tell us if you've done lamb for Easter, and if you end up trying this, share your thoughts!

Happy cooking!!