This post is part of a paid partnership with PGI Welsh Lamb

‘Yeah, the castle came with the farm’ Will Pritchard casually explains as we stand under the shadow of what’s left of Weobley, a 14th Century fortified manor house on the Gower Peninsula. Beyond it lies the salt marsh, an intertidal zone between the sea and the land, on which sheep roam freely, bred for their tender meat. The marsh is stunning. Behind us lies a streamlined with whispering rushes, beyond are mudflats, broken by pockets of salt-tolerant herbs and grasses, on which the sheep graze.

We arrive as the tide is coming in, so the sheep must be moved to higher ground, and they’ve gathered into small groups to head upland, sheepdogs wheeling behind them. Will and his family have been farming this 4000-acre piece of land for 15 years and have around 1200 sheep. His brother, zooming around on a quad bike, must stick to the well-worn tracks as some bombs from World War II still lurk silently unexploded beneath the surface. Don’t worry, sheep are a lot lighter than quad bikes. The breeds are nimble, able to skip their way around the winding streams and inlets.

Saltmarsh lamb is prized as the sheep are said to benefit from grazing on herbs that grow in the unique ecosystem. It’s popular in France, apparently, but the British have only just begun to appreciate it in recent years. The meat is lighter in colour, leaner and more tender than regular lamb.

The season runs from August right until Christmas and that goes for PGI Welsh Lamb in general not just that from the salt marsh. Wales has a unique climate – lots of rain means lots of grass – and high land is perfect for animals which need space to graze. The production is also governed by strict rules thanks to the lamb’s PGI status (Protected Geographical Indication) which cover traceability, transport, slaughter. The majority of farms are family-owned small holdings with a historical legacy of livestock farming.

You all know I’m a huge fan of lamb, not least because I think the meat is perfect for the barbecue with chops, shoulder, breast and neck fillet all working well. I wanted to make some kebabs with minced lamb (Me? Spiced lamb kebabs?) but this time wrap them in caul fat. What is caul fat? Well, it’s the lining of the sheep’s stomach – a beautiful, white, web-like structure which is used to make faggots, among other things. The fat bastes the meat as it’s cooking and brings even more lamby flavour.

I’ve based the style of kebab on the Cypriot sheftalia, which is a very simply flavoured ‘sausage’ made with parsley, onion and pepper. I kept to this simple recipe, adding just a touch of cinnamon because it brings out the sweetness of lamb. And yes, I had to make some laver flatbreads too because honestly, what is life without grilled lamb, yoghurt, salad and fresh fluffy flatbreads. Miserable indeed.

PGI Welsh Lamb Sheftalia with Laver Flatbreads Recipe

Makes approx 14 kebabs

1kg minced PGI Welsh Lamb (PGI lamb is available from most supermarkets but a handy map of butchers is available here)
1 medium onion, finely diced
6 cloves garlic, crushed or grated
3 tablespoons parsley stalks, finely chopped
Black pepper, around 1 teaspoon, freshly ground
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 large pieces caul fat, for wrapping

In a large bowl combine all the ingredients and use your hands to mix well. Heat a small frying pan and fry a teaspoon of the mixture to taste and check for seasoning. Adjust if necessary.

Divide into 14 balls and shape each into a sausage. Lay the caul fat out on a flat surface and place a sausage onto it. The thinner pieces of caul are better for this than the thick parts, so aim to use up the thin parts first. Wrap around the sausage and cut away any excess.

To cook, preheat the barbecue for indirect cooking. It’s important to do this because the caul fat will melt on the grill and it will cause flare-ups.

Once the coals are covered in a layer of ash and the flames have died down, you’re ready to cook. Place the kebabs on the side without coals, and keep them well away until the fat has rendered from all sides of the kebab. Once it has, you can move them to the direct heat part to crisp them up.

Mine took around 20 minutes to cook but this will depend on the thickness of your kebabs.

Serve with the flatbreads, salad, yoghurt and hot sauce.

For the flatbreads:

150g laver
200ml warm water
500g strong white bread flour
30ml olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 x 7g sachet dried yeast

Mix everything together in a bowl and knead on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes, until smooth and springy. You want a nice, smooth, springy dough.
Leave the dough in a warm place for an hour or so until it has roughly doubled in size.

Knockback the dough and divide into 8 balls for larger breads or 12 for small.

Roll the dough balls flat and cook for 2-3 minutes in a properly hot, dry pan (I use a cast iron griddle) until a little charred on each side. They will start to puff up when ready. Keep them warm inside a clean tea towel while you cook the rest.

For the salad:

1 large onion, sliced and soaked in iced water while you prep the other veg
2 tomatoes, sliced
2 large handfuls parsley leaves
Juice half a lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil

Combine all the ingredients and season with salt and pepper.

If you’ve been following my recipes or Instagram account for a while, you’ll know I have a thing for Adana kebabs. It started (maybe?) with the late-night, fat-spitting, t-shirt stainer they sell in wraps at FM Mangal and now I’m constantly making them at home, be it in crispy kebab rolls, as this yogurtlu’ version smothered in yoghurt and spiced butter, or the many straight-up, wrap-it-in-flatbread-with-salad iterations. The basic recipe – as recipes do – has constantly evolved.

This is the most up to date version and, I think, the best yet. Why? It’s a case of using the right amount of the red pepper paste so it’s pronounced but not bitter, plus I just really enjoy the mix of spices. Parsley stalks are pretty crucial too because they bring a slight crunch and pops of fresh flavour, while the leaves tend to get lost.

Method is important, so make sure you knead the meat mixture then chill it for a springier texture and to stop it falling off the skewers during cooking. Also, don’t make them too large because they won’t cook evenly. Keep the accompaniments fairly simple; yoghurt is essential and I also like to serve an onion, sumac and parsley salad, plus plenty of freshly made flatbreads. Yes, it’s worth making the flatbreads. A couple of people have asked me to do a flatbread tutorial on Instagram, so I’ll get around to that as soon as I can. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these! Remember, guys: it’s never too cold to barbecue.

New Adana Kebab Recipe (makes 6 kebabs)


For the spice mix

1-inch cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon chilli flakes

Toast the whole spices (apart from the chilli flakes) in a dry frying pan until fragrant, then grind all the spices using a spice grinder.

For the kebabs

6 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon red pepper paste (biber salçası – available in Turkish shops such as The Turkish Food Centre)
2 tablespoons parsley stalks
400g minced lamb
2 teaspoons salt

Combine the garlic cloves and salt in a pestle and mortar and smoosh to a paste. Combine with a tablespoon of the spice mix, the red pepper paste, parsley stalks and minced lamb. Knead the meat in the bowl using your hands, as if you are kneading bread dough. Do this for a few minutes, then allow to rest in the fridge for a minimum of half an hour but if you can do this day before, even better.

Divide between 6 large skewers.

Cook the kebabs over direct heat on a barbecue. You know the drill here, right? Make sure your coals are properly ready, e.g. covered in a layer of grey ash before you start cooking. No flames. They’ll take around 3-4 minutes each side (it’s useful to have a pair of tongs on hand to turn them).

For the onion salad

Slice one onion and add the slices to a bowl of iced water for around 20 minutes or so. Combine with a good handful of chopped parsley leaves, some salt and a tablespoon of sumac.

For the flatbreads

I think you can’t beat fresh flatbreads with this. That recipe uses spices but you can just leave them out (as I did).

Adana Kebabs

A few weeks back I was all geared up to tell you how I’ve been writing this blog for ten years. Ten years! I would tell the story of how it all started, reminiscing about the first post I wrote and what I’d cooked. There was even a special ‘anniversary’ recipe – further evidence that I’m a sentimental douche.

Then I realised that actually, I’ve only been going for nine years. Pathetic. I got it wrong and so you’ll have to wait to hear how I got into trouble with the council because I started a food blog. And no you can’t look up the post, clever clogs, because when I changed the design of this site the first time around, a load of stuff got lost, including that. I’m not even lying because I’m embarrassed and I don’t want you to read it, (if you want to find some terrible cringe-y old content on here then there’s plenty more to choose from).

You could make yours the same size.

So the new, celebratory recipe I’d been working on was a kebab, which possibly reveals that my first ever recipe on here was, too, of that nature. I feel like I started out strong and then maintained a stream of posts dominated by grilled meat, swearing, butter, hot sauce, BBQ and general mischief.

Brushing the Adana

Anyway, we’re not getting into all that until next year. What I’m doing now is giving you a bonus Adana kebab recipe because YOU’RE WORTH IT. This is Donald’s recipe for kebabs, which is annoying because it’s better than the one I made and then published in my book. Don’t you just hate it when that happens? The recipe in my book is still great, FYI, it’s just that you know, recipes evolve and all that. This Adana is so much more an Adana for ‘right now’. It understands me in a way that no other Adana does. It’s not the old Adana’s fault, it’s mine etc. etc.

You want all the kebab juices to soak into your bread.

The reason they’re so good is partly down to the spice mix, partly down to the cooking method. They’re not even really proper Adana, that’s just what we call them because they’re spicy and made with lamb.

The smacked cucumbers

The other great thing here is the side salad, which takes the method of Sichuan smacked cucumbers but uses flavours more appropriate for Turkish kebabs. So it’s got loads of garlic as usual but also sumac and Turkish chilli and it might even be my new favourite summer salad. So there.

I recommend grilling some onions and chilies to serve on the side.

You’ll cook these kebabs on the BBQ, obviously, and eat them with flatbreads and yoghurt while you practice counting to ten. It’s surprisingly easy to get rusty.

Donald’s Not-Adana Kebabs Recipe


For the spice mix

2-inch cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1/2 tablespoon caraway seeds
4 dried red chillies
6 cardamom pods
20 black peppercorns
1 tablespoon sea salt

Bash the cinnamon stick a bit then grind the whole lot in a spice grinder.

For the basting sauce

2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons sumac
2 teaspoons Urfa (Turkish) chilli flakes
2 teaspoons sea salt
A grind of black pepper

Mix it all together.

For the kebabs

750g minced lamb
2 red chillies, de-seeded
1/2 onion, finely chopped
Generous handful parsley leaves, chopped
1.5 tablespoons spice mix (above)

Mix everything together and knead it really well with your hands – about 5 minutes. This is important for the texture of the kebabs so don’t skip it. Divide into six portions (or whatever your skewers will allow) and shape into logs. Thread skewers into the logs. It’s best to use flat, wide skewers here or you risk the kebabs falling off. If yours are quite round, use two per kebab.

Leave to rest in the fridge for an hour or so. Prepare a BBQ with the coals to one side – it’s best to cook them to one side because otherwise the fat will drip and make the BBQ flare up, burning your kebabs.

Cook the kebabs on the cooler side of the BBQ, basting frequently with the sauce and turning until cooked through – around 10-15 minutes. Towards the end of cooking time, lay the flatbreads on top of the kebabs to get some smoke flavour into them and heat them through. Serve the kebabs on top of the breads so the juices run into them.

To serve

Cucumber salad (below)
A skewer each of onion slices and chillies (brush with oil and grill on the BBQ while the kebabs are cooking)

Turkish Smacked Cucumbers

2 of those small cucumbers you get in Middle Eastern grocers or one large English cucumber
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon Urfa chilli
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon vinegar (we used ‘grape vinegar’ from the Turkish supermarket but use red wine vinegar (same thing?!), cider vinegar, whatever)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt

Halve the cucumbers then place them seed side down on a chopping board. Smack them with the side of a cleaver or something else until they’re smashed a bit. Chop into 2cm lengths and mix with all the other ingredients.

Slow Roast Shoulder of Lamb with Pomegranate Molasses

Yes I did say I was going to eat less meat in January but I had this on New Year’s Eve so ha! It’s allowed. We decided to stay in this year; basically I’ve had it with NYE, we’re through. Done. Kaput. What I mean to say is that I’m done with going out on NYE – there’s literally no worse way to start a fresh year than waking up in The World of Pain. I still managed to consume a fair amount of cava, but at least I didn’t pay silly money for each glass, or wake up on someone else’s floor after a house party with a crick in my neck and a stranger breathing stale boozy morning breath in my face.

This year my boyfriend and I got steadily sozzled in our own home while this lamb shoulder roasted slowly until the meat was falling away from the bone. I found the recipe on Becky’s blog. Pom molasses has to be the perfect marinade for lamb, all sweet and sour; the edge bits get sticky and the onions and garlic break down into the gravy. It’s almost obscene, it’s so tasty.

We stuffed it into pitta breads with some very finely shredded cabbage and a salsa I made with tomatoes, onion and my mum’s incredible pickled chillies which are packed with coriander seeds. It was basically a really posh kebab and way better than anything I could have picked up around these parts as I staggered my way home after midnight.

Slow roast shoulder of lamb with pomegranate molasses

100ml pomegranate molasses
100ml water
3 large onions, thickly sliced
4 cloves garlic, finely sliced

Leave the lamb to marinade for a few hours in the pomegranate molasses. I made a few slits in the meat to allow the molasses to penetrate the meat and shoved a few slices of garlic into each slit.

Allow the meat to come up to room temperature before cooking. Preheat the oven to 150C.

Place the onions and garlic in the bottom of a large, oven proof lidded dish (or just cover your dish with foil, as I did). Place the lamb on top and pour over the pomegranate molasses, rubbing it into the lamb. Add the water, cover and place in the oven 3 hours for a 1kg joint (adding 20 minutes extra per 500g).

After this time, remove the lamb joint from the juices, pour the juices into a bowl and leave for half an hour to allow the fat to move to the top. Skim off the fat and discard it. Turn the oven up to 190C. Return the lamb and skimmed juice to the oven in a roasting tray. You can drizzle over some extra pomegranate molasses at this point. Cook for 30 minutes until the juices are bubbling and lamb is browned.

When cooked, pull the lamb apart and stuff into pitta breads, or whatever else you fancy. Make sure to get a good helping of that sticky sauce, too.