Pinchos morunos. Skewers of lamb or pork heavily seasoned with a mixture of cumin, ginger, sweet paprika, saffron, turmeric and coriander. It’s a dish that brings me back to Café Iruña in Bilbao, where they're served every evening with hunks of crusty bread.
This recipe, featuring roasted lamb shoulder chop, is inspired by pinchos morunos, with my updates of: avocado, sriracha mayo and cilantro, all served on a steamed bun. Basically a mash-up of my favorite things. —Caitlin Raux Gunther
half pound lamb shoulder chop, bone in (not a lamb fan? try pork tenderloin)
spices - either: a mixture of cumin, coriander, sweet paprika, turmeric, ginger, ginger and saffron; Ras el Hanout; or Berbere spices
ripe avocado, cut in half, skin and pit removed
cilantro, stems removed
mayo, mixed with 1 tablespoon sriracha
Place your lamb chop in a large bowl. Add olive oil to coat on all sides, then coat with spices on all sides. Use your hand to rub the spices into the meat. Then sprinkle crunchy salt on all sides. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
Remove lamb from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes (depending on how cold it is). Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sprinkle lamb with crunchy salt and cook in a baking dish lined with tinfoil for 25 – 30 minutes, flipping the lamb about halfway through. Cut into the middle to test for doneness to your liking.
While lamb is cooking, boil 2 cups of water in a small pot. Place buns in a steamer basket and place the basket in the pot, then cover it. Let buns cook for a couple minutes then remove to a plate.
Cut lamb chop in half and cut out any bones or excessively fatty parts. Each lambwich gets a half.
Assemble your lambwiches - one half avocado, one tbsp sriracha mayo and a small handful of cilantro on each sandwich - and eat immediately.
Caitlin is a Paris-based writer and editor. She wrote about food and wine while living in Madrid after college, and had a brief career as a lawyer before moving back to Spain to work in restaurants and attend culinary courses at the Basque Culinary Center in San Sebastian. She has worked or staged at Septime in Paris, Mina and Nerua in Bilbao, and Bien Cuit in Brooklyn. In 2018, she and her husband launched a pop-up sandwich shop in Mallorca, Spain. Caitlin now lives in an ovenless apartment in the 9th arrondissement with her husband, Guillaume, and daughter, Mimi.