Shish Kebab

Recipe Corner: Shish Kebab and Kouzou Kuzartma (Baked Lamb Shanks)


Stanley’s Armenian Cuisine Restaurant

Recipes courtesy of the late Stanley G. Kooyumjian, a Fresno native and beloved restaurateur and proprietor of the famous Stanley’s Armenian Cuisine Restaurants in Fresno for many years.


Stanley’s Shish Kebab


3 pounds lean leg of lamb, cut into 2-ounce cubes

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1 1/2 cups yellow or white onions, diced

1 cup green bell pepper, diced*

1 cup fresh parsley, minced

2-3 large garlic cloves, finely minced

About 2 teaspoons salt

About 1 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup inexpensive red wine, such as Carlo Rossi burgundy, or juice of one large freshly squeezed lemon

1/4 cup olive oil

*Diced red onions, zucchini, red or yellow bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes may be used in this recipe.



In a medium (non-corrosive) bowl, combine cubed lamb, onions, bell pepper, parsley and garlic. Add salt and pepper. Pour wine (or lemon juice) and olive oil over lamb and vegetables, then mix well. Cover tightly, refrigerate, and allow to marinate 6-24 hours. Mix occasionally.

Thread meat onto skewers or alternate with pieces of onions and bell peppers (and other vegetables, if used). Place skewers on hot grill over hot coals or under hot broiler. Turn as needed to cook uniformly on all sides until the meat is medium doneness (browned well on the outside and still pink on the inside). Serve with rice or bulgur pilaf.

Serves 6.

Stanley’s Kouzou Kuzartma (Baked Lamb Shanks)


4 lamb shanks, preferably from a leg of lamb

Salt and pepper

4 cups sliced white or yellow onions

1 bell pepper, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley, reserving ½

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 10 oz. can tomato sauce

1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes in puree or diced tomatoes, drained

1/2 cup California burgundy wine, to taste

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup olive oil


Preheat oven to 225-250 degrees. Thoroughly salt and pepper lamb shanks. In a roasting pan with rack, add water and place lamb shanks on rack. Bake uncovered for 2 hours. While shanks are browning in oven, proceed with sauce. In a skillet, sauté onions, garlic and bell pepper until onions are opaque. Add crushed or diced tomatoes, wine and 1/2 of the parsley. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove shanks from oven. Remove rack, drain liquid, and discard. Spread sauce evenly over shanks. Cover lightly with lid or foil and place in oven.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Remove lid or foil and return to oven for 30 minutes. Garnish with remaining sauce and parsley, and serve with rice or bulgur pilaf.

Serves 4.

Note: <> The Fresno Bee’s blog item on Stanley Kooyumjian’s passing at age 77 in 2010 drew remembrances and condolences from Stanley’s many customers and dedicated employees who testified to the high caliber of Stanley’s traditional Armenian dishes, the unrivaled excellence of his food, wine, and service, and to Stanley’s exceptional professionalism and character as a friend, and a respected community and business leader for decades.

*Many of Stanley Kooyumjian’s original recipes are reprinted from A Harvest of Recipe Cookbook, Pilgrim Armenian Congregational Church, Fresno



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