Traditional “Kokoretsi” recipe from Greece
Well, if you are Greek and reading this blog, you will know that the following recipe is one week late as the following dish is typical for the orthodox easter which was last week.
Nevertheless, it is something that you can find in some Greek taverns during the year and i think deserves its place in every greek food blog!
Some people prefer it as a starter, some others as a main meal, it doesn’t make a difference to me…it still tastes the same 🙂 In greece where i was this year for Easter was our main dish along side our lamb. Traditional it is cooked the first day of easter and after Greeks orthodox, have come from the church the previous day and tried magiritsa, the traditional easter soup.
One of the main reasons you will not find it in any other country of the european union is because the main ingredients are the internal organs of the lamb, heart, liver, lungs and kidneys wrapped in seasoned offals.
As offals (in Greek: Sikotaria) are not allowed in the countries of EU (at least in the UK as far as i know) your only chance is to visit Greece , Turkey or some of the Balkan countries. I am not a doctor to judge whether it is safe or not….but my grandfather was eating that almost every year for the past 91 years of his life and i think he had also one again this year, so it cant be so bad!
The basic idea is that you put in a long skewer all the organs one after the other and you cover them with offals.
The offals “protect” them from the heat in a way as the organs inside are cooked on there own liquids. When the offals become brown and cooked then it is ready.
I am not sure in how many countries can you really cook it as finding the ingredients can be really difficult but if you do find the chance to spend some days in Greece or Turkey be sure to try it…. Many people thought it was disgusting in the beginning but many people loved it in the end…
INGREDIENTS FOR KOKORETSI
- 4 kilos of lamb internal organs, including liver, heart, lungs and kidneys
- 5 kilos of Offals to wrap it
Underneath is a nice video that i found online which should give you a pretty good idea on how the kokoretsi is prepared in Greece, even if there aren’t any english subtitles.
HOW TO MAKE KOKORETSI
- We are washing really well all the meat and intestines that we are going to use for the inside part of kokoretsi while in the same time we cut the pieces in small-medium size pieces. More or less the size of an egg.
- Washing the intestines is the most difficult and tiring part of the process.
- After we wash them all really good we turn them, inside out in order to clean also the internal ones. There are many ways to do that but the most usual is the method of the needle. Simple, you take a needle, tie it up one place and then push it on the inside of the intestine until it comes up from the other side.
- If you don’t start the preparation in the same day, the clean intestines should be kept in a pot with water and vinegar.
- In another pot, you add the pieces of meat (sikotaria) and you start the seasoning.
- Hit in a blender 3-4 cloves of garlic with 1 spoon of olive oil.
- Add Salt in the sikotaria and oregano but not too much.
- Now add the garlic and stir so all the ingredients go everywhere.
- Let it relax for an hour or so. .
- Now its time to pass everything in the spit or the “beloniasma” as it called in Greek. You need to add in turns, hearts, liver, bolia and additional intestines you might have making sure that they are really close one another without being in the same time really tight.
- When you do that then you need to cover all the parts with the intestines. So you get the point, the hearts,liver etc will be inside protected from the fire and the intestines will cover them on the outside.
- What you wan to do is take one long intestine and tie it up on the bottom side of the spit and slowly pass it round the spit until the upper side where we will have to tie them up again.
- We repeat the same procedure going up and down making sure that we cover as much as possible all sides.
- As we go on we will notice that some pieces of meat will be poping out of the intenstines. We need to make every effort to cover them too.
- When we finish with it we need to leave it standing for at least 2-3 hours in order that any liquds are removed from the meat. I remember my father and my grandfather leaving it in the previous night but it depends if you have time to do it.
- You need to have prepared a proper fire to cook it and that is really important as from that the amount of time for the cooking Depending on the size of kokoretsi and the fire you are looking at around 2.5 -3.5 hours.
- You need to place it really far away from the fire in your barbeque so it can be cooked slowly and internally. You place it lower and closer to the fire only during the end so you can have the crunchy feeling on the outside.