Sunday, June 8, 2014

My grandma's beef skewers, easy and extremely tasty


Have you ever heard the word "spiedini"? We basically use it for something we eat on a wooden stick and are cooked on a skewer, barbecue or oven, that has the shape of a roll or a ball. We have them with beef, pork and even swordfish in Sicily. A couple of months ago, my mother and I prepared these lovely skewers, the way my grandma used to make them when I was little.

You only need mince meat, some sliced bread, olives, Sicilian cheese and little pieces of salami. Their are very easy and very tasty and everyone can add one or more ingredients according to their personal taste. Slices of bacon would be really nice as well, don't you think?
Usually in Sicily when we do something with minced meat, it is never beef on its own. First of all, we mix it with eggs (an egg every 250 gr of beef), salt, pepper, nutmeg, breadcrumb, grated parmisan and herbs. Mix all together and give it the shape of small meatballs, flattening them a little bit.

With this mix, that we generally call "tritato", we do pretty much anything from meatballs, to hamburgers,  from meatloaf to our spiedini.

Ingredients & preparation for 4 people

For the tritato meatballs: 
300 gr beef minced meat
100 gr. grated grana or pecorino
3-4 spoons of breadcrumb 
a pinch of nutmeg
salt & pepper
1 egg

For the rest: 12 big green olives - 16 slices of bread - 100 gr. primosale - 100 gr. Napoli salami
Once your meatballs are ready, cut the cheese and the salami in big cubes and the slices of bread in little squares. Now, you can start making your spiedini putting in each wooden stick a piece of bread, a meatball, an olive, a cube of salami, a cube of cheese, another olive, another meatball and finish with another piece of bread. If you want, you can also spread a veil of butter on the bread to make it creamier.

At this point, place your skewers on a tray in the oven at 200° C for about 20 minutes with a drizzle of olive oil at the bottom. The meatballs cook, the cheese melts, the bread grills, the salami becomes soft and the result is just a joy for your palate.

Perfect accompanied with a veggie side-dish to balance your lunch with the right amount of carbs, proteins and fibers. I would go with lemon artichokes and fresh tomato salad, because they both moderate the strong taste of the spiedini. They are perfect for a summer barbecue among friends... and don't forget to bring some red Sicilian wine. Enjoy!

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