”Spiedini” in Italian means skewered. Our favorite butcher shop in Tuscany (Macelleria Belli) makes a very special Spiedini with chunks of pork, ground pork, turkey and Italian sausage pressed in a special slotted box, and cut into perfectly squared off skewers. These slotted spiedini (skewer, kabob, brochette) boxes are available online (follow this link) so you can replicate ”Belli’s” Spiedini at home.
Any meat or vegetable can be layered in the kabob box. It’s pretty easy…just layer different meats (and vegetables if desired) into the box, attempting to get the layers even and uniform. Use something solid and sturdy (like a chunk of turkey breast, pork, chicken breast) as your first (bottom) and last (top) layers to secure all of the other layers on the skewers. Once the box is full, place the cap on the box. I use bamboo skewers (12-inch) for the kabobs, but I use a single metal skewer to make the initial penetration through the meat, remove it, and replace it with bamboo. The bamboo skewers can sometimes fail in this step. Once the skewers have been inserted, run a thin-long knife through the three slots, using a gentle sawing motion to carefully cut through the layers from top to bottom. Rotate the box to the next side and repeat the step to cut the skewers in the other direction. You are now ready to remove the skewers from the box. Remove the bottom of the box and gently push the skewed meat mixture out of the top of the box. Set the block of meat on a cutting board and use a knife to separate the individual skewers. I like to create “double” kabobs, keeping two skewers in each portion.
Drizzle the skewers with olive oil. Grill over open fire or on a cast iron ridged grill pan. Serve the Spiedini’s with Olive-Smashed Potatoes (recipe below) with seasonal vegetable of your choice.
Olive-Smashed PotatoesCourse: SidesDifficulty: Easy
2 pounds large red potatoes
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 pinches white pepper
1/4 cup pitted mixed olives, chopped coarsely
salt to taste
- Peel and cut the potatoes into 1/2-inch pieces. Place the potatoes in a 2-quart saucepan and cover with cold water by 1 inch and add salt. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
- Drain off all the water and add the milk, butter and white pepper. Return the potatoes to the heat for 5 minutes to heat the milk. Remove from the heat and smash the potatoes, leaving them somewhat chunky.
- Add the chopped olives and adjust the seasoning with salt if necessary. Keep covered for up to 30 minutes in a warm place before serving.
- Often I will drizzle the finished potatoes with some high-end extra virgin olive oil for an even more robust olive sensation.