Arrosticini – Abruzzo’s barbecue specialty
Most people refer to tender pieces of meat skewered and roasted on an open fire as kebabs, but it’s a style of cooking that goes further than Turkey and the Middle East.
Hailing from the Abruzzo region of central Italy, Arrosticini are skewers of mutton and lamb cooked on an open fire. It takes more than tender meat to make a good Arrosticini.
The marinating is also very important, with the meat soaked for half an hour in red or white wine, olive oil or beer and dusted in a delicate blend of herbs before cooking.
You can always tell the difference between homemade Arrosticini and mass-produced. The homemade version will usually have chunks of meat of different sizes lovingly skewered, while factory-made Arrosticini will have cubes of meat all the same size.
To help add flavor and moisture (to prevent the meat from drying out while cooking), pieces of bacon or offal are added between each chunk of lamb, creating a richer taste and appealing aroma. Once cooked, the Arrosticini are traditionally served with rustic bread drizzled in olive oil that’s sometimes infused with chili.