Friday, January 1, 2010

Pinchos Morunos

Didn't these come out looking good? And they tasted even better.
We discovered pinchos morunos when living in Spain. They are pork kebabs marinaded in spices--I have seen it translated as "Moorish pork kebabs" but the Moors, being Muslim, did not eat pork. I guess it's a uniquely Spanish blending of two cultures. The grumpy butcher near our house used to sell them uncooked. It was my "easy" dinner: pick up some pinchos morunos, broil them and cook up some rice, make a salad and that was it.
My older son picked pinchos morunos to make as his meal over the holidays. He did the whole thing! I only collaborated on checking if the kebabs were done (we broiled them). I really like this recipe from Joyce Goldstein's book, Tapas: Sensational Small Plates from Spain. Here it is as published in the SF Chronicle:

Pinchos Morunos
1/2 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp. pimenton dulce
2 Tbsp. toasted cumin, ground
1 tsp. pimenton picante or cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. saffron threads, crushed and infused in 2 Tbsp. hot water
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 lbs. boneless pork shoulder or tenderloin, cut in 1-inch cubes (we used loin)
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
Chopped flat leaf parsley
4 Tbsp. lemon juice
Lemon wedges
In a small pan over low heat, warm the dry spices in the olive oil. Transfer to a bowl and cool the mixture completely. Rub mixture on the cubed meat. Toss in salt, pepper, garlic, parsley, and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Soak bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes.
Preheat broiler or make a charcoal fire. Threat meat on skewers and broil or grill until done, about 4 minutes per side. Serve with lemon wedges.

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