Italian Regional Recipes Secondi Piatti: Meat, Fish, Eggs, Cheese

Arrosticini – Griddled Meat Skewers from Abruzzo

Arrosticini Abruzzesi, aka ‘Rustelle’ in the Abruzzese dialect, are small roasted chunks of sheep meat or mutton or lamb slipped into a skinny skewer, and is a second course of peasant origin typical of Abruzzo, a region in Central Italy, about 1 hour far from Rome, that overlooks the Adriatic Sea with a lively and much appreciated sheep-farming tradition.

Arrosticini Abruzzesi are also quite appreciated in the rest of Italy.


Serves 4, Preparation time 25 mins, Cooking time 20 mins

  • 800 g sheep or mutton or lamb meat
  • EVOO, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, to taste
  • 2 sprigs of Rosemary
  • 1/2 lemon juice or spicy oil
  • salt, a pinch

Method

Cut the meat into cubes about 1cm.

Once you get the meat cubes, stick 6 or 8 on the skewers.
Proceed in this fashion for all the other ones.

Sprinkle them with a pinch of salt, a little Evoo and rosemary.
Or, place the skewers on a plate with oil, a pinch of salt and rosemary and let them marinate for at least an hour.

Traditionally in Abruzzo they cook the roasts on the fornacella, an elongated charcoal-fired brazier purpose-built to fit the skewers on which the Arrosticini are placed in a row.

Worry not, a simple griddle pan you have at home is just perfect.

Heat the griddle pan and brush it with a tiny drizzle of Evoo. Lay skewers on it, cook for about 2-3 minutes at most on each side or until they get a light crust.

Add a pinch of salt once ready, squeeze a tiny drizzle of half lemon juice or spicy oil.

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