So what comes to mind first when you think about Russia and food? Vodka? Tsk, tsk, tsk, while being consumed a lot there, it is still not food per se. Now there is Borscht, but if you’re not a big fan of beets, that’s a no-go, so when I rummaged through the Russian cuisine scene I came across something that I had actually had in my European past – shashlyk. Originally coming from the countries of the Caucasus, it has become a staple in Russia for about 100 years now as well, good enough for us to adopt it for our Russian portion together with Russian roasted potatoes as a side.
Shashlyk is a skewer of marinated meat (mostly pork, lamb or veal) and vegetables (mostly onions and in some places zucchinis and the likes) grilled over hot charcoals, that’s the theory, in practice we did a few adaptations.
The ingredients are really simple:
- 1 kg (2.2046 lb) of pork (as mentioned lamb and veal also are an authentic option)
- 3 tbsp. of oil
- 5 tbsp. of lemon juice (vinegar also is ok)
- 1 onion
- 1 red bell pepper (or any vegetable that you would like to use)
While the original recipe calls for 2 to 2 1/2 inch thick cubes, we got a pack of thin pork cutlets, which I cut into squares and dumped into a ziploc bag together with the oil, the lemon juice and the finely chopped onion, plus some chives (can be fresh or dried), Nico took care of everything but the meat.
And then massaged the marinade into the meat – he was incredibly focused when he did it, telling us pretty much every step he did, like massaging, turning, shaking, he’s a natural, I tell you! When we asked him, if he was going to try some, he said no, he wanted sausage, so Valerie told him that it was the same animal, just flat and not rolled up. He still didn’t want to try it, but now calls pork chops “flat sausage”…
After that the bag went into the fridge for a couple of hours (it’s recommended to forget it there for at least four hours) and we went on with our day (we did this about mid-morning). In time for dinner preparation we cut the bell pepper into squares (roundabout the same size as the meat) took the pork out of its frigid prison and started to skewer them up. If you want to use a grill with fire (and wooden skewers), make sure to soak the skewers in water for about 20 minutes, you don’t want them to go up in flames, now will you?
We also roasted up some Russian Roasted Potatoes as a side dish
Please check out our partner blogs and their Russia ideas: Adventures In Mommydom, Creative Family Fun, Glittering Muffins, Juggling with Kids, Kitchen Counter Chronicles, Make, Do & Friends, Mom 2 Posh Little Divas, Mummymummymum, Rainy Day Mum, Red Ted Art, The Educators’ Spin On It and The Outlaw Mom!
Please link up your Russia dish and/or craft in our linky below, we would love to see it!