Abruzzo is a region in Italy that is known for the richness of its cuisine. One of the popular dishes that originated from Abruzzo is arrosticini, a skewered lamb dish. The popularity of arrosticini allowed it to travel to different Italian regions until it reached other countries. The simple dish that was the traditional meal of shepherds became an ideal cuisine for a weekend barbeque.
The specialty cuisine of castrated lamb’s meat
Arrosticini is best cooked on a brazier, a receptacle usually made from metal that holds live coals and covered by a grill where the skewered meat is placed for cooking. Chunks of castrated lamb’s meat are manually placed in skewers with ovine fat placed in between the chunks of meat. The secret to the tender texture of the skewered meat is dependent on the preparation of the brazier. Coal must be properly arranged in the brazier so that air can circulate and enable heat to be spread evenly. It can be quite tricky to get the temperature right but a little practice will ensure that you get the fire burning until the coals smolder. Once you get the right temperature, you can start placing the skewered meat on the grill. Make sure though that all sides are cooked evenly. Normally, it will take about 3 to 5 minutes for the chunks of meat to cook but you make adjustments based on your convenience. You can also add some salt during the process of cooking.
If you are on a picnic and you unfortunately forgot to bring along some coals, you can cook arrosticini the way shepherds do. You can prepare the brazier with dried twigs and sticks. When the twigs start to smolder, you can leave the fire burning until you get the right temperature. In order to contain the heat, arrange the twigs in the form of pyramid and wait until they smolder. Cooking time can vary but make sure that all the sides are evenly cooked.
Arrosticini in Italian restaurants
If you do not want the hassle of preparing the food on your own, you have the option of trying the cuisine in Italian restaurants. There are Italian chefs who can prepare the Italian cuisine with authenticity, the way it was traditionally done by shepherds in the mountains of Abruzzo. If you will trace the history of arrosticini in Italy, you will find out that shepherds eat their meal accompanied by home-baked bread that has been dipped in extra virgin olive oil. Tradition dictates that the skewered meat be eaten with hands and teeth.
There is also commercially-made arrosticini where the chunks of meat are cut in identical sizes and placed on 10-centimeter long skewers. While commercially-made arrosticini is very convenient, there is no guarantee that it will taste like the traditional meal from Italy. On the other hand, there are restaurants that manage to duplicate the flavor of the traditional flavor. It only takes a little effort to shop around for the best restaurants that can satisfy your appetite.