The arrosticini are sheep meat skewers cut into small cubes about 1 centimeter, typical of the region of Abruzzo, in central Italy. This recipe is in the tradition of mountain pastures of Abruzzo, a region rich in sheep farming and lamb.
In the past, to achieve the arrosticini, the shepherds used the meat of old sheep. Today they are prepared with sheep, mutton or lamb; the latter being generally preferred for tenderness.
The tradition was that arrosticini are cooked on rustillire, a typical brasero, narrow and elongated, where skewers could (and still can) be returned without difficulty and cooked over low heat. At home you can cook arrosticini barbecued, baked or on a hot stone, but the result will of course be a little different.
Ingredients for 4 people
- Lamb, mutton or sheep – 700 g
- Rosemary – 2 branches
- Lemon – 1
- Extra virgin olive oil
Preparing arrosticini (skewers of Abruzzo)
Choose meat with at least a quarter of fat to prevent it dries and hardens when cooked. Cut into cubes about an inch from the side. Then, put the cubes on wooden skewers, alternating lean meat of the more oily.
Once the prepared skewers, separate them and place them on a plate; then sprinkle them with olive oil and lemon marinade (a few drops) before adding rosemary.
Finally, place the arrosticini on a barbecue, hot stone or baking sheet and cook each side for about ten minutes (for baking use the grill to maximum temperature). Be careful not to overcook or burn the meat to prevent it hardens. Also, to keep it tender and juicy, baste occasionally with marinade.
Once cooked, salt arrosticini and serve hot.
Eat arrosticini accompanied by potatoes in the oven.