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Spiedies {Legendary Italian Marinated Meat Kebabs}

Spiedies: Legendary Italian Meat Kebabs

My Italian friend Linda tells me “the name Spiedies has nothing to do with speed and everything to with the Big Daddy of spiedies which is spiedini, the Italian kebab or skewered and grilled meat.” Spiedies are an upstate New York Italian favorite that really started in the Middle East. When the Middle Eastern conquerors invaded Italy, they brought with them many ingredients and cooking ideas that stuck – meat kebabs being one of them. As conquered lands tend to do, the Italians adopted and adapted … and then …  made them better. Italians in upstate New York now strive to perfect them and even host an annual festival to celebrate Spiedies.

I didn’t know all this before my Italian friend Linda posted her recipe for Spiedies … when I saw those mouthwatering pictures and read the ingredients in that marinade, I knew right away I wanted to try it with venison.Venison has a stronger gamey flavor that can overpower some marinades, but this marinade was just magic. I made these for a little dinner party with just a few good friends and everyone loved them. My friend told me a few days later that the dinner I made for them was legendary. Legendary! And according to the story, they really are.

Linda says to serve these kebabs in good Italian bread, but I served them over rice because I wasn’t sure if my girl would like them and she loves rice, so I knew at the very least she would eat the rice. But she ate them! Most of the time when I make venison as steaks or kebabs, she doesn’t really care for it. But THIS … this she ate. I was so excited.

I did try them later in Italian bread, but like I tend to do, I smothered the meat with cheese and veggies and by the time I got done, you couldn’t even see the meat. But you could still taste it! That incredible herbilicious meaty flavor shone right through. Mmmm!

Spiedies: Legendary Italian Meat Kebabs

Spiedies

Adapted from Linda’s Italian Table. I cut down the amount of oil and substituted my balsamic sundried tomato “ketchup” in place of the tomato paste and balsamic vinegar. I didn’t measure the amounts for the fresh herbs, just threw in what looked like would be about right, and it turned out marvelous. I think fresh herbs are very forgiving that way. Definitely use fresh herbs as much as you can in this dish … it makes a big difference.

  • 3 lb. tender leg of lamb and/or pork tenderloin, or venison, or chicken breast – cut up into pieces about 1 1/2 inches
Marinade:
  • 1/4 c. Olive Oil
  • Zest of 1 fresh lemon
  • Juice of a Large Fresh Lemon
  • 1/3 cup balsamic sundried tomato “ketchup” (recipe here … or use 1 Tablespoon tomato paste + 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar)
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/3 c. Dry Red Wine
  • 5 Cloves Fresh Garlic
  • 2 Tsp. sugar
  • 1 Tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Tsp. Paprika
  • 1 Crushed Large Bay Leaf
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh Thyme or Lemon Thyme
  • 3 Tbsp. Fresh Rosemary – chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh Mint – chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Fresh Oregano – chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. Fresh Basil – chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley – chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt or more ( make sure to be generous with the salt as it brings out the flavors)
  • Plenty of Freshly Ground Black Pepper
To serve:
  • Good Italian Bread (or rice!)

You can chop the herbs and garlic by hand if you like, or toss them all in a handi chopper or food processor. I found that didn’t chop them fine enough, so I added some of the balsamic sundried tomato sauce to get it to blend fine. Once you get your herbs chopped, then whisk them together with the rest of the marinade ingredients. TASTE the marinade to make sure it has enough salt and pepper. The salt and pepper brings out the flavor. If you don’t add enough, your spiedies will be bland.

Mix the marinade with the meat so that all the meat is covered in marinade, cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight. I made my marinade early in the morning and started them grilling around 7 pm in the evening.

Skewer the meat just before grilling. Heat the grill so there is a hot spot for searing and a cooler spot to finish the meat. Sear the meat over the hot spot first, turning to sear all sides of the kebabs, then move them to the cooler part of the grill to finish. They shouldn’t take long if your grill is good and hot. (We had a little trouble getting the grill to heat up, so mine actually got slow cooked for a while over very low heat, then we restarted the charcoal and got it searing hot and then seared them, then moved them to the cooler part. Once the grill was hot, they didn’t take long at all to finish.)

Be careful not to overcook them (especially with venison), because the meat will get dry.  They should cook up fairly quickly on a hot grill. Do a taste test as you go …

Spiedies: Legendary Italian Meat Kebabs

This recipe was shared at  Thursday’s TreasuresTastetastic ThursdayFoodie Friends FridayFit & Fabulous Fridays and EveryDay Mom’s Meals.

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13 responses

  1. Now this looks amazing! My family would LOVE this! Thanks Ann :)

    July 5, 2012 at 9:13 am

    • Ann

      I bet they would! My daughter and friends all loved them.

      July 5, 2012 at 9:47 am

  2. This sounds so fabulous, Ann! I want to give this a try with lamb!!

    July 5, 2012 at 9:21 am

    • Ann

      Oh I bet it would be spectacular with lamb! I can’t wait to see your version Lisa :)

      July 5, 2012 at 9:47 am

  3. hungry, hungry, hungry… xoxo

    July 5, 2012 at 9:37 am

    • Ann

      If only you were closer, Michele! I would love to share some with you :)

      July 5, 2012 at 9:52 am

  4. This is making me want to hit the kitchen instead of going to bed.

    July 5, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    • Ann

      LOL … hey you could make up the marinade before you go to bed and have the meat all ready for cooking tomorrow! Just saying … :)

      July 6, 2012 at 8:33 am

  5. I can’t handle these pictures! they’re making my mouth water!

    July 7, 2012 at 3:38 pm

  6. I have never heard of these! Your photos look really great. Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friend’s Friday! Please come back next week to share another great recipe.

    July 7, 2012 at 5:24 pm

  7. Ann, that is a fabulous marinade…so many delicious fresh herbs!! This looks so amazing! Thank you for bringing these yummy kebabs to Fit and Fab! :)

    July 7, 2012 at 7:52 pm

  8. Pingback: Triple Tomato Ranch Pasta Salad « Sumptuous Spoonfuls

  9. Pingback: Cherry Beef Salad with Cherry Malbec Vinaigrette « Sumptuous Spoonfuls

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