Posted by: Hil | January 6, 2009

Pork Brochettes with Ras El Hanout

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These yummy little marinated meat skewers were supposed to be part of our New Year’s Eve tapas dinner, but we ended up filling up on earlier courses, so we had them for lunch on New Year’s Day instead, along with big steaming mugs of spinach soup.  The marinade for the pork is simple, but the flavor it imparts is absolutely amazing.  It’s bright and spicy without being at all hot.  I’d never tried ras al hanout before making this recipe last year, but now it is one of my staple spice blends.  Ras al hanout is a delicious Middle Eastern spice blend.  Its contents vary quite a bit, but most versions contain cardamom, cinnamon, paprika, coriander, cumin, tumeric and nutmet, among others.  It’s delicious on meat or pasta or anything else you can think of, but the combination with lemon and pork is particularly successful.  You can find ras el hanout at nice grocery stores (I’ve seen it at Whole Foods), but we used a homemade blend that the Lemonator whipped up himself.  Either way, the flavor is great.  Credit for this recipe goes to my trusty tapas cookbook, A Passion for Tapas.  Credit for the preparation of the brochettes above goes to the Lemonator.

To make the marinade, combine 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp ras-el-hanout spice blend, the rind and juice of a lemon, a bit of finely chopped flat leaf parsley, salt and pepper.  Cut up 1 pound of lean, boneless pork into small chunks.  Place the pork in a large, shallow dish that will hold the pieces in a single layer.  Pour the marinade over the pork and toss until well coated.  Let the meat marinate for 8 hours or overnight, stirring a few times.

To cook the meat, thread pieces of meat onto skewers.  You will probably need about 12 skewers with three or four pieces of meat on each.  Cook them under the broiler or on the grill for 10-15, turning several times.  If you like, you can baste the meat with the remaining marinade.  Serve hot, garnished with more fresh chopped parsley.

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