Shashlik is a variety of skewered meat commonly eaten Russian and most other former Soviet states. It is traditionally prepared on a “mangal,” a box like fire pit, using charcoal or wood. The meat is usually beef, pork, or lamb and is marinated in acidic marinade overnight. These would be commonly prepared by street vendors or for parties and picnics.
This particular recipe is Uzbek in origin and is very simple in comparison to some other recipes. As with all the different “bbq” recipes in the US, there are a million and one ways of preparing shashlik and many people take pride in their particular methods.
When preparing this batch we used 7lbs of pork shoulder and 4 onions for about 5-6 people. The general rule of thumb is for 4lb of meat you need 0.5lb of onion.
Cut the pork into 1-1.5” cubes. Cut off any loose fat. You need fat on the meat for cooking, but loose chunks will only cause flare ups when they drip into the fire.
Clean four onions and use a food processor or knife to mince 3.5 of the onions.
Add 1 tsp salt, favorite meat seasoning (we used Georgian seasoning mix), 0.5-1 tsp ground red pepper, 1 tsp sweet paprika, squeeze 0.25 of lemon, and 2 tbs vegetable oil
Mix all the ingredients by hand working the spices into the meat. Once uniformly mixed, pound down the meat. You want the meat marinating in the juices that form.
Let the meat marinade in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
To make shashlik, the meat needs to be rotated while on the grill or mangal. Therefore, you will need skewers that are flat or you will need you use two round skewers per shashlik.
Skewer the meat cubes onto the skewers separating by small pieces of the half onion you have left. Clean off any excess marinade chunks you have left, they will only burn when cooking.
We used a charcoal grill to preparing these. Shashlik is generally prepared on high heat in open flame. A trick for checking whether the fire is hot enough to place your hand directly over the fire where the shashlik will sit, you should only be able to handle the heat for 2-3 seconds.
Arrange all the skewers parallel to each other.
Cooking may take 30-40 minutes depending on your flame. Rotate the skewers frequently to make sure the meat is cooked evenly.
How well these turn out is entirely up to the skill of the chef. Serve hot and enjoy!