One of Abruzzo’s most beloved foods is arrosticini—skewers of cubed lamb grilled over a charcoal re and served with olive oil–soaked bread (also grilled). The tradition originated with the region’s shepherds hundreds of years ago. Be sure to serve the arrosticini with a plummy Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed of sinew and silver skin
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
- Grilled country-style bread, for serving
Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut the lamb into 1/2-inch cubes. Transfer to a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt. Toss to coat.
Thread the meat on sixteen 8-inch bamboo skewers, bunching the meat together and leaving little of the tips of the skewers exposed. (Otherwise, they’ll burn.)
Light your grill and preheat to medium-high. (You can grill the arrosticini on a gas grill, but a charcoal re is preferred. You can even use an indoor grill or grill pan.) Arrange the skewers on the grill grate. Work in batches, if necessary. Grill until the lamb is cooked through and has picked up some color, about 1 minute per side, depending on the heat of your fire.
Transfer the arrosticini to a platter. Serve with coarse salt and additional olive oil to drizzle over the lamb and the bread. Eat the lamb right off the skewer—no plate needed. Alternate bites of lamb and bread.
Serves 4 — Recipe courtesy of the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club