Pinchitos Morunos

Chargrilled Moorish Lamb Skewers

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Tapas

    12

Appears in

MoVida

By Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish

Published 2007

  • About

These lamb skewers have been marinated in a mix of crisp sherry, herbs and some of the spices introduced to Spain during the Moorish occupation. The fino sherry cuts through the fattiness of the lamb and the spices accentuate the smokiness of the chargrilling.

Chargrilling adds a flavour unsurpassed by any cooking done with gas or electricity. The food takes on the smoky flavour of the wood. To chargrill, make a decent-sized fire of hardwood then let the fire die down and cook the meat over the coals. Cooking over heat beads gives a similar even heat but a different flavour. These pinchitos are excellent when eaten straight from the grill but my dad considers them better when eaten an hour later.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) lamb leg meat, boned and sinew removed, cut into 1.5 cm (⅝ inch) cubes
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground cumin (see page 32)
  • 1 tablespoon Spanish sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 small handful curly parsley, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) fino sherry
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) olive oil
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) fino sherry, extra
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, extra
  • 1 teaspoon Spanish sweet smoked paprika, extra
  • ½ lemon

Method

Put the lamb in the bowl and mix in the spices, salt, parsley, garlic, sherry and olive oil. Mix well. Cover, refrigerate and allow to marinate overnight, turning two or three times.

Thread the marinated lamb onto twelve 30 cm (12 inch) metal skewers. Spread the meat along the skewers and don’t bunch it up too tightly. If there are some longer pieces then thread them lengthways. This allows the meat to cook evenly.

Make a basting liquid by mixing the extra sherry, cayenne pepper and paprika. Insert a fork into the skin of the half lemon to make a fruity basting brush. Preheat your barbecue grill to medium.

Place the skewers on the barbecue and grill for 15–20 minutes, turning and basting with the basting liquid and the half lemon several times each side. Remove from the heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.