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Russian/Georgian Pork Shashlyk

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“I'd like to say this is a Russian recipe, but it's not really true. Shashlyk, a type of kebabs, came to Russia from the Caucasus, primarily from Georgia. But it's immensely popular all over Russia and is considered by my countrymen to be a quintessential "man's food", meaning, it should be prepared by men, who otherwise cook much less frequently than women do in Russia. As the hero of the Oscar-winning 1980 movie Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears says: "Shashlyk does not take women's hands". This is primarily because shaslyk in Russia is traditionally cooked in "mangals" - wood burning grills - during camps, open air parties, etc., where men dominate all elements of the show, from chopping the wood to cooking the meat. Every household in Russia will have their own recipe for shashlyk. Mine is developed via years of experimentation and is shown to produce good results even if you are not a dominating Russian male :) Shaslyk can be made of any meat, as well as from chicken and fish, but my favorite is pork shashlyk. If prepared correctly, it will produce the most succulent, juicy and tender pieces of meat. It MUST be cooked on a grill and ideally a wood or coal-burning version, as the smoky flavor is a quintessential element of shashlyk's taste. As for the meat, my favorite is fatty country ribs, but center loin roast or tenderloin will work too.”
READY IN:
35mins
SERVES:
6-8
UNITS:
US

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Put all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly using your hands. The marinade should cover most of the meat. If it doesn't, add more vinegar and pomegranate juice in a 50/50% proportion.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.
  3. Thread pieces of meat onto wooden or metal skewers leaving at least 1/2 inch between the pieces. You can also alternate meat with onion rings, cherry tomatoes or other vegetables if you like.
  4. Grill for 15-20 minutes over hot ashes or charcoal (a gas grill will also produce acceptable results), turning skewers every five minutes and brushing the top with the marinade after each turn. Test for readiness by cutting through the meat - it must be medium-well to well done, very juicy and not overcooked.
  5. Serve with sliced tomatoes, peppers, raw onion rings, radishes and whole springs of parsley and cilantro.
  6. You will end up with a lot of leftover sliced onions from the marinade. It's delicious fried on a pan or grilled and may be served as a side for your shashlyk.

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