Well, let’s see. Instead of traditional mangal, I use shichirin and instead of grapevine charcoals — binchotan charcoals from Japan. While true Georgian shashlik is made of non-aged lamb, I choose conditioned lamb from New Zeland. Finally, the marinade is based on local herbs, vegetables, and spices. I couldn’t even find a good substitute for young Georgian wine and decided to use sake for its cleaner taste.
Ingredients for Marinade
Acidic liquid, e.g., lemon or lime juice, whine wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, unoaked white wine, sake
Combine all marinade ingredients in a blender jar and process them until smooth green puree.
Combine lamb cubes and green puree and marinade in Ziplocks, refrigerated, for 8-12 hours.
Preheat grill. If using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes. Wash lamb cubes under cold water to remove the marinade and pat dry them with paper towels. Place meat in a bowl, add oil. Using your hands, mix them to coat all lamb pieces with a thin layer of oil. It will protect the meat from overdrying on the grill. Skewer lamb cubes, 6-7 pieces per portion.
Season the meat and grill until ready. Timing depends on the heat source. Rotate skewers every few minutes.
It should take about 10-15 minutes.
When done, let shashliks rest for a few minutes and serve with fresh greens, sliced and seasoned tomatoes and cucumbers, flatbreads, pomegranate juice or young wine. Enjoy!
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper (adjust to taste)
1 tsp kosher salt (adjust to taste)
1 tbsp brown sugar (adjust to taste)
2 tbsp pomegranate mollases (adjust to taste)
1/4-1/2 tsp xanthan gum (optionl)
4-6 drop chrystmas red coloring (optional)
Cut tklapi to small pieces, place in a bowl and add hot water. Let it reconstitute for 15 minutes. Measure and finely chop (if using fresh) other ingredients. Combine them all in a blender jar and process into a puree with desired consistency. Note that the color of tkemali sauce will be more brown with fresh herbs, or more red with dry herbs. For very smooth texture and better color use high power blenders, a pinch of xanthan gum, and a few drops of red coloring. In a saute pan, bring the sauce to boiling and transfer it to clean sterilized glass bottles or jars with a screw on lids. Store refrigerated for up to 4 weeks.