Moorish skewers

Pinchitos morunos and a glass of Pedro Ximenez
Europe's first kebabs were brought by the Arabs from Africa. Pinchitos morunos are extremely popular as a tapa, particularly in Andalucia. Though nowadays they are made of pork, rather than lamb,they are still marinated in a Moorish spice mix and usually grilled outside and over charcoal or wood; however, they also cook beautifully on a griddle or on a heavy griddle type pan inside, during the cooler months.Great finger food for friends - or you can increase the quantities and make them a meal or part of a barbecue.
  • 500g lean pork fillets, lean lamb fillets or skinless chicken breasts
  • 8 pre-soaked wooden skewers, about 15cm long, OR
  • 4 metal skewers, about 25cm long
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, roughly ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, roughly ground
  • 1/2 teaspoonfennel seeds, roughly ground
  • 1 -2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika (Pimenton)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed with
  • 1/2 teaspoon Flor de sal 
  • 1 pinch saffron threads,infused with
  • 2 tablespoonsboiling water
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano 
  • 1bay leaf, crumbledor finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar 
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  1. Cut your choice of meat,chicken lamb or pork into cubes about 1" in size. Flatten them slightly with the palm of your hand.
  2. Place the meat in a large bowl and add the dried spices, garlic & salt, saffron infused water, oregano, bay leaf and vinegar - mix thoroughly.
  3. Add the olive oil - mix again thoroughly, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for between 2 & 12 hours, so the flavours mingle and marinade into the meat.
  4. Light the barbecue about half an hour before cooking and allow the charcoal or wood to flare and then glow.
  5. If cooking inside, turn the grill up to high, or use a smoking hot griddle or griddle pan.
  6. Thread the meat on to the skewers.
  7. Grill for about 5 minutes on each side, or until the outside is charred and the inside is still juicy but cooked. (NOT pink for pork and chicken - but pink for lamb).
  8. Season well with salt and pepper and sprinkle with chopped flat leaf parsley or fresh coriander (Cilantro), serve with a selection of salads, flat breads, pickles and of course a glass of sherry or Tempranillo.


  1. I love these with lamb . . . so fragrant. Delicious!

  2. Your kale frito recipe has just reminded me that I need to make these gorgeous little morsels!


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