Kokoretsi is a traditional Greek dish made mainly, but not only, during Easter, consisting mainly of seasoned pieces of lamb or goat offal (sweetbread, hearts, lungs, or kidneys), skewered on a spit and wrapped with lamb or goat caul fat and intestines and grilled together with the lamb.
To make kokoretsi the most difficult part of the process is to wash the bowels (intestines) of the lamb.
This is a time consuming procedure which is advisable to be made a day before roasting it.
The bowels, which are from a small lamb, should be washed thoroughly inside-out. They are then washed and put in a bowl of water with either vinegar or lemon juice, they are washed again and turned around and washed for a second time.
To wash the intestines inside, take a knitting needle, put one end, after folding the tip and push it through, until this end comes out from the other side. After washing them well with vinegar or lemon juice, wash them again with plenty of water and turn them over again.
When turning them over, surely some of them break. Use these smaller pieces to make magiritsa.
Easter soup: Magiritsa
This traditional Easter offal soup is the first thing we eat after the midnight mass on Saturday evening.
After fasting period, which may be from a week or up to forty eight days (and not forty as many think), this soup apart from delicious, is light and good for the stomach.
Magiritsa is made with some finely chopped intestines as well as the lamb offal, finely chopped, lettuce coarsely chopped and blanched, dill and spices which are cooked until the offfal are soft and then an avgolemono sauce is added, to thicken the soup.
I’ve seen recipes adding rice to this soup but traditional magiritsa does not have rice in it.
If you do not like offal, you can substitute them with oyster (pleurotus) mushrooms which have a meaty texture.
This is the time when we also crack our Easter eggs and say “Christos Anesti” (Christ has risen from the dead).
We dye them red symbolizing the blood of Jesus and we crack them to remember the cracking of the stones when the earth opened and stones cracked during His resurrection.
In some parts of Greece they make magiritsa either by adding tomato or by adding rice.
In our family we use neither rice or tomato, although in Sparta where we usually go for Easter they do use tomato in the sauce.
If you don’t like liver, you can substitute it with pleurotus (oyster) mushrooms.
- 1 lamb liver, including lungs and sweetbreads etc.
- ½ kilo lamb bowels
- 3 - 4 lettuces, depending on size, coarsely cut
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 4 spring onions, finely chopped
- 1 cup finely chopped dill
- 1 cup finely chopped parsley
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 egg yokss
- ½ cup of lemon juice
- 1 tbsp corn flour (optional)
- Have the liver washed and the bowels washed. '
- Also have the lettuce and the fresh herbs washed and finely cut the herbs.
- Cut the lettuce in big pieces and boil for five minutes and then strain them.
- Boil the liver, lungs, sweetbreads for ten minutes and after straining cut them in very small pieces (not bigger than 2 cm).
- In a pot sauté the onions until transculent and add the liver and bowels and sauté as well. Add the lettuce, salt, pepper and water to cover and simmer for about 30 – 40 minutes.
- Add the herbs and cook for five more minutes.
- Remove from heat and set aside for 10 minutes.
- Prepare avgolemono sauce (egg and lemon sauce).
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and add the lemon juice. While beating, add the corn flour and mix until it dissolves. Take a ladle of stock from your pot and slowly add it to your egg and lemon mixture while whisking.
- Add avgolemono into your pot and mix.
- Leave it to rest for 10 minutes and then serve.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 514 Total Fat: 40g Saturated Fat: 11g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 26g Cholesterol: 294mg Sodium: 177mg Carbohydrates: 6g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 2g Protein: 32g
Other relevant recipes:
Kalo Pascha (Happy Easter)
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,