My sister has been suggesting I make Spiedies for years, and I’ve been promising to make them just as long! And I’ve been missing out big time. Oh all those wasted years without my Sister’s Spiedies! And as far as Spiedies? My Sister’s significant other was actually born in Binghamton, New York, ground zero for great Spiedies, so she knows what she’s talkin’ about!
If you haven’t had a Spiedie, you’ve been missing out, too. And if you’re like me and never had one before, Spiedies are a New York specialty, sandwiches served on Italian bread or a soft, Italian roll, like a Hoagie or Submarine type roll, and they’re made up of tender, highly marinated chunks of Chicken, Pork, Lamb or sometimes Venison. You’ll want to plan ahead for the best Spiedie experience because they’re best marinated for a long time. And if you’re thinking of going with chicken, you can use this recipe or see my new post for New York Chicken Spiedies.
About My Sister’s Spiedies:
Spiedies are perfect for Labor Day or any summer holiday or get together. You can make them for dinner but it’s easy to make these in larger quantities to serve a crowd. It’s a great recipe to “stretch” a little chicken, pork or lamb and have everyone full and raving. They’re pretty easy, they’re fast, fun, festive and interactive. They’re the kind of food that’s served around the grill (or the tailgate) with a picnic table set up for the sides and rolls, and everyone lining up for the Spiedies as they come off the grill, all charred, smoky and juicy.
The idea is that, once they’re done, you’ll take your roll in one hand, the skewer in the other and wrap the roll around the meat, pulling the skewer and leaving that juicy meat behind. Then it’s considered appropriate to splash your Spiedie with a little reserved marinade or a garlic lemon sauce, but don’t be tempted to use any other condiments! Definitely, no cheese or you might be kicked out of the Spiedie kingdom – people can get pretty picky about regional specialties like these Spiedies! Some locals ok the use of lettuce, tomatoes, and onions.
Serve your Spiedies with anything you’d like. A big Italian salad would be great; I think it would be appropriate to lean towards the Italian with salad or pasta salads with vinaigrette, bell peppers, etc. You can never go wrong, IMHO with coleslaw and potato salad but that’s probably my Midwest roots talking. At the restaurants, of course, they’re served with fries and or onion rings and your other diner standards. I made Syracuse Salted Potatoes (another New York regional specialty) just because I saw a lady on you tube who always serves her Spiedies with them! They were wonderful.
Making My Sister’s Spiedies:
You’ll want to marinate these for a long time, 24 hours is great but don’t be afraid to go longer. You may see a little softening around the edges because of the high acid content of the marinade but trust me – go long! Some even marinate for two to three days, others for literally weeks.
For the full-on Spiedie experience, use the dried herbs (and the garlic plus the garlic salt) for the intensity they provide in the long marination process – this isn’t the place for fresh.
When you cook your spiedies, you’re looking for a little char, so leave them be for a few minutes on each side, then turn. If the outside looks great and the inside isn’t quite done, just move them to the cooler part of the grill to finish up. When they’re done, splash a bit of that reserved marinade over the skewers.
Reserve a little of the marinade, though, to serve marinade on the side, so everyone can drizzle a little more over their finished spiedies. You might want to make a little more, depending on how many Spiediees you’re making!
Saving Money on My Sister’s Spiedies:
Shop carefully for your proteins and know the highs and lows in your area; normally just about any protein will drop to a rock bottom low once a quarter or so. The larger family packs are generally less per pound so pick them up and portion in sizes your family will use and freeze.
When shopping for lemons, pay attention to the weight. Weigh several and pick the heaviest. As far as the herbs, look for packages in the produce section or check out the bulk herbs if your store has them. It really does pay to grow your own herbs in the garden or in pots. Bring them in when fall hits or just harvest and dry.
The rolls may be a challenge to find in some areas. Check your store’s bakery – their selection may be better and the prices are usually lower than the groceries “bread” section. I was able to find some nice rolls in the bakery section. Aldi has a nice, soft, hoagie type of a roll, and if you wish to go higher end, maybe check out brioche rolls. If all else fails, look for a good bakery hot dog bun. Now, I’m probably going to be kicked out of the Spiedie kingdom for that last suggestion, lol!!
My Sister's Spiedies
- 2 to 3 pounds of pork loin or pork tenderloin, or the equivalent amount of lamb or venison, about a pound to a pound and a half (may use chicken or use the recipe for New York Chicken Spiedies, instead)
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil (olive oil will work, but hardens in the fridge so I’d recommend the vegetable)
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (use apple cider for best results)
- 2 large garlic cloves, pressed or finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Cut meat into one and a half inch cubes and place into a Ziploc bag. Whisk together the rest of the ingredients. Remove about 1/2rd of a cup of the marinade and reserve; pour the remainder over the meat. Close Ziploc and massage the marinade throughout, then open the Ziploc and squeeze out any excess air. Place the bag in a bowl and refrigerate for 24 hours and up to five or six days. If timing allows, turn and massage the bag several times.
When ready to cook, build a fire in your grill, leaving about 1/3 of grill free of coals, or set a gas grill to high, leaving one burner off. Remove the meat from its marinade and thread onto metal skewers, or wooden ones that have been soaked in water for 30 minutes. As you thread, fold over any of the longer, thinner pieces, smooth side out. The chunks can be placed quite close together. Discard marinade. Remove reserved marinade from the fridge and pour about 2 tablespoons in a small container.
When coals are covered with gray ash and fire is still quite high or gas grill is hot (you can hold your hand 5 inches above coals for only a couple of seconds), place the skewers of meat directly over the flames. Cook quickly, but do leave it undisturbed, for about two to three minutes, or until it has begun to caramelize, brown and get crispy edges on one side, then turn and repeat. The total cooking time should be another five to seven minutes, so about 10 minutes total at the most.
Check the meat with your fingertips – it should have a little give and not be hard – it will cook a bit more from carryover heat after being removed from the grill. If the skewers start to burn, or if the outside is crispy at its edges, caramelized and brown and still not cooked through, move the skewers over to the cool side of the grill to finish. When finishing, brush with a little of the marinade.
Rest the spiedies few minutes, then serve the skewers along with the rolls. Hold a roll in your hand, place the shewer in the roll and use the roll to wrap the meat on the skewer and pull it off onto the roll. Serve with the rest of the reserved marinade on the side.
- You may wish to make more of the marinade if serving the larger amount so there will be more to go around when it comes time to drizzle the spiedies.
- If the olive oil in marinade has hardened, just leave it at room temperature for a little bit, or set it near your grill where the heat will melt it in minutes.
Click over to our latest Throwback Thursday post for links to their blogs and social media, rules and more info or, as always, to see all the links or add your own, click on the little blue frog, below.
As always, to view the links (there’s a photo of each post) or to add your own, click on the little blue frog, below!
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And, as I do almost every Friday, I’ll be linking up to Angie’s Fiesta Friday – this is Number 136, hosted this week by Judi of Cooking with Aunt Juju. Be sure to stop by Saucy Saturdays, too, my fave Saturday party place!