Mixed Lamb Skewers (Kokoretsi)

A traditional festival dish taken from Greece: The Cookbook

Preparation time: 6 hrs (including soaking)
Cooking time: 1 hr
Serves 8-10


organ meats (offal) of 2 spring lambs: 4 kidneys, 2 livers, and 2 hearts
2 lamb’s sweetbreads, soaked in several changes of cold water for 5 hours and drained
pinch of dried oregano
salt and pepper
3 1/4 lb (1.5 kg) spring lamb’s intestines
about 4 cups (about 1 litre / 1 3/4 pints) red wine vinegar
3 large lamb’s cauls, soaked in water to soften and cut into medium-size pieces
olive oil, for brushing
radishes and scallions (spring onions), to garnish
lettuce leaves, to serve


Remove and discard any tubes, cores, and membranes from the kidneys, livers, hearts, and lungs and rinse well. Sprinkle with the oregano and salt and pepper and set aside.

Wash the intestines carefully and thoroughly but do not cut into pieces. Place in a bowl, pour over vinegar to cover, and set aside for 30 minutes. Rinse with plenty of cold running water and drain.

Thread the organ meats onto three long skewers and wrap the cauls around them. Secure them to the skewers by winding the intestines up and around, so that they cover the whole skewer. Brush with olive oil and chill in the refrigerator until ready to cook. (You can also wrap and freeze them. When ready to cook, thaw fully first.)

Preheat the broiler (grill) or light the charcoal on a barbecue. Brush with oil and broil (grill) or, preferably, grill over charcoal, brushing frequently with oil and turning, for about 1 hour, or until browned all over and no pink juices flow when the meat is pricked with a fork. Make a bed of lettuce on a platter and top with the meat.

Garnish with radishes and scallions and serve hot.

Note: You can also bake kokoretsi in a preheated oven at 400°F (200°C / Gas Mark 6) and then brown both sides under the broiler.


Greece: The Cookbook is the definitive work on the rich and fascinating cooking of modern Greece.

Greece: The Cookbook is the first truly comprehensive bible of Greek food in English. Rapidly increasing in popularity, Greek food is simple to prepare, healthy and delicious, and, more than most other cuisines, bears all the hallmarks of the rich cultural history of the land and sea from which it is drawn. It is the original Mediterranean cuisine, where olive oil, bread, wine, figs, grapes and cheese have been staples since the beginnings of Western civilization. With hundreds of simple recipes by Vefa Alexiadou, the authoritative grand dame of Greek cookery, the book also includes information on regional specialities, local ingredients and the religious and historical significance of the dishes, and is illustrated with 230 colour photographs. Greece: The Cookbook is the definitive work on the rich and fascinating cooking of modern Greece.