“Plekti” (eng: knit/braided); this is how our ancestors used to call the wrapping of the intestines around the skewered pieces of pluck. It is mentioned in Homer’s works as well. Today, we, descendants of ancient Greeks, use the exact same way to braid the intestines around skewered pluck to make our traditional Kokoretsi, which is very dear to all Greeks. The name, my fellow grillers, ‘kokoretsi” isn’t Greek. Most likely it comes from the Romanian word “koukouretsou”, which means spindle. Then, it came to us maybe via Serbians, and it got established as a name. The important thing is, however, that the way of making it is almost the same as the ancient Greek way. Hello, dear friends! I’m Yorgos (George) Mallioras and along with my brother Andreas we construct grills and ovens. Through our channel, Grill philosophy we share with you our passion for grilling. This passion has driven us now, after a lot of searching and grilling, to conclude in 6 basic points that you need to pay attention to in order to produce the perfect Kokoretsi! Happy grilling to everyone! The spices 1 gram (0.035 oz) of black peppercorns for every kilogram (2.2 lbs) of pluck not calculating the weight of the intestines. Bash it in the mortar to release its full aroma. 12 grams (0.42 oz) of quality sea salt we use fleur de sel here, for every kilo (2.2 lbs) of pluck. Again, not calculating the weight of the intestines. Bash it as well, because it’s thick, to be mixed with the pepper and the pepper aromas to blend in the salt for better distribution among the pluck pieces. Detail 1: Pluck and intestines We will use two suckling lamb plucks along with the sweetbreads of each one and 3 whole sets of intestines again of small or suckling lambs not of older ones. The pieces we are about to cut will be of this size that is, we aren’t making a thick kokoretsi. Put the pluck pieces in a cooking vessel and add the pepper and salt mixture adding and mixing well for an even seasoning 12 grams (0.42 oz) of salt for every kilo of pluck and 1 gram (0.035 oz) black pepper for a balanced flavor Detail 2: Rinsing of the intestines About the rinsing of the intestines Pour water, approximately in 1m (3.3 ft) inside of the intestine and then this way help it go down and out on the other side do this three times, maximum four for someone that prefers a very thorough rinsing and it’s more than enough. We don’t turn the intestines inside out because then they will be slippery during wrapping and we’ll be unable to wrap them around correctly. Also, when the inside is out it is more likely to get burned during grilling. To prevent the intestines of getting tangled, you can have them submerged in water. Place the intestines in a cooking vessel and leave their edges out. We will start the wrapping from the last edge we place in the bowl so we need to remember which one was it. Detail 3: When to start wrapping While the charcoals are being lit we need to have the kokoretsi skewered. Another very important factor to a successful kokoretsi it’s to skewer it just before grilling. Skewering a day before it’s a huge mistake, because this way we’ll end up with a very dry kokoretsi as all its juices will be left to drain all night long. We start skewering with heart. Heart-sweetbread lung liver and once more sweetbread lung lungs are more so we will add more among the other parts the heart pieces that are fewer will be added more sparingly heart sweetbread continue this way until all are skewered It’s ready. As you can see, it’s even. Now, before starting wrapping the intestines we’ll wrap it in suet We don’t make a very thick kokoretsi, because the traditional kokoretsi isn’t thick. We will now wrap in lamb suet of a suckling lamb, which is very thin, less fatty, and will add moisture in the kokoretsi, and make it sweeter and tastier. Don’t use suet of an older lamb which is very fatty and I wouldn’t reccomend it. As you can see, we haven’t added much fat. We are now ready to wrap the intestines around. Tie a knot with the intestine on the upper side and then stretch alongside. Continue with the next one which you don’t need to knot this time Make a crossing sideways sideways again And at this point we start wrapping more sparsely in the begging. Be careful, though, don’t pull the intestine too much to tighten it we don’t want to tighten it, because we are to lose the juices this way. Wrap around loosely. And as we said, the intestines are of a suckling lamb as is the entire pluck. We haven’t used all the intestines yet. And as you can see, the kokoretsi is fully covered It is very important, as I mentioned at the start to not turn the intestines inside out because the inside part of the intestine is very slippery and we cannot wrap it correctly. While the outer side of the intestine isn’t slippery at all and it can be wrapped, as you can see, very well. A little help is always welcomed because it’s tiring to turn it around all by yourself while wrapping it. And, as you can see, with only three sets of intestines, and they are from a small lamb, were enough to wrap the entire kokoretsi which consists of two suckling lamb plucks. No need for too much intestine. Just don’t turn it inside out because you can’t wrap it around this way. No way. As you can see, the kokoretsi is ready. Even and ready to be roasted. In 5-10 minutes, the charcoals will be ready, as well. We will place it on the grill straight away. Detail 4: Grilling in high temperature The fire is ready very strong we start grilling on the highest position. With a strong fire it will take 1-1.5 hours maximum The fire is very strong that’s why we’re grilling in that distance. In a while, though, we will be placing it in the lowest position. Another factor for a successful kokoretsi is the very strong fire right from the start. In approximately 10 minutes we will place it lower and very close to the fire. We need a strong fire from the start to have a juicy kokoretsi. Just because the kokoretsi hasn’t lost its juices since we skewered and wrapped it just before grilling, we’re not afraid of a strong fire. So, a strong fire, to boil inside and take color on the outside quickly. After 15 minutes close to fire, as you can see, it goes really well. So it does need a very strong fire from the start. From the 30 minutes that is being grilled the 20 minutes are very close to fire and as it seems it isn’t afraid of the strong heat. If you grill far from fire or on a fire that gives a lower temperature then the kokoretsi will dry out. 45 minutes in a strong fire our hand can take 3 seconds maximum near this fire. And as you can see there’s no problem at all with our roast. With an internal temperature close to 80°C (176°F) we are spreading the charcoals to release all their strength We are strengthening the fire, that is, as much as possible. We are heading to the final stage of grilling. We’re grilling now for a little more than an hour. A very strong fire! Detail 5: When is it ready? Final grilling stage. 1 hour and 20 minutes. It has a very nice color. We are at the final stage of the grilling process. The fire; very strong. Let’s check the temperature. 88°C (191°F) internally It’s ready. We will just leave it to take some color and give a nicer flavor. Be careful, though, because from now on we may end up drying it. About 1 and a half hours from the moment we placed it on the grill. Perfect color. It has started to foam heavily. We will remove it before it stops foaming. Pay attention to this stage, it is the most crucial! At this point we can end up with a very juicy kokoretsi or a very dry one. It has hit the desirable temperature already. What is left is adding some color to the kokoretsi. Follow the instructions and the steps, closely, and this year you are going to enjoy the best kokoretsi! Detail 6: the wrapping, proper handling before cutting It’s good to wrap it in aluminum foil for 6-7 minutes minimum to maintain its juices. Well done cut in thin slices And the final touch… for the oregano lovers add oregano in the end along with some salt. And, more advanced, a little sumac. Very juicy! You see and incredibly tasty. Follow these instructions closely, for the best kokoretsi! Happy grilling everyone!