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|Region or state||Balkans, Asia Minor|
|Main ingredients||Lamb or goat intestines, offal (sweetbreads, hearts, lungs or kidneys)|
|Cookbook: Kokoreç Media: Kokoreç|
Kokoreç or Kokoretsi is a dish of the Balkans and Anatolia consisting mainly of lamb or goat intestines, often wrapping seasoned offal, including sweetbreads, hearts, lungs, or kidneys. The intestines of suckling lambs are preferred.
The offal, along with some fat, is washed and cut into 1/2" to 3/4" thick pieces, and lightly seasoned with lemon, olive oil, oregano, salt, pepper, and sometimes garlic. The intestine are turned inside out and carefully washed, then rubbed with salt and often soaked in vinegar or lemon juice and water.
The filling meats are threaded onto a long skewer and wrapped with the intestine to hold them together, forming a compact roll usually about 16"-24" long by 1 1/2" to 3" in diameter.
Kokoretsi is usually roasted on a horizontal skewer over a charcoal, gas, or electrical burner, and may be basted with lemon juice and olive oil.
A quite different preparation mixes the chopped innards with chopped tomatoes and green peppers, and then cooks them on a large griddle with hot red pepper and oregano added. The cook constantly mixes and chops the mixture using two spatulas. When done, the dish is kept warm aside on the griddle until someone orders a serving.
The cooked kokoretsi is chopped or sliced, sprinkled with oregano, and served on a plate.
It may also (especially in Turkey) be served in half a baguette or in a sandwich bun, plain or garnished, almost always with oregano and red pepper.
In Turkey, common side dishes are pickled peppers or cucumbers.
It is often seasoned with lemon, oregano, salt, a pepper, and typically accompanied by wine or raki.
National and regional
Kokoretsi is occasionally available in restaurants, ouzeris and tavernas year round in Greece, but for the most part it remains a festival dish ordinarily prepared only once a year at home during Orthodox Easter celebrations when it is traditional for Greek families to spit-roast a whole lamb. It serves as a "meze" or appetizer until the lamb is ready.
Due to outbreak of mad cow disease in the late 90's, banning the consumption of offal was considered. However, the idea was abandoned.
Gardouba (γαρδούμπα) or gardoubakia (γαρδουμπάκια) is a variant of kokoretsi, but roasted in a pan in an oven, instead of over an open fire.
Kokoreç is one of the most consumed fast foods in Turkey.
Most of it is prepared, cooked and sold in small kiosks year-round, and is usually consumed as a sandwich. It is also served in some restaurants.
- Γ. Μπαμπινιώτης (Babiniotis), Λεξικό της Νέας Ελληνικής Γλώσσας, Δεύτερη Έκδοση, Athens, 2002