Shashlyk/Shashlik (Poland vs Russia game)
Growing up in Germany, meat on a skewer, to me, was Schaschlik. It came from the common fast food outlet called Imbiss, was served in a white cardboard container and was smothered with a hot and spicy sauce.
Later on I learnt about Brochettes, Kebabs (Kebobs), Souvlaki, Satay and Espetada. In German restaurants, meat on a skewer was called Spieß, the German word for skewer.
The best ones were served in Kärnten (Carinthia), the southernmost part of Austria, which borders the northern part of the former Yugoslavia, Slovenia, now an independent country. Heavily influenced by Slovenian cuisine (not just due to its closeness, but also the Slovenian minority living in Carinthia), the enormous slabs of meat came highly spiced, on metal skewers a yard long, and had Romantic names such as "Husarenspieß" (hussars' kebab).
http://www.berlinerfresse.de/2009/07/21/gemeskut-csarda-ein-ungar-in-mahlsdorf/gemeskutimg_0195/ (This skewer is supposed to look like a hussar's sabre, and it is clearly being served in Hungary or as Hungarian - see flag.)
But back to shashlik/shashlyk. Of the countries that were present in the Euro Championships, Poland, Russia and Ukraine call their meat-laden skewers thus. Before I cooked mine (first pic), I did my usual thorough (and thoroughly time-consuming) research, and (surprise, surprise) the search for 'proper', 'best' and 'most traditional' shashlik produces a plethora of contradictory advice.
I made up my own mind from the information I found and matched it to my requirements.(Such as: I had chicken to use up, BBQing was out of the question due to the weather, and my grill doesn't work...)
This is what I did:
Chicken pieces (or beef, lamb, pork)
1 or 2 onions, minced (food processor, or hand held device)
hot tomato sauce
soured cream* (see below for recipe)
In a non-metal container, mix the meat with the onion pulp. Mix some of the hot sauce with the soured cream and add to the meat/onion mixture. PUT ASIDE FOR 24 HOURS.
Thread the meat on to skewers (wooden ones needs prior soaking) and grill the meat - best on a charcoal BBQ. I had to fry mine in a pan, eventually taking the pieces off the skewer... But the result was still so good that I wanted to share and recommend this.
Of course you can buy soured cream but as you only need a tbsp or two, you then have to find further uses. I had double cream lite in the fridge, so I wanted to use that.
1 cup of cream
1 tbsp of lemon
1 tbsp of vinegar
Mix lemon and vinegar, then start whipping the cream, adding the mix 1 teaspoon at a time.
It isn't quite the same but it'll do as a substitute.
Next up will be my Iberian Casserole...