Kokoretsi is a traditional Greek Easter dish consisting mainly of seasoned lamb or goat offal. To make kokoretsi the most difficult part of the process is to wash the bowels (intestines) of the lamb.
This is a time consuming procedure which is advisable to be made a day before roasting it.
The bowels, which are from a small lamb, should be washed thoroughly inside-out. They are then washed and put in a bowl of water with either vinegar or lemon juice, they are washed again and turned around and washed for a second time.
To wash the intestines inside, take a knitting needle, put one end, after folding the tip and push it through, until this end comes out from the other side. After washing them well with vinegar or lemon juice, wash them again with plenty of water and turn them over again.
When turning them over, surely some of them break. Use these smaller pieces to make magiritsa.
Kokoretsi, recipe by my husband
- The guts of two lambs including spleen, heart, lungs, sweetbreads etc.
- 2 caul fats
- 2 kilos of lamb bowels (intestines)
The entrails are washed and cut into small pieces, about 6 cm.
After draining the offal, add salt, pepper and oregano and begin skewering them, putting one piece of liver, heart, kidney, lungs etc. In between two or three pieces, add a piece of caul fat.
When finished, wrap it in caul fat and pin one end of the first bowel in the one side of the spit and lengthwise to the other side. You do this backwards and forward several times and then wind the intestine around the skewer. If the bowel reaches its end tie it with the end of the next bowel and continue to wind until all bowels are wrapped and no guts are visible.
Kokoretsi is then ready to roast over charcoal together with the Lamb on the spit.
You shouldn’t start close to the fire but on the upper position, so that it cooks well inside and when it’s half cooked you can bring it closer to the fire.
Baste it often with ladolemono, which is the same mixture of Ladolemono (olive oil, lemon and oregano) prepared for the lamb.
This traditional Easter offal soup is the first thing we eat after the midnight mass on Saturday evening. After fasting period, which may be from a week or up to forty eight days (and not forty as many think), this soup apart from delicious, is light and good for the stomach.
This is the time when we also crack our Easter eggs and say “Christos Anesti” (Christ has risen from the dead).
We dye them red symbolizing the blood of Jesus and we crack them to remember the cracking of the stones when the earth opened and stones cracked during His resurrection.
In some parts of Greece they make magiritsa either by adding tomato or by adding rice. In our family we use neither rice or tomato, although in Sparta where we usually go for Easter they do use tomato in the sauce.
If you don’t like liver, you can substitute it with pleurotus (oyster) mushrooms.
Mageritsa (Easter Offal Soup)
- 1 lamb liver, including lungs and sweetbreads etc.
- ½ kilo lamb bowels
- 2 – 3 lettuces, depending on size
- 1 cup finely chopped dill
- 1 cup finely chopped parsley
- 4 spring onions, finely chopped
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- ½ cup olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 egg yokss
- ½ cup of lemon juice
- 1 tbsp corn flour (optional)
- Have the liver washed and the bowels washed. ‘
- Also have the lettuce and the fresh herbs washed and finely cut the herbs.
- Cut the lettuce in big pieces and boil for five minutes and then strain them.
- Boil the liver, lungs, sweetbreads for ten minutes and after straining cut them in very small pieces (not bigger than 2 cm).
- In a pot sauté the onions until transculent and add the liver and bowels and sauté as well. Add the lettuce, salt, pepper and water to cover and simmer for about 30 – 40 minutes.
- Add the herbs and cook for five more minutes.
- Remove from heat and set aside for 10 minutes.
- Prepare avgolemono sauce (egg and lemon sauce).
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and add the lemon juice. While beating, add the corn flour and mix until it dissolves. Take a ladle of stock from your pot and slowly add it to your egg and lemon mixture while whisking.
- Add avgolemono into your pot and mix.
- Leave it to rest for 10 minutes and then serve.
Other relevant recipes:
Kalo Pascha (Happy Easter)
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,