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Grillling or Baking German Pork and Bacon Spears or Kebabs

Schaschlikspiesse, also known as pork kebabs or pork spears, is a great dish for outdoor grilling, or to serve at parties or barbecues. It is easy, though a little time-consuming, to make. However, all the prep work can be done days ahead of time so that if you are grilling, all you have to do on party day is toss the spears on the grill. If you decide to bake your pork kebabs, you can even cook them in advance.

A popular offering among the street vendors of Germany and Eastern Europe, this meat-on-a-stick dish is simple to make and can either be grilled or baked in an oven. However, you do need to allow time for marinating and assembly as well as cooking. In addition to the food ingredients for this recipe, you will need bamboo skewers. These can be purchased at most grocery stores. You will also need some type of vegetable oil. Regular vegetable oil, canola oil, olive oil, or corn oil are all good choices.

This recipe makes about sixteen spears. For the meat part of the dish, you will need six or seven pounds of boneless pork roast, cut into one inch chunks, and sixteen strips, or a half pound, of bacon, cut into two inch squares.

Once you have your meat cut up and ready for the skewers, you will make the marinade. The marinade consists of one twelve ounce bottle of dark beer, any brand you like, one cup of vinegar, and one cup od beef broth. You can use canned broth or make your own.

To the liquid, add ten cloves of minced garlic, one medium chopped onion, one teaspoon of salt, one teaspoon of sage, one teaspoon of savory, a bay leaf, and one teaspoon of paprika. Stir the beer, vinegar, garlic, onion, salt, spices, and broth together. Add the pork, but not the bacon, and marinate it overnight in the refrigerator. You can use a two-gallon sized freezer bag instead of a bowl to hold the pork and the marinade while it is in the refrigerator. If you use a freezer bag, you can flip it once or twice, allowing the marinade to soak into the meat more thoroughly.

Before you assemble your kebabs, the bamboo skewers need to be placed in water and soaked for at least an hour. This will keep the skewers from scorching during the cooking process.

On the day that you intend to cook the spiesse, you will need to allow at least an hour for assembly if only one person is preparing the kebabs. To begin the assembly process, pierce the first piece of pork and slide it two thirds of the way down the skewer. Then alternate pork and bacon until the skewer is full. It is a good idea to end each spear with a pork cube instead of a bacon square because the pork holds together better during cooking.

Once you have your spears assembled, brush them with your choice of vegetable oils. You can then either grill them to your taste or bake them in an oven.

If you grill the kebabs, watch them carefully and turn them often to promote even cooking. After about twenty minutes, check them for doneness by cutting one of the cubes open to look for raw or pink areas.

If you bake the kebabs, preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Place the spears, cross-wise, on a cookie sheet so that the ends of the skewers lay on the edges of the pan, allowing the meat to be suspended a little above the pan. Bake the spears for one and a half hours, turning them over after forty-five minutes. The pork should be a light brown when the spears are done. You can serve schaschlikspiesse immediately out of the oven while the spears are still hot, but they are also good at room temperature.

Schaschlikspiesse is a great addition to a party buffet or an outdoor barbecue. You could even make the spears the main course for dinner at your next camping trip. Wherever or whenever you eat these wonderful kebabs, they are a fun and delicious taste of the old country.