Spetsofai Skewers (Σπετζοφάι-σε-σουβλάκι)

img_5701Regular readers of my blog will know that I like to share dishes from a Greek magazine insert in the daily Kathimerini known as Gastronomos.

This magazine comes out each month and it features the month’s seasonal ingredients, introduces new products entering the Greek market and it showcases new artisan and crafted foods made by Greeks.

Gastronomos always has recipes included, featuring Greek classics and also deconstructing a classic and offering up neat twists or a regional take.

Last November, Gastronomos played with Spestofai, a stew of the sausages in a tomato and peppers sauce. My friend and fellow Greek food blogger Maria also recently made a Spetsofai with a twist by incorporating kataifi pastry into the dish. Have a look at her take and I encourage you to delve further into her delicious blog.

Fakistra, Pelion
Fakistra, Pelion

I first had Spetsofai (classic version) back in 1980 when my Theo Mitso (uncle) drove our family down to Volos. Spetsofai is a specialty of Pelion (near Volos) and quite often it’s chosen as a honeymoon destination for Greeks with it’s breathtaking views of the sea.img_5694-1

This is a hearty dish but here it’s transformed into a summer dish by using Spetsofai’s ingredients and applying it to the outdoor grill. The original recipe calls for the skewers to be baked in the oven but the warm months are here. I’m grilling this baby.img_5671

This grilled version of Spetsofai is simple: skewer alternate pieces of sausage with onions, red and green peppers. As for sausage, I used my family’s homemade Macedonian sausage but you can use Italian, Toulouse, Polish Spartan, Honey Garlic or just about any good sausage (except hot dogs).

For a more authentic taste of the local sausage used in Spetsofai, soak the pieces of sausage in some red wine for an hour or so…the sausages take on a wonderful flavour, look, aroma and of course – taste.img_5653

The final component of this dish is the sauce. Remember my Theio (uncle) Mitso? One of his favourite things to do is to make a foil packet containing whole onions, garlic, ripe tomatoes, garlic and peppers and throwing it on the grill to roast, caramelize and intensify in flavour.

I’ve enjoyed making this grilled warm dip, condiment (or in this case a sauce). After a good 30 minutes on the grill, I opened the packet, roughly chopped everything, added a bay leaf and some tomato puree to bring everything together as a sauce.

My mom's older brother, Theo Mitso
My mom's older brother, Theo Mitso

So there you have it…another option for the Greek Grill. This dish goes out to my Theo Mitso.

Spetsofai Gets Grilled (Σπετζοφάι σε σουβλάκι)img_5695-1

(serves 4-6)

6 Greek sausages (I used Macedonian)

1/2 cup red wine

1 large red bell pepper, cut into cubes

1 large green bell pepper, cut into cubes

1 red red onion, quartered

wooden skewers (soaked in water for at least 2 hours)

For the sauce

aluminum foil

2 large ripe tomatoes

1 green (banana) pepper

1 medium red onion

4 cloves of garlic

some olive oil

1 bay leaf

1/4 cup of t0mato puree

chopped fresh mint

salt and pepper to taste

  1. Cut your sausages into 1 inch pieces and place in a bowl with the wine. Allow the sausages to soak in the wine while you prepare your vegetables for the skewers.
  2. Drain the sausages from the wine and discard the liquid. Insert alternate pieces of sausage, red and green pepper and onion on the skewers. If you have any pieces left, grill them or add them to the foil. Reserve or place in fridge until you’re ready to grill.
  3. Add all of your vegetable ingredients (skins intact) into a large piece of aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil and tightly bundle up the packet. Place on a tray and roast in a pre-heated 400F oven or in your gas/charcoal grill. Roast for 30-40 minutes.
  4. Carefully remove the packet and open it. Peel off the skins & chop up your your vegetables (as fine or as coarsely as you like). Place a medium saucepan over medium-high heat along with a couple of glugs of olive oil and add your chopped roasted vegetables, a bay leaf and the tomato sauce. Bring to a boil and simmer until heated through and the vegetables become a thick, chunky sauce. Season with salt and pepper and remove the bay leaf. Reserve and keep warm.
  5. Pre-heat your gas grill to a medium-high heat. Brush your grilling surface (remove any residue from prior grilling) and wipe your grill surface with a kitchen towel doused in vegetable oil.
  6. Reduce your heat to medium and grill your skewers on all sides, about 3 minutes (X 4) per side.
  7. Serve your Spetsofai skewers on a bed of the chunky tomato sauce and garnish with chopped fresh mint. A side of fries or a packet of BBQ potatoes make for a nice side.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://kalofagas.ca then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.

© 2007-2009 Peter Minakis

© 2009 – 2010,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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49 Comments for “Spetsofai Skewers (Σπετζοφάι-σε-σουβλάκι)”

says:

In my Indian tradition, a mother’s brother is a special uncle–like a second father. So, I appreciate this going out to your uncle.

I also love the idea of soaking the sausage in wine. Definitely will remember that.

says:

how cute… your uncle looks adorable. nothing like sausage… especially if it’s on the grill. very sweet post.

i also like the idea of the wine “marinade”

says:

I love that sauce made with those bbq’d veg! A great idea…this is def one to be used in the near future…very clever!

says:

Your blog always has me wishing I were off to Greece. One of these days…. In the meantime, I’m delighted to have your recipes – and your uncle Theio’s. They all look fabulous.

says:

One look at this photo and I knew…grilling season is here for Peter!! Lovely flavors and a quick meal to prepare!!

says:

Awww, Peter I’d seen that recipe on Kathimerini too and bookmarked it for our next BBQ. It looks amazing! The foil packet is genius as all those flavors meld together and create a delicious combination.

That photo of the beach in Pelion gave me chills it’s so beautiful. Thanks for the mention Peter–it’s much appreciated!!

says:

I know I always say this, but I just love those photos in your blog header of the ocean. :::sigh::
You are the master at bbq my friend, clearly.

says:

Oh my, Peter, I am mouth watering, I want to have BBQ this weekend. I have even bought those stainless steel skewers for some serious BBQ!!! Thanks for show casing the recipes from your Greek Food Magazine.

says:

what a great way to showcase seasonal and regional flavours. I concur, grilling these outdoors would just add to the whole summertime experience. They look lovely and I enjoy that you included your uncle’s twist. It’s all about keeping those family traditions going… that’s what keeps us rooted, even from so far away!

says:

I see a grill, sausages, veggies, and skewers and I have to say success!!!!!

Another perfect simple grilled recipe of joy and joyness.

Nicely done as always!

says:

I can imagine big smoke coming from your house all the time and the whole neighbourhood sniffing the air, trying to find out what you are cooking! Great twist on a classic.

says:

I love the idea of sausages soaked in red wine. I must try that.

The skewers were like a deconstructed version ofsausage and peppers. I could practically smell them on the grill. That sauce just takes them one lovely step further.

says:

There is nothing tastier than grilled veggies and sausages. I am loving the look and sound of the sauce you made to go with the kebobs – another winning recipe Peter!

says:

This sounds delicious. We made some venison sausage that will go on the grill like this! Love the sauce, too. What’s better than a mix of lovely roasted veggies!

says:

Love it! Really gorgeous, really summery. And I love your Uncle’s caramilzed veg in a foil packet! Looks so amazing!

says:

Oh yummy! There’s no reason to bake those babies when you can grill them! These actually look like a Mexican dish called alambres that is made either with beef. I need to try this!

says:

you can skewer just about anything, pop it on a grill, and it automatically becomes 100 times more appetizing. this looks wonderful, peter. soaked sausages? yes, please.

Lilika

says:

Peter – you transport me to Greece every time with your recipes and photos. As luck would have it, I have all the ingredients for this meal currently in my fridge — so we will be grilling Spetsofai California style tonight! I love to cook with wine… occasionally I put it in the food too!

says:

I hope Theo Mitso has access to the internet so he can see himself. I like the suggestion of soaking the meat in wine and the rough chop of the grilled vegetables to make a salsa.

says:

I would love to make my own sausages. This dish is ‘incroyable’ Peter. That picture of Fakistra, Pelion makes me dream to visit the place.

says:

I love the sauce you’ve devised for the meat, Peter. Everything looks gorgeous and I’m sure it tastes as good as it looks.

says:

Wow! Your recipes are always so good I love the sausage perfect for BBQ
Was a long time my last visit. Shame on me !!!

says:

Mmmm Yum! I’m loving the idea of soaking sausages in red wine before grilling them! Love the sauce too.

says:

I learned so much from this post…from soaking the sausages in the red wine, to that great way to create the sauce.

says:

What is the difference in a Greek Sausage compared to, say, and Italian sausage? Different spices I assume, right? I love the smell of grilled peppers…quite intoxicating. What a nice tribute to Pelion and your Theo Mitso.

Joe bob

says:

its 2012 and i am the first person to post anythin in the last 3 years. and every one that did post posted within 10 days of when this was put up…. so i feel proud and this looks amazing i will try it