Sosaties are not kebabs. They're meat on skewers, but they marinate in a
distinctive sauce with a traditional flavor. They are never made from beef, but
from lamb. Most people prefer to use pork cubes as well. It is not plonked into
any old curry sauce and then grilled. As this is a traditional recipe, there are
many slight variations, but the meat should not vary from lamb, and the sauce is
a curry-type sweet-sourish sauce infused with Malay spices. Sosaties is also one
of those pioneer foods which can last for ages in its sauce, so don't leave it
in the sauce for a night. Leave it for at least 3 days. Grill over medium coals,
don't burn, and don't dry out.
3-4 lbs mutton leg
1 1/2 lbs medium fat pork
12-20 dried apricots, good quality
6 small onions, such as pearl onions about the size of a small plum, peeled and
each onion cut crosswise into 2-3 th
12-16 wooden skewers
2 medium onions, cut into fine rings
oil (for frying)
2 tablespoons coriander seeds, crushed
5 bay leaves, bruised or 12 lemon leaves, bruised
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon curry powder, mild
1 teaspoon ground ginger, heaped or 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger, heaped
1 teaspoon ground allspice
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup white vinegar (grape or wine vinegar)
1/2 cup dry red wine, good quality
1 tablespoon apricot jam, fine
4 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water (may not be needed)
Cut the meat off the leg of lamb, and cut into bite-sized chunks, not too small.
Do the same with the pork. The pork should have fat on it, and the best ratio of
lamb to pork is about 2 - 1. The number of apricots, onions and skewers given
could vary, as it will depend on how much meat you cut off the lamb leg, and how
much meat you put on a skewer.
Using the ingredients for the MARINADE, fry the onion rings
in oil until light brown. Stir now and then.
While that fries, mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl: the
crushed coriander, all the spices, the brown sugar, the cornflour and the salt.
When the onions are light brown, stir in the mixed dry
ingredients, and fry for a minute or so to release the flavors. Add a tiny bit
of oil extra, if necessary. Turn heat lower, and add the vinegar, wine, apricot
jam, and garlic to taste. Stir well and simmer slowly until thickened.
Now taste carefully: the sauce should neither be too acidic
or too sweet, just spicy and tangy. Adjust by adding either a little more
vinegar or lemon juice, or more sugar.
Cool the sauce, and stir in the milk. It must be of a coating
consistency. If you think it is too thick, add a little water and stir inches.
The meats: the meats should be strung on the skewers,
alternating the different ingredients, with about 2 apricot halves and 2 onion
rings per skewer. The mutton chunks should predominate.
Using a rectangular glass or ceramic dish pack in the skewers
of meat, and cover every layer with sauce. Turn the sosaties in the sauce about
once a day, and make sure the sauce coats the meat well. It will not exactly
cover the meat, just coat it.
Cover and keep in fridge for 2 - 3 days before use. The
sosaties will improve with time and can be kept up to 5 days in the sauce.
6-8 servings 12-18 skewers