Spadini (alternate spelling: spiedini) is by far my favorite recipe from my great-grandmother. It involves paper thin slices of beef which are rolled up with breadcrumbs, olive oil and onions, and made into kebabs. The beef is so thin that it practically melts in your mouth. No knives are required for this one. The filling in the beef of breadcrumbs and olive oil couldn't be more simple, and yet it has a strong, resounding flavor that sticks on your palette long after the meal is over.
I have seen other versions of this recipe, with the biggest variance being in the filling. Some variations call for a cheese mixture to be used as a filling. In this variation, the beef itself is dredged in breadcrumbs, rather than using the breadcrumbs as a filling. This does sound like an intriguing recipe, and I will likely try it sometime. However, I don't think anything could beat my Nonna's take on Spadini!
Makes about 12 skewers, depending on how much meat you put on each one.
2 pounds beef brisket or roast beef
2 medium onions
1 cup flavored bread crumbs
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
Skewers (Note - if using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before putting them in the oven to prevent them from burning. You will note from the picture that I did NOT follow this step.)
- Slice the beef into paper thin strips. Note - the beef is much easier to slice if you freeze it and then let it defrost just to the point of being able to cut through it. Slices should be paper thin and about 1 inch wide by 2 or 3 inches long.
- Finely chop one onion. Saute the onion in olive oil.
- Remove the onion from the heat and add the bread crumbs and grated cheese to the onion. If needed add a little more olive oil just so that the bread crumbs are all lightly coated in the oil.
- Cut the second onion into large pieces (about 1 inch by 1 inch).
- Place some of the breadcrumb mixture on a slice of beef and roll up tightly. Place on a skewer. Do this with all of the slices of beef, alternating the beef on the skewers with the pieces of raw onion.
- Put the skewers on a baking sheet and broil for about 3 minutes on each side. Serve hot.
Ryan'sSue's rating of Spadini - 5. Absolutely one of my favorites. Try it. Now. Seriously.