Taking pride in one’s home is reflected by shining floors, polished windows, and pouffed pillows. Open the fridge and you’ll see, or smell, the pride that I take in my cooking.
My fridge smells. By that I don’t mean that my fridge is dirty and that it has dirty fridge smell, but that there are smells in my fridge. I cook with spices and herbs. I buy fresh food and prepare it lovingly by hand. I don’t cook out of sterile cans and boxes. A box of Arm and Hammer is my badge of honour.
Ukrainians love their garlic and patychky is a particularly potent preparation. The meat has to be marinated in lots of garlic and onion and apple cider vinegar for about two days. If you want some fridge smell, get at it!
Patychky (Meat on a Stick)
1.5 lbs. pork shoulder, trimmed and cubed into bite-sized pieces
1.5 lbs. lean veal, cubed into bite-sized pieces
4 bulbs of garlic, cloves peeled and crushed
2 medium yellow onions, roughly chopped
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper, to taste
For cooking and serving:
2 cups all-purpose flour, for dredging
2 cups unseasoned bread crumbs, for coating
4-5 beaten eggs, for coating
3/4 tsp. sweet paprika
salt and pepper, as needed
vegetable oil, for frying
mustard, salad greens, and pickles, for serving
Combine the marinade ingredients in a shallow baking dish. Wrap tightly and transfer to the refrigerator. Marinate for up to 2 days, stiring the meat occasionally.
Drain marinade, reserving only the cubed meat.
Leaving about 2 inches at the bottom of each skewer, arrange pork and veal cubes alternately on wooden skewers.
Add a bit of salt and pepper to the flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs. Stir the paprika into the flour.
Set up three shallow dishes, one with flour, the next with egg, and the last with bread crumbs.
Dredge each skewer in the flour. Tap to remove excess. Dredge in beaten egg until fully and evenly coated. Roll in bread crumbs. Squeeze and form meat evenly along the skewer. Make sure that the meat is well coated with bread crumbs.
In a large skillet, heat about 1 inch of cooking oil to 375F.
Fry skewers of meat cubes, a few at a time, until lightly browned. Be sure to flip them halfway through.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and top with a baking rack. Spray the rack lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Lay skewers on rack and bake in a 350F oven until the meat is cooked through, 30-40 minutes.