Barbecued Pork with Pomegranate Juice and Ajika
Barbecued meat is very popular in Georgia both as a family meal and also at feasts and celebrations. Pork is the most popular meat, followed by chicken. In this recipe we show how to prepare a pomegranate juice and ajika marinade for barbecued pork. Ajika (Georgian: აჯიკა) is a hot, spicy paste used to flavor meat and fish dishes mainly in Samegrelo and Abkhazia. It is made with hot red peppers, garlic, herbs and spices.
Ingredients: 1.2 kilos of pork, 1 white onion, 1 red onion, 5 tbs of vinegar, 1 medium sized pomegranate, 2 bay leaves, 1 tbs of ajika (see recipe here), and salt (amount dependent upon personal preference).
Preparation: Cut the meat into cubes and add to a bowl. Slice and add 1 white onion. Add 1 tbs of ajika, 5 tbs of vinegar, half the juice from one pomegranate, 2 bay leaves, and salt.
Mix the ingredients. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight (for at least 4 hours).
When ready to barbecue, remove the marinated pork from the refrigerator and thread the individual pieces onto skewers (Georgian: შამფური). Sprinkle the meat on all sides with coarse salt.
Make sure the barbecue is not too hot. The softened, marinated meat will cook quite quickly and the skewers will need to be turned frequently to ensure the meat cooks evenly.
In Georgia, a piece of bread (shotis puri) is used to remove the meat from the skewers. The bread absorbs some of the meat juices and is eaten with the meat.
Slice the onion and remove the seeds from the pomegranate.
Serving: Garnish the meat with pomegranate seeds and sliced red onion.