Shix kebab, whatever one may say, is the most ancient dish on earth. Well, you must admit, a mammoth on a spit is already a barbecue, and if it was previously cut on spruce or some other smelling branches, here's a marinade for you. Therefore, to argue about the homeland of this beloved dish is simply useless. It is prepared in all countries and on all continents, only the names and numerous recipes differ.
Today I would like to talk about the Uzbek barbecue, or as it is called here - "kabob" ("fried food without water").
Traditional Uzbek shish kebab is the most tender meat of a young lamb, marinated in aromatic spices, strung on a short skewer mixed with thin slices of mutton lard (dumba) and fried on the grill. The aroma of fried meat, mixing with the smell of burning firewood and wine vinegar, flavored with a barely noticeable note of fragrant spices - this is a fairy tale, well, who on their own is able to pass by this? You? Hats off - you are a really strong person.
By the way, about strong people. From time immemorial, in Uzbekistan, only men have stood near the barbecue, women are allowed to this sacrament only at the stage of cutting food and pickling. According to professionals (again, men), there are several aspects necessary to prepare this wonderful dish, these are: good meat, "correct" marinade, the right firewood and, of course. kebab master's skill.
Well, with good meat everything is clear, it should be fresh and, if possible, from a young animal, but the "correct marinade" is already a science. In what the craftsmen do not marinate meat for barbecue: this is vinegar, and sour milk, and mayonnaise, and lemon juice, and even cognac.
In Uzbekistan, it is customary to marinate kebabs in water. Yes, in ordinary boiled cold water, however, sometimes mineral water is also used. A small amount of water plus salt, pepper and spices, and chopped onions - this is the most correct marinade.
Now about the firewood, it all depends on the region, but the most commonly used dry branches of apricots, cherries, grapes. First, the firewood is burned for 30-40 minutes and only when they are covered with a layer of gray ash do they actually start frying. Frying kebab sprinkles the coals with melting fat and their smoke, mixing with the aroma of reaching meat, gives the dish an elusive but recognizable accent.
СNeedless to say, the skill of the kebab man is perhaps the main component of a successful dish. It requires an extraordinary flair for determining the readiness of meat, dexterity, the ability to regulate the intensity of the fire, and sometimes the ability to extinguish the tongues of open flame with wine vinegar.
Today the venerable osh-poses (cooks) of Uzbekistan offer up to twenty types of barbecue. The most popular of which are: "kiyma kabob" - grinded meat shashlik, "jigar kabob" - liver shashlik, "charvi kabob" - meat shashlik wrapped in a film of interior lard. Unusual recipes for cooking lamb tenderloin and ribs on several skewers, spread out in a fan, are in special demand. Well, the top of the cooking skill is considered to be a barbecue, in which whole pieces of meat are replaced with tenderloin rolls stuffed with interior lard (dumba) and spices.
In addition to lamb, the chefs masterfully prepare shish kebabs from veal, chicken, fish, a special delicacy of Uzbek cuisine - quail shish kebab (bedan). Today, you can also try grilled eggplants, tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms.
Kabobs of many regions and districts of Uzbekistan, famous for their national cuisine, could compete for the right to be called the best in the country, but the “palm” has long been firmly held by the Gijduvan barbecue.
This small regional center, located 56 km north of Bukhara, has long been famous for its cuisine. Here, samsa is the most delicious and fish is fried in a different way, but kebabs are another story. Gijduvan kebab is both simple and complex at the same time, with its own unique flavor, forcing people to choose it from all the variety of options offered.
It would seem like a shashlik made from ground meat, what could be unusual? But, as soon as you put the first piece in your mouth, you understand that everything is unusual here. An elastic slice in an appetizing brown film explodes on the tongue with the unique taste of melted dumba and some fantastic bouquet of spices. It melts in your mouth, leaving an incredible aftertaste, making even sophisticated gourmets squint with pleasure.
What's his secret? Don't ask, it's impossible to answer. One thing is known for certain, in Uzbekistan, almost 99% of the adult population are fans of Gijduvan kebab, and only 1% know the recipe, and apparently these are the very chefs who actually cook it. But asking them is completely useless. No, no, they will not refuse you, and they will talk for a long time with numerous details, but in practice you will still get the wrong thing. And no wonder, because the secret of food is carefully guarded from competitors and is passed down from generation to generation only to trusted persons and students.
Well, we have to come to terms with the fact that we don't know something and just enjoy the result, since no one takes it away from us.