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Moroccan Heart and Kidney Kebabs

Skewers of heart and kidney cubes on the grill. The offal is almost cooked at this point.
Moroccan heart and kidney brochettes on the grill. Photo: Christine Benlafquih | Taste of Maroc

Heart and kidney kebabs and other grilled offal are common street food offerings in Morocco. They also are among the first things served during the Feast of the Sacrifice (Eid al Adha) when families tend to prepare the organ meat that’s on hand immediately after a home slaughter.

Although these brochettes might be prepared with heart alone, heart kebabs are usually done in combination with other offal, such as the version with kidney that’s presented here. If liver is added, the brochettes are then regarded as a variation of a Moroccan liver kebab known as kouah. In all cases, the seasoning remains the same—a traditional blend of paprika and cumin for marinating the offal, with a mix of salt, cumin and cayenne on the side as a condiment. Suet or caul fat is often threaded between the offal for added flavor.


While some families will go with the kouah option and combine the liver, heart and kidney onto single skewers, I find that the kidney and heart need a couple more minutes than liver to be done so I prefer to do them separately as described here. This is where one can also decide whether the the heart should be served medium rare or well done. I’d go with the latter, if you ask me.

Serve the brochettes hot off the grill with bread and mint tea.

liver, heart and kidney brochettes cooking over charcoal
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Moroccan Brochettes with Lamb or Beef Heart and Kidney

Heart and kidney kebabs feature one of the most common combinations of offal you might come across in Morocco. The spice marinade is the same one used for boulfaf and kouahAll are served with that famous trinity of cayenne, cumin and salt for an extra dip in seasoning before eating. Of course, a good bread (pita or baguette will do here) and a hot glass of mint tea will round off an irresistible meal.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Marinating1 hr
Total Time1 hr 40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Moroccan
Keyword: Moroccan Brochettes with Lamb or Beef Heart and Kidney, Moroccan heart and kidney kebabs
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 678kcal
Author: Nada Kiffa | Taste of Maroc

Ingredients

  • 2.2 lbs Mix of kidney and heart, lamb or beef
  • 12 oz caul fat or kidney fat

Dry Rub

  • 1 1/2 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne, optional

Spice Mix for Serving

Instructions

Preparation and Marinade

  • Remove the transparent membrane from the kidney and cut the kidney into 1/2 inch cubes. Cut the heart the same way.
  • Dice the kidney fat (suet) into 1/2 inch cubes. If you are using caul fat instead, cut it into squares as wide as the cubes.
  • Make a dry rub with the spices listed above and massage it evenly onto the cubes of fat and offal. Cover and set aside or place in the fridge. Marinate for at least an hour to overnight.

Grilling the Heart and Kidney Kebabs

  • Prepare the grill and wait for the flames to die down and for the charcoal to develop a thin grey cover.
  • Thread heart and kidney cubes, alternating each couple of pieces with fat. About 6 cubes of kidney/fat per skewer should be fine. 
  • Place the skewers over the hot coals and make sure the flame does not reach the skewers. Keep rotating them so they cook evenly from all sides. They should be firm outside but soft from the inside. Avoid overcooking as it will result in a rubbery heart or kidney kebab.

To Serve

  • Serve the brochettes hot from the grill, generously sprinkled with the condiment spice mix. 
  • Make sure you have a hot Moroccan tea and a good sandwich bread or wrapping flatbread to go with it. We love when the bread has soaked up the juices from the kebab. 
  • We also like to serve a fresh tomato, onion and cucumber salad on the side of these and other grilled kebabs.
Calories: 678kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 60g | Saturated Fat: 32g | Cholesterol: 244mg | Sodium: 1138mg | Potassium: 538mg | Vitamin A: 18.7% | Vitamin C: 4% | Calcium: 2.2% | Iron: 44.9%
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Nada Kiffa

Nada Kiffa is partner and Editor at Taste of Maroc. A native of Casablanca with strong Fassi roots, she writes extensively on Moroccan and international cuisine at Fleur d'Oranger, Masala & Co.

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