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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.
Moroccan Brochettes with Lamb or Beef Heart and Kidney
- 2.2 lbs Mix of kidney and heart, - lamb or beef
- 12 oz caul fat or kidney fat
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.
- 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.
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is only an estimate obtained from online calculators. Optional ingredients may not be included in the nutritional information.
About the Author
Nada Kiffa is Contributing Editor at Taste of Maroc. A native of Casablanca with strong Fassi roots, she writes about Moroccan and international cuisine at Ainek Mizanek.