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Pinchos Morunos

Spanish pork skewers

Pinchitos Morunos is an extremely popular tapa in Andalucia. As the name suggests, skewers of meat (originally lamb, but nowadays mostly pork) are marinated in a mixture of Moorish spices and grilled over charcoal. In this version, grapes provide a warm, sweet-tart smokiness, so right with the flavor of the meat. The meat pieces should be slightly larger than the grapes to keep the fragile skin of the grapes away from the grill grates.

Pinchos Morunos



  • 1 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat and sinew

Marinara Ingredents:

  • ½ teaspoon each of coriander seeds, cumin seeds and fennel seeds, all roughly ground

  • 1 teaspoon sweet smoked Spanish paprika

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed to a paste with salt

  • A good pinch of saffron (about 60 strands), infused in 1 tablespoon boiling water

  • ½ small bunch fresh oregano, roughly chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 bay leaf, preferably fresh, crumbled or chopped very finely

  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

  • ¼ cup orange juice

  • ¼ cup lemon juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayan pepper

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • Salt and Pepper


  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 54 seedless red grapes

  • 18 wooden skewers


  1. Cut the pork tenderloin in half lengthwise and then into 1-inch cubes.  Flatten the cubes slightly.

  2. Place the pork in a large mixing bowl and add the marinade ingredients except the olive oil.  Mix thoroughly.  Then add the olive oil, toss again and leave in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight so the flavors of the marinade get into the meat.

  3. Soak 18 wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.  Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium heat.

  4. Thread the pork and grapes onto the skewers.  Alternate 3 grapes and 2 pork pieces on each skewer.  Season with salt and pepper.

  5. Grill over high heat for about 2 minutes each side or until slightly charred on the outside but still juicy inside.

When grilling meat on skewers, often the meat will stick to the grill initially. Do not try to wrestle it free; instead, just let it sit and cook a little bit. As it cooks, some of the fat in the meat will rise to the surface of the meat, and then you should be able to turn the skewers easily.

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