Perusic Local Customs
Spit Roasted Lamb
Of course the purpose of this little journey to the farm was to have Luca’s 2nd birthday party with some family. Early that morning they knocked on “J’s” bedroom window about 600 am and all the men went out and collected a lamb. Then we all gathered near the machine barn and watched it get processed. First the farmer dad and his young son helper, cut its’ throat and let it bleed over the grass. Then it was de-skinned and peeled off. The belly was slit open and the guts were gathered and thrown to the dogs that were chained up but were on stand by dancing around and around. God, at this point, I didn’t know if I should be taking step by step pictures (which I did), or be throwing up ill on the side of the barn, which I almost did. Yikes, what did we get into here? Ok, so the skinned animal then had a 10 foot rounded pole stuck through its’ body and they nailed the backbone to this rotisserie stick pole, securing it into place by pounding nails through old beer bottle caps over the skin. The little boy helped and was becoming an expert in his own right. At least I saw why they kept a pile of the used beer bottle caps from the all the beer that we drank. The beer (pivo) of choice at the farm was ‘Ozujsko’ as opposed to the other popular Croatian pivo called ‘Karlovacko’. And the pivo we drank was always in the larger .51cl sized bottles not the standard .33cl bottles.
Anyway, so now the poled animal is rubbed down with coarse salt taken from a bucket in the kitchen. The dressed animal is then hung in the barn for a few hours after which it was ready to be carried over to the homemade rotisserie setup behind the garage barn. A wood fire had been lit and the pole started to slowly turn and turn. Here all the men sat around for several hours drinking beer, while the lamb slowly roasted. This is what I learned about lamb roasting over an open pit fire; that after about one hour of roasting, the lamb’s eyeballs pop out of the skull with a smashing noise!