Mtsvadi (Grilled Pork Skewers with Pomegranate and Onions)

These Georgian mtsvadi, or grilled meat skewers, are made from well-marbled pork shoulder tossed with raw onions and finished with freshly squeezed pomegranate juice. Leave the fat intact for sizzling, juicy meat with plenty of crispy bits. In Georgia, the skewers are often grilled over the embers of grape vines. They're traditionally served with tkemali, a fantastically sour plum sauce. Break these kebabs out for a summer cookout, or serve them with pkhali, khachapuri, and eggplant and walnut rolls for a Georgian-style dinner party.

Mtsvadi (Grilled Pork Skewers with Pomegranate and Onions)
Photo: Cedric Angeles
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 55 mins


  • 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks

  • 2 medium red onions (1 grated on a box grater and 1 thinly sliced into rings), divided

  • 2 1/2 cups red wine vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils

  • Spicy Bell Pepper Jam

  • Sour Plum Sauce


  1. Stir together pork, grated red onion, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper in large bowl until combined. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

  2. Thread pork chunks onto metal skewers; discard marinade. Let pork stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

  3. Preheat grill to high (450°F to 550°F). Place pork skewers on oiled grates; grill, covered, turning occasionally, until lightly charred on all sides, 12 to 15 minutes. (Alternatively, broil skewers on high with oven rack 5 inches from heat, turning occasionally, until lightly charred on all sides, 12 to 15 minutes.)

  4. Remove pork from skewers, and transfer to a large bowl. With your hands, squeeze pomegranate arils over pork. Add onion slices, and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with bell pepper jam and plum sauce.

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