For our Greek meat dish, we decided to go with pork souvlaki with tzatziki sauce. I used this recipe from Food and Wine. (The recipes for both can be found at the end of this entry.)
I decided to mix up the tzatziki sauce earlier in the day and let it sit in the fridge for a couple hours, so the flavors would have plenty of time to blend. (First we had to 'make' our own Greek-style yogurt, since I couldn't find any at our local grocery store; it was easy enough to do and I will detail that in a future post!)
Tzatziki is comprised of greek yogurt, sliced cucumber, and a bit of chopped mint. Mix everything together in a bowl. You can add a little bit of mashed garlic and some salt and pepper if you'd like. Honestly, we just used the first three ingredients and it was DELICIOUS. I highly recommend tzatziki sauce; it is fresh, light, and extremely tasty. It was a nice complement to everything on our plates; after we ran out of pork souvlaki, we filled pitas with the artichoke-potatoes (another recipe that will be coming soon) and topped them with tzatziki. DIVINE.
Our GIANT bowl of tzatziki. Which did not go to waste, oh no. (I made double because we had several guests sharing dinner with us; we still had leftovers, and I was VERY glad!)
To make the pork souvlaki, you need to trim the fat off your pork and cut it into strips, approximately 3 X 1/2 inches each. In a medium bowl, toss the pork strips and some onion wedges with olive oil, lemon juice, chopped oregano and 1-2 mashed (or pressed, which is what I prefer) garlic cloves. Season with 1 & 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and let stand for 20-30 minutes.
This is the pork marinating in the above mixture. You can see that the citrus from the lemon starts to 'cook' the meat while it marinates; it also serves to break down some of the tough fibers, tenderizing the meat.
After the pork is done marinating, heat a large cast-iron griddle, skillet, or grill pan until very hot. Add the pork and onion wedges along with any marinade and cook over high heat, turning once or twice, until the pork and onion are tender, about 10 minutes. (It will appear very wet at first from the marinade, but it WILL cook down and allow the meat to brown slightly towards the end.)
Halfway through the cooking process; you can see how much liquid there still is.
Transfer the pork and onion to plates and serve with the tzatziki, lemon wedges and warm pitas.
A note: this did not make much souvlaki at all, so if you want leftovers, DOUBLE UP. We were sorely disappointed that we only had enough left over for one person's lunch the next day. I could easily have eaten this for several days in a row.
All pita'd up, as part of our Greek feast! Be sure to check out the spanakopita recipe from earlier, and watch for recipes for the other delicious dishes coming soon.
1 cup Greek-style whole-milk yogurt
1/2 European cucumber, seeded and finely diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 garlic clove, mashed (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste
Mix everything together in a bowl. Refrigerate for an hour or more before serving.
1 1/4 pounds trimmed pork shoulder, cut into 3 by 1/2-inch strips
1 large onion, cut through the root end into 1/2-inch wedges
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
2 garlic cloves, mashed to a paste
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Warm pita, for serving
In a medium bowl, toss the pork strips and onion wedges with the olive oil, lemon juice, chopped oregano and the garlic paste. Season with 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and let stand for 20-30 minutes.
Heat a large cast-iron griddle or grill pan until very hot. Add the pork and onion wedges along with any marinade and cook over high heat, turning once or twice, until the pork and onion are tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer the pork and onion to plates and serve with the tzatziki, lemon wedges and pita.
I am participating in the Global Cook Along project, where we try recipes from around the world. We focus on one region's cuisine each week. We try to do ours as one big potluck-style meal each week, but other people are doing one meal a night, a week, whatever works for them! To learn more, see additional recipes, or to participate yourself, check out our livejournal community and / or our facebook group!
with love from K-Pidge :)