Souvlaki

Souvlaki

Souvlaki (Greek: Σουβλάκι) is a popular Greek fast food consisting of small pieces of meat and sometimes vegetables grilled on a skewer. It may be served on the skewer for eating out of hand, in a pita sandwich with garnishes and sauces, or on a dinner plate, often with fried potatoes or pilaf. The meat is traditionally pork in Greece and Cyprus, or in modern times increasingly chicken. In other countries and for tourists, souvlaki may be made with other meats such as veal, lamb and sometimes fish (especially swordfish).

The terminology of souvlaki and its variants is confusing and inconsistent. Depending on the context, the term ‘souvlaki’ by itself may refer to any of the variants. In some regions and some restaurants, the name shish kebab is used to denote a particular variant of souvlaki[citation needed] (e.g. with vegetables on the skewer), but it is essentially a synonym. In many regions, primarily Athens and the south of Greece, a gyros sandwich is nicknamed a ‘souvlaki’.

The word souvlaki is a diminutive of souvla (skewer), itself ultimately derived from the Latin subula (awl).

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 1/2 pounds of pork shoulder, cut in 3/4 inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon of ground Greek oregano (rigani)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons of red wine (or good red wine vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
PREPARATION:In a bowl, pour wine (or vinegar) and oil over the pork and toss to coat. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and oregano, and toss again. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Note: If using vinegar, do not marinate longer than 2 hours or the meat can absorb too strong a vinegar taste. If using wine, the meat can be marinated for up to 2 days as long as salt is also used.

Using 8 inch skewers, thread approximately 6 pieces of meat on each. This should make about 12 skewers.

Grill the meat turning until well browned, about 15 minutes. Serve on the skewers with a squeeze of lemon.

Note: If using a gas grill, use wooden skewers. If using a charcoal grill, use metal skewers. If broiling in the oven, use either, but wooden skewers should be soaked in water for several minutes before using.

Yield: serves 3 (4 skewers per person) as a main dish.

As a meze: To prepare this recipe as a meze, use smaller skewers (5-6 inches long) and put 3-4 pieces of meat on each to make approximately 20 skewers

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