Theodore's Real Greek souvlaki
Serves 4-6 (or more for kids)
Saturday 19 July 2008
This is an old favourite from my friend Theodore Kyriacou, whose new book,
A Culinary Voyage Round the Greek Islands, was recently published (Quadrille, £20).
Give this to the kids instead of boring old sausages, and I guarantee they will love it. Just pop them on the barbecue, and the young ones can eat them with their fingers. Children, though, aren't the only ones who prefer eating without plates.
For souvlaki, you can also use pork, shoulder or leg, or even under-fillets of lamb. Serve your souvlaki rolled in Greek flat breads – or if you prefer, use soft tortillas instead – with sliced tomato and pickled dill cucumbers. If you fancy knocking up some tzatziki it will go perfectly. Simply peel, deseed and dice half a cucumber, mix it with a few cloves of crushed garlic, a few tablespoons of Greek yoghurt, some chopped mint and a splash of olive oil. It's a treat with meat – or as a dip anytime.
1kg boned shoulder of lamb, trimmed of fat and sinew and cut into rough 2cm chunks
2tbsp chopped thyme leaves
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
Finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
300ml olive oil
100ml red wine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Flat breads or soft tortillas
Put the meat into a non-reactive bowl with the thyme, garlic, lemon zest, 100ml of the olive oil and red wine. Mix well and season. Cover with cling film and leave overnight in the fridge.
Half an hour before you want to serve the souvlaki, drain the meat and reserve the juices. Mix the juices with the lemon juice and remaining olive oil in a jar or in a bowl with a whisk. Thread the pieces of meat on to metal skewers and brush with some of the lemon and oil marinade. Pre-heat a barbecue, or grill, and cook until slightly pink or medium if you prefer. This should take no more than 4-5 minutes. Once cooked to your required colour, put the pieces of meat into a bowl and leave to rest for about 10 minutes.
To serve, brush the flat breads with some of the marinade mixture and dip them into some of the cooked meat juices from the bowl. Put them on to the barbecue for 30 seconds or so but don't let them become crisp.
Arrange the meat on the flatbreads with some pickles, tomato and tzatziki.
Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax
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