Saturday, July 2, 2011

Pork Souvlaki

When I was younger my parents used to take me to this a food court in a mall near our house where I would eat pork souvlaki.  Looking back on it I'm not sure if their souvlaki was actually any good or not, but I sure liked it (although I certainly didn't know any better at the time).  My parents liked it too and I assume that they had a better basis for judging the quality of the souvlaki.  For the record, this wasn't one of those typically terrible food courts that you find in most malls and airports; it was better than average and offered options beyond Panda Express and Sbarro's.  Since then I have tried the pork souvlaki at various restaurants (rather than food courts), but I have never made it at home.  We had some pork shoulder defrosted for a stir-fry that I had intended to make tonight for dinner, but a comment Alex made this morning when we were discussing lunch about wanting hot weather food rather than dim sum resonated with me.  As a side note, we both decided that the appropriate food for hot weather was tacos, but more on that later.  So when I started thinking about dinner I decided that wasn't really in the mood for stir-fry because it struck me as heavy.  Somehow souvlaki sounded lighter and more appropriate for hot weather.  So we made souvlaki instead.

And it was delicious.  The pork was so moist and tender, plus it had great flavor.  We let it marinate for just over 4 hours, but it really picked up a lot of flavor from the marinade in that time.  I wonder how much more flavor it would have absorbed if we had left it to marinate overnight?  I guess I will have to find out next time!  You can clearly taste the lemon, garlic and oregano, all of which scream Greek food to me.  We served the pork with some tzatziki and a fattoush salad - a recipe that I tried out for the first time just over a year ago.  It's a marvelous salad, with flavors that totally complimented the souvlaki.  Actually, this meal was so successful that I think I am going to try out some spanakopita later this weekend!

Recipe after the jump!

Pork Souvlaki

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup shallots, minced
2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
1 1/2 lbs boneless pork shoulder (we used Boston butt), cut into 1-inch cubes

Stir together olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, garlic, shallots, oregano and s&p in a large nonreactive mixing bowl.  Add pork and toss to coat evenly with the marinade.  Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to over night, stirring at least once.

If grilling, thread pork onto metal skewers.  If cooking in a grill pan, it's up to you whether you use skewers or not (we didn't but it is a little more tedious to have to flip every single piece individually).  Heat grill or grill pan over moderately high heat.  Grill pork until nicely browned on all sides (with some good grill marks) and cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.  Remove pork from the grill or grill pan and allow to rest for 5 minutes.  

Serve with tzatziki and salad.

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