Souvlaki is a Greek dish, made of marinated small pieces meat, grilled on skewers. However, as you can see here, it is also possible to prepare the dish using a grilling pan, without the skewers.
Though not part of the traditional herbs used in this dish, to compensate for the lack of smoky aroma in indoor grilling, I have added some roughly chopped rosemary to the dish. It burns when grilling and adds lots of aroma and flavor. If you want a more authentic dish, omit it.
The Souvlaki is traditionally served with Tzatziki – a tasty yogurt dip, and with fresh pita bread. The combination of the succulent grilled meat and the fresh yogurt-cucumber dip is just wonderful, and explains why this dish is so popular for so long.
I’m sure once you’ll prepare it, you’ll agree.
* Most Greek recipe call for use of pork shoulder. However, I’ve found that the pork tenderloin is better when not using an outdoor grill and skewers. If using both, you can switch to pork shoulder instead.
* Instead of pork, you can use lamb, beef or skinless and boneless chicken thighs.
* The Tzatziki tastes better when fresh, so it is best to prepare it just before serving.
* The best cucumbers for the Tzatziki are the small, seedless cucumbers, sold as “mini” or “baby” cucumbers, and sometimes also as “Persian” or “Israeli” (the version that is now grown in America was developed in Israel) cucumbers – depending on where you buy them. Whatever they are called, I highly recommend making the effort to find them, not just for this recipe but for any salad with cucumbers. They have thin edible skin, crunchy texture and wonderful fresh, sweet taste, and are great on their own as well, as a healthy and tasty snack.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Chilling time: 2 hours
Grilling time: 10 minutes
For the Souvlaki:
1.5 lbs (700 grams) pork tenderloin
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1 sprig rosemary, roughly chopped
1 Tbs dried oregano
1 tsp dried mint
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
For the Tzatziki:
2 “mini” cucumbers (see note above) diced into tiny cubes
1 garlic clove, diced into tiny cubes, or grated
2 cups thick plain Greek yogurt, at least 2% fat
½ tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried mint
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1. The Souvlaki: trim the tenderloin and cut into 1” (2.5cm) cubes. Place in a bowl and add the garlic, rosemary, oregano, mint, lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper, and mix well. Pour the olive oil on top, and mix gently. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 2 hours. Bring to room temperature before grilling.
2. The Tzatziki: in a bowl, mix the diced cucumber, garlic, yogurt, mint, salt and 1 Tbs olive oil. mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Add the rest of the olive oil on top and mix gently.
3. Grilling: preheat a grilling pan on high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the pork cubes, in one layer. Grill on all sides, for about 10 minutes, or until the meat is done but still moist. Serve immediately, with the Tzatziki and pita bread on the side.