By Henry Gould – May 10th, 2019
First, let me state for the record: I am not Greek. If any of my Greek friends read this recipe and feel it isn’t up to the authentic standard of their mom, aunt or grandmother, please kindly direct all angry comments and hate mail to “[email protected]”.
With that being said, authentic is kind of a bogus term anyways. What is authentic? The recipe from my town, or yours? What if the person who invented the “authentic” recipe decides to change it up… is it still authentic??? Important questions that might need addressing in a longer form blog!
For now, we’re sticking with this recipe, which opts for pork shoulder over pork tenderloin. Either will do just fine, but pork shoulder tends to have more fat, more connective tissue, as well as a slightly different muscle texture than tenderloin. If you cook it longer and slower, generally it yields a tastier result.
This would also benefit from 1-2 days marinading, so try to plan ahead.
Authentic Greek Pork Souvlaki
- Pork shoulder (or tenderloin), 250-500g per person, cut into cubes
- 1 healthy pinch of dried Greek oregano
- Splash of red wine
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- Sea salt
- 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
- 4-5 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed with the side of a knife
- Thick Greek Yogurt (highest milk fat you’re cool with)
- 1/4 of a cucumber, peeled, seeded and grated
- Chopped mint
- Chopped dill
- 1 garlic clove, minced finely
Take the chunks of pork and put into a large bowl. First, season aggressively all over with salt, trying to hit all the pieces in the bowl. Then add a pinch of greek oregano, black pepper, ground coriander, the smashed garlic. Squeeze the 2 lemons and then throw into the bowl. Add a splash of red wine and the olive oil and mix around.
Leave to marinate for 1-2 days, depending how much time you have.
To make the tzatziki, take your grated cucumber and squeeze with your hands over the sink to drain some of the water. Mix with salt, pepper, the chopped dill and mint as well as the garlic. Add some lemon juice if you like.
Take the chunks of pork and thread onto bamboo or metal skewers.
Light your BBQ. If you’re using pork shoulder heat it low to medium heat. If you’re using pork tenderloin, heat the BBQ as hot as it goes.
For the pork tenderloin, just grill for a couple minutes aside until the pork is just cooked through. Probably 4-6 minutes total cooking time, depending how big your chunks of pork are.
If you’re using pork shoulder, cook over low to medium heat and allow to brown slowly. You’re looking for at least 30-45 minutes total cooking. Pork shoulder is a denser meat, and therefore benfits from a longer, slower cook which will help the meat become more flavorful.
To reheat your pitas, dip them in water and then throw on the hot BBQ for 20 seconds a side. The hot steam helps to revive the store-bought pitas and make them taste fresh out of the oven.
Serve with the pitas, tzatziki, Greek salad, and fries (just like they do in Athens).