Souvlaki (Wicked kebabs)

We Brits often think of kebabs as a guilty pleasure. But, having seen the love and attention that goes into preparing a proper Greek kebab, I can assure you there is nothing to feel guilty about. It's all about quality ingredients and fresh zingy flavours. I'd always thought dried mint sounded a bit naff, but actually it turned out to be very delicious and it really helped create a more authentic taste. A few of these with some cold beers would be wicked. Cook them on a barbecue or in a griddle pan, depending on what's easier for you.

Nutritional Information (amount per serving)

Calories
702kcal
Carbs
30.0g
Sugar
8.7g
Fat
40.1g
Saturates
9.3g
Protein
52.4g

Serves 4   Makes (makes 8 generous kebabs)   Approx time: 60   Difficulty: super easy

Ingredients

  • 3 sweet pointed peppers
  • 8 flatbreads, to serve
  • 4 sprigs fresh mint, leaves picked
  • 1 small bunch fresh dill, chopped (stalks and all)
  • red wine vinegar
  • Greek extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, to serve

For The Kebabs

  • 800 g higher-welfare leg of pork, shin if you can get it, cut into 2cm chunks
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 lemon, juice of
  • 100 ml good-quality olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • For The Tzatziki

  • ½ large cucumber
  • 200 ml fat-free natural yoghurt
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 heaped teaspoon dried mint
  • 1½ teaspoons red wine vinegar
  •  

    Method

    If using wooden skewers, cut 8 to fit your griddle pan and soak them in a tray of water to stop them burning. Put all your kebab ingredients into a bowl and use your clean hands to mix everything together really well. Cover with clingfilm, then pop into the fridge for 30 minutes, or longer if you want the flavours to get a bit more intense.

    Meanwhile, blacken the peppers directly over the flame of your hob, in a hot dry griddle pan or under a hot grill. Turn them every so often and when they look almost ruined, pop them into a bowl, cover with clingfilm and put to one side to steam for 5 minutes or so – this will help their skins to come off.

    Make your tzatziki by coarsely grating the cucumber into a sieve set up over a bowl. Add a few good pinches of salt, then use your hands to squeeze out as much water as you can. Pour the water away, then tip the cucumber into the empty bowl and add the yoghurt. Pound the garlic in a pestle and mortar with a good pinch of salt until you have a paste, and spoon that into the bowl with the cucumber. Add the dried mint and red wine vinegar and mix really well. Have a taste to make sure you've got the balance right, then put aside.

    Preheat a griddle pan or grill on a high heat. Thread the skewers through the marinated pork pieces, leaving little spaces between them so that the heat cooks everything evenly. Cook the kebabs on the screaming hot griddle or grill for about 8 to 10 minutes, turning occasionally until done on all sides. Warm your flatbreads in the oven or in a hot dry pan while your kebabs are cooking.

    Just before your kebabs are ready, peel and deseed your blackened peppers, then tear them into strips and put them into a bowl. Roll up your mint leaves, finely slice them and add to the bowl along with the dill. Add a few splashes of red wine vinegar, a pinch or two of salt and pepper and a lug of extra virgin olive oil. Toss and mix together, then have a taste to check the balance of flavours. Cut your lemon into wedges.

    Put a dollop of tzatziki and the meat from one skewer on each warmed flatbread. Top with some of your pepper mixture, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Life doesn't get much better.



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