Souvlaki

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This is quite easy (once you’ve made it the first time) and, when you’ve got all your little salad bits and pieces organised, you can just sit back and advise everyone on how to fill their pitta. You could also just make these under the grill and serve them with a side salad and some chips. I always leave a little fat on the meat for the flavour and so that it doesn’t dry out. Once the meat is cooked, splash it with the lemon and oregano and eat it straight from the barbecue — it doesn’t like waiting around. Don’t forget, bamboo skewers will need to be soaked in water for about 30 minutes before you thread the meat on, so that they don’t scorch over the heat.

Ingredients

  • 900 g (2 lb) pork fillet or loin
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 pitta breads, to serve
  • tzatziki, to serve
  • lemon halves, to serve
  • 2 tomatoes, diced, to serve
  • 15 g (½ cup) chopped flat-leaf (italian) parsley

Method

Cut the meat into small cubes, trimming away any excess fat. Thread onto 12 bamboo or metal skewers, not too tightly packed (about six or seven pieces per skewer, depending on how many cubes of meat you have). Preheat the barbecue to medium-high.

Put the onion in a small bowl, cover with cold water and sprinkle with the salt. Leave to soak for 20 minutes or so, then rinse, drain well in a fine sieve and put in a serving bowl.

Combine the oregano, lemon juice and oil, season with salt and pepper to make a marinade and brush over the meat. Grill the skewers about 5 cm (2 inches) away from the coals until they are nicely golden on both sides (the cooking time will depend on the heat of your barbecue). The meat should be cooked through with some dark brown bits, but not overcooked and dried out. Arrange on a serving platter and drizzle with the remaining oregano marinade (you can remove the meat from the skewers if you prefer). Sprinkle with a little extra salt and serve immediately with the just warmed pitta breads (either on the barbecue or in the oven, covered in foil), and the tzatziki, onion, lemon halves, tomatoes and parsley all in separate bowls for people to help themselves.