I think that the most famous and well known Greek food is probably souvlaki. And it has every right to be, as it is not only super delicious, but also it is an easy to put together and whole meal on its own.
In Greece, we love souvlaki and all its variations. In every neighborhood one will find more than one store that make and sell them. I can safely say that there is not one person who doesn’t eat it at least once every two weeks. Souvlaki is something like street food for us not so because it is sold by street vendors, but more in the sense that we buy it and eat it quickly and sometimes even as we walk.
There are three types of souvlaki with pita those being kalamaki (pieces of meat threaded through a wooden stick), Kebab (a sort of long sausage like burger) and gyros. All these can be eaten either plain or wrapped in a pita.
Gyros is basically large pieces of pork stacked one on top of the other, pierced in their center by a metal stick that turns around an electric element. A man with a sharp knife cuts every now and then the parts of the meat that are done, leaving the inner part bake as well. Souvlaki, by far, is one of Greeks’ most favorite food and apart from the easiness to consume it even while you are walking, it is super tasty too.
Souvlaki draws its routes from ancient Greece. The first mention of it is in Iliad, where we see Achilles barbeque parts of meat. Igisippos in his ancient cookbook mentions a meal called Kàndavlos that contains parts of broiled meat, cheese, pita and dill that was served with stock. In ancient Roman scripts, we can see souvlaki made with intestines and later in Constantinople there were street vendors selling souvlaki with pita. Nevertheless, it was not until the ’40 that souvlaki started having the massive acceptance it has today by the Greeks.
We all love souvlaki and we adore gyros, so I thought I should try to make it at home. I knew it was not going to be exactly as the one we eat in souvlaki stores, but it would be homemade, with good quality meat with no fats. I marinated the meat and left it overnight and next morning I baked it and broiled it. It was so juicy and tender you cannot believe. You can try this marinade in other pork parts like spareribs, chunks, pork tenderloin etc. It gives the meat such a great flavor and makes it super tender.
- 5 pork thick chops
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (feel free to add as many cloves as you like, the stronger the better)
- 2 tsp oregano
- ⅓ cup mustard
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- In a non-reactive bowl place all ingredients of the marinade and the chops.
- Mix well.
- Cover with a cling film and place it in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 220°C / 425°F.
- Take out of the fridge the chops and let them come at room temperature.
- Place them on a baking tray and bake them for 15 minutes turning them around after 8 minutes.
- Change from bake to grill and broil them for another 10 minutes turning them around again after 5 minutes.
- Remove and let them rest for 5 minutes.
- Stack them one over the other and with a sharp knife start slicing thin pieces.
- Serve with pitas and tzatziki.
- 5 χοιρινές μπριζόλες
- 1 κρεμμύδι, ψιλοκομμένο
- 2 σκελίδες σκόρδο, λιωμένο
- 2 κ.γ. ρίγανη
- ⅓ φλ. μουστάρδα
- ¼ φλ. ελαιόλαδο
- Αλάτι και πιπέρι
- Σε ένα γυάλινο μπολ βάζουμε όλα τα υλικά της μαρινάδας και τις μπριζόλες.
- Ανακατεύουμε καλά.
- Σκεπάζουμε με μια μεμβράνη και τοποθετούμε το στο ψυγείο για τουλάχιστον 6 ώρες ή όλη νύχτα.
- Προθερμαίνουμε το φούρνο στους 220°C.
- Βγάζουμε από το ψυγείο τις μπριζόλες και τις αφήνουμε να έρθουν σε θερμοκρασία δωματίου.
- Βάζουμε σε ένα ταψί και ψήνουμε για 15 λεπτά γυρίζοντάς τις μετά από 8 λεπτά.
- Γυρίζουμε το φούρνο στο γκριλ και ψήνουμε για 10 λεπτά ακόμα, γυρίζοντας τις πάλι μετά από 5 λεπτά.
- Αφαιρούμε και αφήνουμε να ξεκουραστούν για 5 λεπτά.
- Τις τοποθετούμε τη μία πάνω στην άλλη και με ένα κοφτερό μαχαίρι ξεκινάμε να κόβουμε λεπτές φέτες.
- Σερβίρουμε με πίτες και τζατζίκι.