SOUVLAKIA HIRINA

SOUVLAKIA HIRINA (from Cyprus, pork kebabs with cucumber mint yogurt sauce, for four) 

Kebabs, souvlakia hirina 1 Kebabs, souvlakia hirina 2

For the souvlakia:

2 cups red wine

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste

1 teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

6 garlic cloves, smashed

2 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes

freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the yogurt sauce:

½ seedless cucumber (about 12 ounces)

1-1/2 cups Greek yogurt

½ cup chopped fresh mint leaves

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil  or sesame oil

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

kosher salt to taste

For the garnish:

4 scallions, sliced on the diagonal

1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves

4 pita breads, warmed


  1. Make the souvlakia. Whisk together the wine, oregano, cumin, salt, thyme, cinnamon, and garlic in a large bowl. Add the cubes of pork and toss well to combine.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to marinate at room temperature for at least 2 hours or in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Meanwhile, make the yogurt sauce. Trim the ends off the cucumber and peel it.  Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise.  Using a small spoon, scrape out and discard the seeds from each half.  Finely chop the cucumber and transfer it to a medium bowl.  Stir in the yogurt, mint, oil and garlic, and season with salt.  Cover the surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.  (The sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 1 week).
  3. Broil or grill the kebabs. Arrange an oven rack 7 to 8 inches from the broiler element and heat broiler. Remove pork from the marinade (reserve marinade), thread the cubes onto 4 metal or wooden skewers, and arrange on a foil-lines baking sheet.  (If using wooden skewers, make sure to cover the ends completely with the pork cubes to prevent the skewers from burning.) Season the pork with salt and pepper.  Pour the marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Broil the kebabs, generously basting with the marinade occasionally, until browned on all sides and cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. (Alternatively, the kebabs may be cooked over a medium-hot grill for the same amount of time.)
  1. Arrange the skewers on a platter and scatter the scallions and parsley over them. Serve with the yogurt sauce and pita.

 

from Saveur Magazine

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