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How to Make Souvlaki at Home

The first time I ever ate souvlaki was at The Friendly Greek, on The Danforth in Toronto. Heaven, I tell you. I was transported, delighted and gluttonous. Pork on a stick? Really?How in the heck did they make it that scrumptious? And why do I want to eat five of them?

To save myself from the Baklava – which is the most butt-expanding dessert I know, and one that always had to follow the souvlaki at The Friendly Greek – I knew I had to do something. And something came in the form of a Greek god. Well, perhaps not a god, as such. Maybe more like a short and hairy Greek guy who was in love with my sister. But, hey! That man could cook. Well, at the very least, he knew how to get his mama’s souvlaki recipe. It may not have helped him in his quest to win over my sister, but I think of his mama him every time I make souvlaki.


Pork Souvlaki 

Here’s what you will need:

2 lbs pork loin, cut into approximately 1 inch chunks

1/8 cup lemon juice

2 large cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tbsp oregano, divided

1 tsp sea salt

black pepper, to taste

Transfer your cut up pork into a bowl for marinating. Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, 1/2 the oregano, salt and pepper together. Pour over pork, making sure all the pork is well coated.

Cover your bowl, transfer to the fridge, and marinate for at least six hours. Once an hour or so, you can shake up your marinating pork. Don’t worry too much about this, if you won’t be around to do this. As long as you make sure all the pork is well coated in the marinade, it’ll be just fine.

In the meantime, soak about a dozen wooden skewers in water. If you prefer, you can do this on metal skewers as well.

When your pork is fully marinated, remove from fidge and sprinkle with the other half tablespoon of oregano. Now you can go ahead and spear the chunks on the skewers, six or eight pieces per skewer.

I prefer to cook these on the BBQ, but I am also foolish enough to want to BBQ in the depths of winter, or in the pouring rain. You can do these on any indoor grill, as well, and it is possible to broil them, as long as you don’t mind staying right next to the oven, and turn them very frequently, to prevent too much charring from going on. You will need to allow for about 15 minutes cooking time, turning frequently, until browned, and you get the slight char marks.

Serve on a platter, with a fresh squeeze of lemon, and tzatziki on the side. Tzatziki is a traditional yogurt and cucumber Greek dip for souvlaki. Now, before you screw up your face, I can assure you it’s much better than it sounds. I refuse to eat yogurt, normally. But this is perfect with souvlaki. I usually buy the President’s Choice one from Dominion, but if you prefer to make your own, here’s a simple recipe.

Mix all ingredients together well.

  • 2 cups of  yogurt, full fat, strained (see below)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup grated cucumber 
  • 1 tsp  olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

To strain the yogurt, you can use cheese cloth, coffee filters, whatever you have on hand. Line a strainer with your chosen cloth, dump yogurt in, and place over a bowl to catch the excess liquid. Strain for at least 6 hours. (and now you know why I buy pre-made!)

There you have it. I usually serve Potato Ragout with mine. Enjoy!