Smokey succulent pork pieces, heated onions, cooling cucumber, sweet tomatoes and fresh crisp white cabbage all snuggled inside a warm toasty pitta and finished off with a sprinkling of parsley and squeeze of lemon. Wondering what I’m talking about? I’m talking about the best meal ever invented ‘Greek pork souvlaki’.
GREEK CYPRIOT PORK SOUVLAKI
Whenever we go to Cyprus the first place we go to eat is to the nearest souvlakia shop. Not the ones you find in the tourist areas, but the ones hidden in the villages that only the locals know about. The ones that cost 4 euros per pitta rather than the 8 euros they charge in the touristy places. The reason we go to the cheap not so fancy places is because they taste PHENOMENAL! The pork souvlaki is like nothing you have tasted before. You can live on this food every night because it tastes so amazing.
WHAT CUT OF PORK TO USE TO MAKE PORK SOUVLAKI
When making Greek Cypriot pork souvlaki you can use either of these two cuts of meat
- Pork Shoulder
- Pork Tenderloin
I like to use pork shoulder because it is cheaper and a little bit more fattier than pork tenderloin and also the extra fat adds more flavour. In my video below you can see me using pork shoulder.
HOW TO MAKE GREEK PORK SOUVLAKI IN PITTA
Making Greek pork sovlaki is easy. There are 4 basics step involved in making delicious tasting, tender pork souvlaki.
- Marinating of your pork pieces
- BBQING your pork souvlaki skewers
- Chopping up your salad
- Putting everything into a pitta
PORK SOUVLAKI MARINADE
To make your Greek pork souvlaki tasty you need to marinate your pork pieces for at least an hour but overnight is best. For the pork souvlaki marinade you will need:
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Salt & Pepper
- Dried oregano
The key ingredient to the perfect pork souvlaki is the oregano that is what gives it, it’s distinct Greek flavour.
HOW TO MAKE PORK SOUVLAKI TENDER
The lemon juice will tenderise your meat making it lovely and soft and your pork will end up changing colour and looking more white.
I like to leave my pork to marinate at room temperature before I add them to the bbq because I don’t want the difference in temperature to be such a shock to my meat that it makes it tighten up and give me a dry souvlaki.
If you marinate your meat the night before that is fantastic because you are going to add jam packed flavour. All you have to do is take your pork souvlaki out a few hours before you want to cook it and let it come to room temperature and you will have delicious succulent pork souvlakia.
HOW TO BBQ GREEK PORK SOUVLAKI
When your pork pieces have been marinating for at least an hour and you have left them to come to room temperature add them to your skewers and light the BBQ. Make sure your coals are really hot before you add your pork souvlaki skewers to your BBQ. You should hear a nice sizzle when you add them.
If you watch my how to make Greek pork souvlaki – souvlakia video you will see that my BBQ is small so my coals don’t heat up that quick so we have to keep turning our skewers every few minutes. Whereas if your BBQ is bigger your coals are going to be hotter so you should turn your pork skewers more frequently just so they cook more evenly throughout and don’t burn on one side. As your meat is cooking your coals will also be getting even hotter so stay by your pork skewers and turn them more frequently, maybe as often as every minute.
When your meat is all brown and juicy put your skewers on a plate and cover them with foil and heat up your pitta bread on your BBQ. If you heat them up on the BBQ you will get the flavour of the pork and smokiness of the coals which will give you that authentic Greek Cypriot flavour.
GREEK PORK SOUVLAKI PITTA
The only thing that will make or break your souvlaki is your pitta bread. You need to try and get your hands on some Greek Cypriot pitta bread because they are big and thin, not like the ones you get in the supermarket which are small and thick. If you end up having a small thick pitta the ratio of meat, salad and bread will be off. There wont be enough meat or salad because the pitta is too small, and it will taste like bread and meat. Whereas if your pitta is big and thin it will unite perfectly with the meat and salad and give you the perfect souvlakia.
If you heat your pitta bread on the BBQ heat them for only 1 minute turning 1/2 way through to heat up the other side then wrap them up in a clean tea towel to stay warm and go and fill them.
HOW TO SERVE GREEK CYPRIOT PORK SOUVLAKI
Try and prepare your salad whilst your pork in marinating or while it is cooking so you don’t waste time when your souvlaki and pittas are warm. You don’t want to end up eating your souvlaki cold.
With everything prepped and altogether, your pork, pitta salad and lemons.
- Cut open your pitta along the long side so you make a pocket
- Take your pork off of your skewer have a bite (“,) and then fill up your pitta about 2/3 full of meat
- Add your onions, white cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes and a sprinkling of chopped parsley
- If you want to take the flavour up a level then add a good squeeze of lemon juice
WHAT TO SERVE WITH YOUR GREEK PORK SOUVLAKI
I like to eat my pork souvlaki in a pitta, but sometimes it is nice to add a few more dishes especially if you are having guests. I’d recommend some refreshing talatouri. This is the Greek Cypriot version of tzatziki. You can find my easy less than 15 minute recipe by clicking here.
I know you have salad in you pitta but having a bowl of Greek salad to accompany your pork souvlaki makes everything taste better. Who can resist some tangy Greek feta and dipping their bread in the salad juices? Click here for my easy Greek salad recipe.
- 500 g Pork shoulder or tenderloin (cut into cubes)
- Olive oil (make sure all your meat is coated)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 clove Garlic (grated)
- Salt and pepper
- 2-3 Tbsp. dried oregano
- 1 Red onion (finely chopped)
- 2 Large tomatoes (cubed or 20 cherry tomatoes sliced)
- 1 Large cucumber (cut into small pieces)
- 1/2 white cabbage (shredded)
- 1 handful fresh parsley (chopped)
- Greek Cypriot pitta bread (as many as you need per)
- 1 Lemon
- Add all your marinade ingredients to your pork and massage it all in
- If you are cooking it in the next 1-2 hours leave your meat covered and at room temperature to let the flavours penetrate. If you are marinating your meat the night before store your meat covered and in the fridge and take it out of the fridge an hour or two before you are going to cook it so your meat comes to room temperature. The reason I like my meat to be at room temperature is because if it is cold and goes straight on to the hot bbq my meat will get a shock from the dramatic change in temperature and tighten up and make the meat dry and tough, so an hour or two out the fridge makes a huge difference
- Add your meat to your skewers then put them on the bbq turning every few minutes so they cook evenly on both sides, then put them in a clean tray and cover with foil so they stay warm whilst you get everything else sorted
- Heat your pittas on your bbq for 1 minute, turning after 30 seconds so both sides are evenly heated. Then wrap them in a clean towel to stay warm
- Cut all your salad so they are bite size pieces. I like to do this whilst my meat is marinating so when my meat and pitta are cooked I don't waste any time I can get straight to eating my delicious souvlakia piping hot
- Take your meat off of your skewers
- Open your pitta across the longest edge to form a pocket
- Add your meat to the bottom of your pitta, then onions, cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes and finally parsley and if you want to take it to the next level add a squeeze of lemon to freshen everything up and make everything taste phenomenal
- All that's left is for you to dig in (",)
- Kali Orexi (",)
Kali Orexi (“,)
If you would like more Greek Cypriot recipes click here.