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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Souvlaki (grilled lamb on skewer)

Souvlaki (grilled lamb on skewer)
Kalamaki souvlaki

In different parts of the world skewed meat is called shish kabab or shashlilik, to Greeks it's a souvlaki. Souvla is the Greek word for skewer or spit. When roasting an entire lamb for Easter the souvla is a long metal rod.
The recipe below dates back to before 1000 B.C. In those days lamb was marinated and skewred on a sword and grilled over a fire. These days ordinary skewres and charcoal grill will do fine. Or you could just grill it.
NOTE: day before preparation
12 large mushrooms
2 tablespoons of whit wine or lemon juice
1 cup olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
2 large bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 small leg of lamb (aprox. 1 1/4 kilos) deboned and cut into cubes for skewering
1 1/2 tablespoons oregano
4 large tomatoes or 18 cherry tomatoes
3 large green bell peppers
2 large onions or 18 pearl onions (pearl onions are the ones we use for stifado)
1. Clean mushrooms, sprinkle them with 2 tablespoons of white wine or lemon juice, cover an refrigerate (this prevent them form turning dark)
2. Combine olive oil, 1/3 cup lemon juice, red wine, garlic and bay leaves in large steel pot or glass mixing bowl and mix well
3. Sprinkle meat with salt, pepper, oregano and place in marinade
4. Remove stems of cherry tomatoes and add to marinade
5. Fill a pot with water, add one teaspoon salt and bring to rapid boil
6. Wash green peppers and cut into squares. Add peppers into boiling water and leave for 5 minutes, take out with of water and drain and sprinkle with cold water and add to marinade with meat.
7. Peel large onion, quarter them, put in same water and par boil them for 5 minutes, take out and spray with cold water. If using pearl onions par boil unpeeled for five minutes, rinse with cold water and you will find that the peel slips off. Add onions to marinade.
8. Cover this bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. It is advisable to sit the marinade every now and then to make sure that all meat is evenly marinated. NOTE: the meat will begin to cook in the acid from the wine and lemon juice
9. Next day, add the mushrooms to marinade and toss
10. Light the barbecue one hour ahead (if using charcoal)
11. Prepare skewers by threading meat, pepper, onion tomato with a mushroom to cap.
12. Put skewers at least 5 cm above hot charcoal and grill for 15 minutes on one side; then turn skewers over the grill for another 10 - 15 minutes.
13. Meat is perfect if it is barely pink in centre and nice and crusty on outside



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