Souvlaki (soo-vlah-kee), meaning “little skewers” in Greek, are skewers of meat such as pork, lamb, and chicken that are marinated in a wonderful red wine mixture and then grilled. Souvlakia (the plural of Souvlaki) are traditionally wrapped in pita bread and then topped with a variety of condiments such as lettuce, tomato, onion, and, of course, the famed cucumber-and-yogurt-based tzatziki sauce. But they are also quite delicious without the pita and trimmings.
This marinade recipe is for a pound of pork shoulder and will yield about four 9-inch skewers. You can multiply the recipe according to the number of people you are feeding. Make sure you begin the recipe ahead of time to allow at least 2 to 3 hours for the meat to marinate and really absorb the flavors.
If using wooden skewers, you will need to soak them in water beforehand so they don't burn. Place them in a shallow dish of water while the pork is marinating.
- For the Marinade:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
- 1 tbsp. dried mint
- 1 tbsp. dried oregano
- 4 cloves garlic (smashed and finely minced)
- 1 bay leaf (crumbled into tiny pieces)
- For the Kabobs:
- 1 lb. pork shoulder (trimmed of fat and cut into 1 1/4 inch cubes)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 to 3 wedges of lemon (for serving)
In a large non-reactive bowl, whisk the marinade ingredients together. Add the pork cubes, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.
If using wooden skewers, soak these in a shallow pan filled with water while the meat marinates.
Heat the grill to medium-high. Thread the meat onto the skewers (about 6 to 7 pieces per skewer). Season the pork with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Grill over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally until they are cooked through. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the meat before serving.