Chef Kevin Gillespie transported us to Greece with his Pork Souvlaki demonstration. Make this dish for your friends and family with this recipe.
PORK SOUVLAKI WITH CUCUMBER SALAD By Chef Kevin Gillespie
In 2011, Valerie and I honeymooned in Greece. The best meal we had was also the least expensive. We found this little hole-in-the-wall that had a wood-burning grill, a hand-cranked rotisserie, two hot-plate heating elements, and only four tables. It was run by one guy who began our pork souvlaki by walking next door to the butcher shop to procure a pork loin. He threaded the pork on skewers and grilled it over wood. That pork souvlaki was hands-down the best thing we ate in Greece. This recipe pays homage to that preparation by combining a traditional Greek pork souvlaki with the American penchant for gyros, which is grilled meat wrapped in puffy pita bread. It makes a satisfying sandwich. If you can find goat’s milk yogurt, that will give the cucumber salad a little more tang and creaminess. But plain old cow’s milk Greek yogurt works fine too.
1 tablespoon dried oregano 3 teaspoons kosher salt 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 3 cloves garlic, crushed 12 ounces boneless, tail end pork loin, cut into 1-inch cubes 1 Kirby/pickling cucumber, peeled and diced, about ¾ cup ¼ cup grape tomatoes, quartered 1 small red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, finely diced, about ¼ cup 1 jalapeño pepper, ribs and seeds removed, finely diced 4 pieces Greek-style flatbread or pocketless pita 1 tablespoon minced red onion ¼ cup Greek yogurt
Mix the oregano, 1 teaspoon of the salt, the olive oil, 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice, and the garlic in a zip-top bag and smush the bag together with your hands to combine. Add the pork and toss in the marinade, making sure all the pieces are covered. Squeeze out the air, zip the top shut, and marinate at room temperature for at least 2 hours.
Mix the cucumbers, tomatoes, bell pepper, jalapeño, and onion together with 1 teaspoon of the salt. Set aside while the meat marinates. Heat a grill pan over high heat or an outdoor grill to medium-high. Skewer the pork onto 4 skewers and put on the grill. Grill until charred on one side, about 2 minutes, then flip, grilling until all sides are charred; the other sides will take a little longer, about 3 minutes per side. The meat should be somewhat firm and have an internal temperature of about 145°F when done. If you have room on the grill, grill the flatbread to soften it as you cook the pork; otherwise, when the pork is done, set aside to rest, tented with aluminum foil, and grill the flatbread just until you have nice charred grill marks on both sides.
Just before serving, stir the yogurt, the remaining 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt into the cucumber mixture and toss to combine.
Slide the meat from the skewers onto the flatbread and dress with the salad. Serve immediately.
GOOD TO KNOW If you’re using an indoor grill pan, crank it on high heat for the best sear marks. On an outdoor grill, medium-high heat works best.