Quick to mix, easy to grill, souvlaki is a winner for warm weather!
I’m a big fan of ground meat recipes; meatloaf, meatballs, and even just ground meat, browned and made into a stew or chili, but I’ve never tried my hand at souvlaki, but now I wonder why it took me so long. It cooked faster than a meatloaf, and forming the kebabs was faster and easier than rolling up a ton of meatballs. All in all, souvlaki seems like a winner.
This recipe is Real Food Reset compliant, works with the Daniel Plan, The Primal Blueprint, and for Paleo dieters who eat yogurt. …and if you don’t, just skip the tzatziki.
I love the combination of lamb and beef, so I used half and half, but beef and pork is a winner, too. In bulgaria, they have a similar dish called kebabche, made without the skewers, and using a lamb and pork combination.
What follows is a complete meal; souvlaki, served with tzatziki for dipping, and a chopped salad on the side. If you want more carbs, a side of rice or potatoes would go well with the meal.
My kids do not like chopped onions and parsley, so I made half with, half without.
Makes 8 quarter pound skewers
2 lbs ground red meat (lamb, beef, pork, or any combination)
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp oregano, rubbed between your hands to crumble
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp minced onion or green onion (optional, because my kids don’t like it)
1 tbsp minced flat parsley (optional, because my kids don’t like it)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
8 wooden or metal skewers
Mix and kneed the meat, herbs, spices, parsley, and onion together.
Divide the mixture into eight equal portions. Roll into long cylinders almost the length of your skewers. Press a skewer down into the meat mixture and form the meat around the skewer. Gently press the souvlaki into a flattened kebab shape. Repeat for all skewers.
For best results, allow the souvlaki to rest for an hour, but it’s not absolutely necessary.
Heat a grill or broiler to high heat, and cook the souvlaki until done. I prefer medium, but you can go rare to well done, depending on how you like them cooked.
Makes two cups
2 cups Greek yogurt 2% or better, because fat free Greek yogurt tastes nasty)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 Persian cucumber, sliced thinly or 1/2 American cucumber, peeled and sliced thinly
salt and pepper to taste
Mix everything together.
The ratio of tomato, cucumber, and pepper is not important. If possible, have all three in the ratio you like, but I’ll give you an example, below.
Makes 4 servings
2-3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
3-4 Persian cucumbers, chopped (or 1 and a half American, peeled and chopped).
1-2 colorful bell peppers, seeded and chopped
2 tbsp flat parsley, chopped
2 tbsp chopped onion or green onion
salt to taste
Mix everything together
With the weather getting better, it’s time to start grilling, and souvlaki is quick and easy on the grill!