Coke, No Pepsi
Greeks make souvlaki by marinating chunks of meat in oil, lemon juice
and oregano, then skewering and grilling them. This version uses
pork shoulder because it's so tender and succulent. © Yunhee Kim
Food & Wine's senior recipe developer, Grace Parisi, is a Test Kitchen superstar. In this series, she shares some of her favorite recipes to make right now.
It was sort of a revelation to me that you could quickly cook pork shoulder. I’d always assumed that it needed hours of slow braising or roasting to get the meat meltingly tender. But then I remembered (vaguely) a recipe for spareribs that were high-heat roasted for a relatively short time. They were a bit chewy, yeah, but still juicy and really meaty. The little bit of fat self-bastes and helps caramelize the meat. It occurred to me that I could use shoulder in a whole host of recipes that seemed destined for quicker-cooking pork loin or, even worse, tenderloin.
The key is (and this is probably totally obvious, but...) cutting the meat into small pieces. For this souvlaki, I cut the pork into 1/2-by-3-inch strips and let it marinate with onions, lemon, herbs, salt and pepper for about 10 minutes. Maybe the salt and acid help to tenderize the meat? I don’t know, but they do infuse a bit of flavor, which is important in something that cooks quickly. I heated a cast-iron griddle until smoking hot, and cooked the meat and onions until tender and charred in spots. (Think short-order cook at your favorite Greek place.) I’m kind of addicted to Fabulous Flats Tandoori Naan, which is really just a pocketless pita. It makes the best wrap for this souvlaki, but any brand will do. Do not forget the tzatziki—it keeps everything deliciously creamy and rich! SEE RECIPE »