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Souvlaki Marinade and Rub for Meats

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 03 February 2010 at 14:32
from harry jiles of the BBQFAQ. harry describes this flavor profile as "souvlakia," but i've always called it "souvlaki;" either pronounciation is acceptable.
here's what wikipedia has to say about souvlaki:
Quote Souvlaki (Greek: Σουβλάκι) or souvlakia is a popular Greek fast food consisting of small pieces of meat and sometimes vegetables grilled on a skewer. It may be served on the skewer for eating out of hand, in a pita sandwich with garnishes and sauces, or on a dinner plate, often with fried potatoes or pilaf. The meat is traditionally pork in Greece and Cyprus, or in modern times increasingly chicken.[1] In other countries and for tourists, souvlaki may be made with other meats such as beef, lamb and sometimes fish (especially swordfish).

The terminology of souvlaki and its variants is confusing and inconsistent. Depending on the context, the term 'souvlaki' by itself may refer to any of the variants. In some regions and some restaurants, the name shish kebab is used to denote a particular variant of souvlaki[citation needed] (e.g. with vegetables on the skewer), but it is essentially a synonym.

The word souvlaki is a diminutive of souvla (skewer), itself cognate with the Latin subula.


Souvalaki is attested in Greece since antiquity and it was known with the name οβελίσκος (obeliskos)[2], dim. of όβελος (obelos), "spit"[3], mentioned amongst others in the works of Aristophanes ("Acharnians" 1007, "Clouds" 178, "Wasps" 354, "Birds" 388, 672), Xenophon ("Hellenica" HG3.3.7), Aristotle ("Politics" 1324b19), etc. A meat and bread recipe which resembles the way pita souvlaki is served today, with pita bread was also attested by Athenaeus in The Deipnosophists and called the plate kandaulos. However it is likely that the skewered meat, souvlaki-like recipe has existed as a favourite in ancient Greece since at least Archaic times, as the earliest references are attested in Homer [4].


Kalamaki (little reed) is a synonym for souvlaki proper in Athens, in order to differientate it from other forms of souvlaki.

For kalamaki, the meat is cubed into 1-inch chunks, marinated overnight in lemon juice and olive oil along with Greek herbs and spices such as oregano and on occasion thyme, etc., in a pinch. Then it is skewered on wooden skewers (the "little reeds"), broiled over charcoal, and generously salted and peppered.

Since in Thessaloniki different terminology is used: the word kalamaki is derided since it is called consistently and properly a souvlaki; a joke suggests that any Athenian visiting Thessaloniki, ask for a kalamaki he will be mockingly given a drinking straw (also called "kalamaki").

anyway, here's the recipe - looks great! in harry's example, he injected the marinade into two fresh hams and smoke-cooked them whole, using the rub for the surface of the meat. this sounds great, and i intend to try it with pork shoulder.
a more traditional way of doing this would probably be to cut pork (any meat should work well) into cubes, marinate for a couple of hours, skewer and then season with the rub before cooking.

Souvlakia Marinade


  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method

--------  ------------  --------------------------------

   2      cup           olive oil

                        juice of 2 limes

   6      cloves        garlic

   4      teaspoons     oregano

   1      teaspoon      thyme

   1      cup           lemon juice

   1      cup           red wine

   4      teaspoon      salt

   2                    bay leaves

   1      teaspoon      fresh ground pepper

   1      cup           water


I blended the marinade well in the food processor and let it sit in the refrigerator for 24 hours for the flavors to blend [before using]. 


Souvlakia Rub


 Amount   Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method

--------  ------------  --------------------------------

  1/2     cup           olive oil

   3      cloves        garlic, minced

   2      teaspoons     salt

   2      teaspoons     oregano

   1      teaspoon      fresh ground pepper

Edited by TasunkaWitko - 03 February 2010 at 14:35
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