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Grilled, Mains

Lamb-and-Vegetable Souvlaki

Lamb-and-Vegetable Souvlaki
Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

The craving for souvlaki comes over me about once a month. I am usually in the center of town when that irresistible waft--the scent of grilled meat (either pork or lamb), garlic and oregano, coupled with the smell of warm, ... Read more

Total time: 40 minutes plus 1 hour marinating | Serves 8
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/3 cup strained lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano, preferably Greek
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless lamb leg or shoulder, cut into 1 1/2- inch cubes
  • 2 green bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into eighths
  • 2 red onions, cut into eighths
  • 4 firm tomatoes, cored and cut into quarters
  • 16 whole fresh bay leaves, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes
  • 8 round pita breads

Step 1Combine 1/2 cup of the oil, the lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper to taste in a bowl and toss in the lamb cubes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.

Step 2Heat the grill to medium-high or the broiler.

Step 3Alternately thread the meat, peppers, onions, tomatoes and bay leaves onto the skewers. Brush the skewers with the marinade. If broiling, place the skewers on a rack over a pan to keep the juices from dripping into the oven and broil about 4 inches from the heat source or place the skewers on the grill. Brush occasionally with a little of the marinade. The souvlaki will need about 6 to 7 minutes per side for rare, about 8 to 10 minutes for medium, and about 12 for well-done.

Step 4While the skewers are cooking, lightly brush the pita bread with some of the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil and either pan-fry lightly, preferably in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, or place on a cast-iron griddle or directly on the grill rack. Turn, brush the other side with the oil and grill lightly, 1 to 2 minutes total. The bread should not toast, but rather should be soft and pliant.

Step 5Serve the souvlaki on the skewer over the bread, accompanied if desired with Tzatziki and Greek Pan-Fried Potatoes.

Note: You should have about 32 cubes of lamb for this recipe. Use 8 flat metal skewers, about 10 inches long. Fresh bay leaves are available at gourmet supermarkets and farmers markets.


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