I’ve been holding out on you.
Earlier this year I was thumbing through the March issue of Food & Wine magazine, when I came across this recipe for Pork Souvlaki & Tzatziki. It stuck out for two main reasons.
First, was the presentation. Souvlaki, a classic Greek dish of marinated and cubed pork or lamb, is usually cooked with onions on a skewer. This Food & Wine interpretation dispensed with the pesky skewers and called for sautéing the meat and onion in a cast-iron skillet. Ahhh…nice and simple.
Secondly, the recipe just seemed flavorful and easy.
Since first making it back in March, this recipe has become one of favorite finds of the year.
The secret is in marinating the pork and onions in the lemon juice, olive oil mixture. The lemon juice tenderizes the meat and gives the onion a beautiful bright flavor that just wakes up your taste buds.
Serving it with the tzatziki (yogurt sauce) really rounds it out. While the pork is bright and hearty the tzatziki is cool and refreshing. They work well together – they kind of have this tasty ‘good cop, bad cop’ thing going on. Stuff them in a warm pita bread and you have the perfect meal in a pocket.
Now, you maybe asking, “If you love this dish so much, why have you been sitting on it for half a year?” I’m embarrassed to admit this but the reason is pure vanity. I made and shot this dish a few months ago but was so unhappy with the photographs that I shelved the post. I had planned on re-shooting the dish but I never got around to it.
So, if the photos don’t scare you off, I encourage you to give this recipe a try. It’s simple. It’s easy. And it’s super delicious. Enjoy!
PORK SOUVLAKI & TZATZIKI
1¼ lbs pork loin, cut into 3-by-1/2 strips
1 large onion, cut into ½” wedges
¼ cup plus 2 TBL extra-virgin olive oil
3 lemons, juiced (optional: 1 lemon cut to wedges for garnish)
2TSP dried oregano
3 garlic cloves, divided and mashed to a paste
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup Greek whole-milk yogurt
½ English/Seedless cucumber, seeded and finely diced
2TBL mint, chopped
warm pita, for serving
In a medium bowl, toss the pork strips and onion wedges with olive oil, lemon juice, oregano and garlic paste from two of the garlic cloves. Season with 1½ teaspoons of salt and ½ teaspoon pepper and let stand for at least 30 minutes (preferably up to 2 hours – refrigerated).
Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix the yogurt, cucumber, mint and the remaining garlic paste. Season the tzatziki with salt and pepper.
Heat a large cast-iron frying pan until it is very hot. Add pork and onion wedges along with any marinade and cook over high heat, turning once or twice, until the pork and onions are tender and caramelized, about 12 minutes.
Transfer the pork and onion to plates and serve with the tzatziki, lemon wedges and pita.