I’ve never actually been to Greece, although obviously that’s not a required prerequisite for actually eating Greek food. I’ve never been to India either but you’ll still find me eating copious amounts of chicken korma from time to time! Anyway, one place I have been is Cyprus; and as the southern part of Cyprus is technically Greek territory I have been somewhere with Greek influences, even if it isn’t Greece itself. It became quickly clear that Greek Cypriots are great at creating tasty barbecued foods, and they always seem to be standing at some kind of barbecue grill ready to serve up some drool inducing foods.
As a result I have tasted real cooked Greek food fried up on the sunny shores of Cyprus, as we tried out best to try out some of the local cuisine rather than just having the same old food we could get back home in the UK (although, oddly, Cyprus manages to have a hefty amount of Italian restaurants given that it is a heavily Greek influenced island). It won’t be the real thing, but you can still do your best to replicate this taste of Greece with the following taste bud tingling barbecue recipes.
It has to be said that I can’t stand doner kebab, I’ve always preferred a good juicy burger myself. That said I do like some kebabs when they’re on skewers, and this mouth-watering recipe for the Greek Souvlaki is one of my favourites.
While Souvlaki and traditionally wrapped in pita bread and topped with a variety of vegetables – including lettuce, tomatoes and onions – you can definitely eat them without the bread and I personally prefer it this way.
Here’s the recipe for about 1 ½kg of lamb leg or shoulder:
- 1 ½kg of lamb leg or shoulder, cut into chunks
- 100ml of olive oil
- 100ml red wine
- 2 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 lemon
- 2 crushed garlic cloves
- 1 bay leaf, cut into tiny pieces
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Cut your lamb into chunks and place into a large bowl or food bag. Pour in your olive oil, red wine, lemon juice and black pepper. Mix it all together so the lamb is completely coated in your mixture.
- Take out the chunks and thread them onto metal or wooden skewers (if using wood make sure you soak them in water while you’re busy marinating the lamb).
- Heat up your grill or barbecue to a medium high.
- Sprinkle some salt over your freshly marinated meat, and pop them on to cook for 10-12 minutes. Turn them over every couple of minutes until they looked cooked to your tastes.
- Squeeze some fresh lemon juice on to them and serve. Lovely!
Alternative tip: If you don’t want to eat them immediately then you can freeze the meat instead of cooking. Wrap them up tightly in clingfilm (don’t put the meat on skewers), or pop them in freezer bags, and the meat will keep for up to 3 months. Thoroughly defrost the meat before cooking.
Sheftalia (Cypriot Sausage) Recipe
Ok, since we’re talking about Cyprus here’s one from The Land of Aphrodite itself. I’m a massive fan of sausages so I’m always looking to find new combinations and flavours that have been packed into a lovely sausage shape. Sheftalia is a skinless pork sausage; mixed with onions, parsley, salt and pepper and is relatively simple to cook.
Here’s the recipe to cook about 10 sausages;
- 450g minced pork
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 20g finely chopped fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper
- 225g caul fat
- 1 lemon, for the juice
- 10 skewers
- Get a bowl and add lemon juice. Wash the caul fat well with cold water and leave it in the bowl for 10-15 minutes before rinsing and draining.
- While the caul fat is soaking get another sizeable bowl and add the meat, onion, parsley and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Mix it all together.
- Lay the caul fat flat and cut it into square pieces of about 10cm each.
- Put a tablespoon of mixture into each square of caul fat, fold the outside edges and roll it into a sausage. Repeat until you’ve got your 10 sausages.
- Get a high heat barbecue ready and put your sausages on to skewers
- Barbecue the sausages for around 15-20 minutes, turning frequently and checking to see that the outside of the sausage gets crispy and dark and the inside is no longer pink. Try not to burn it!
- Enjoy the succulent taste of a Sheftalia!
I hope you enjoy these tasty Greek recipes, I know I did! Thankfully you can taste it yourself for less by grabbing a bargain in our BBQ Sale.