‘Tis barbie season finally and we’ve been making the most of it this week, partly because of the great weather and partly because we’ve had our seventeen year old nephew James staying with us. I’m not terribly sure how we’re going to cope without his super-nannying skills when he leaves this afternoon (both with kids and dogs!). I’ve mainly been doing a few of my usuals on the barbie, various veggie and meat kebabs, my fat b*****d blue cheese stuffed burgers, chilli pork chops etc, all recipes that I’ll be blogging shortly plus a few exciting newbies on the block.
For today it’s my Greek Stylie Pork and Veggie Kebabs with fresh oregano. I’ve no idea how many times I must have made these last summer. At least twenty times I’m reckoning, and later in the summer using peppers, aubergines, courgettes and onions fresh out of the garden. I can’t wait to be able to do that again, rock on summer! They tend to be more of a side dish rather than a main event for me, but served with hummus and/or tzatziki, a greek salad and pitta bread they make a very substantial main. Great also with chicken instead of pork or without any meat at all (just up the quantity and variety of veggies).
The meat and veggies are best left to marinade for a good few hours, so try to make in advance if you can. And if you’re short on time, as I always am, it’s particularly handy to get all the hard work done in advance anyway, then all you have to do is a bit of skewering up just before barbecuing.
As I grow oregano in abundance I love to use it as generously as possible. It’s the chief flavouring in these kebabs, but if you don’t have a source of fresh oregano you can replace with three teaspoons of dried. I’m entering this post to the Herbs on Saturday blogging challenge held by the lovely Karen at one of my favourite blogs, Lavender & Lovage. I’ve been meaning to take part for quite a while now, but my organisational skills are not the best at times! Have a look at her blog as there’s sure to be plenty of herby and other delights on offer.
If you do lots of barbecues I’d think about investing in some metal skewers, they’re so much better than the flimsy easily burnable throw away ones. My Mum and Dad gave me a set years ago that they’d brought back from Istanbul. To be honest they sat at the back of a drawer unused for some time before I got into barbecuing recently, and now they’re used countless times every summer.
Enough for six to eight kebabs:
a medium onion, white or red
a large pepper (any colour)
½ an aubergine or a small courgette or both!
the juice of a lemon
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
a teaspoon of coarsely ground black pepper
a generous pinch of salt
a handful of fresh oregano sprigs, leaves removed and roughly chopped or 3 teaspoons of dried oregano
350g of pork loin pieces
Start with preparing your meat and veggies. They should all be cut to a similar size so everything cooks fairly evenly. Half the onions, then half again then again into eighths. Then roughly separate the layers. Cut the aubergine in quarters lengthways then slice into pieces about 6/7mm thick. If using courgette slice into 6/7mm thick rounds. Cut the pepper to a similar size. Finally dice the pork the same size as the veggies.
Now put together the marinade ingredients in a large non-metalic bowl, mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt & black pepper and oregano leaves.
Tip the pork and veggies into the marinade and give everything a thorough stir. I use my hands. Cover with cling film and leave to marinade away in the fridge for a few hours.
Just before barbecuing, remove from the fridge and skewer up, alternating the veggies, onions and pork. Brush any remaining marinade over the kebabs.
Cook on a hot barbecue, turning every few minutes until they’re evenly browned on all sides and the pork and veggies are thoroughly cooked through.
Great served hot with pitta breads, hummus, tzatziki and a large greek salad on the side (again made with plenty of lemon juice and fresh oregano) or as a side dish to the rest of the barbecue. Any leftovers are fab eaten cold in a pitta sandwich.