Wine & Food Pairing Recipes . Greek Lamb Souvlakia with Malbec

Simple and absolutely delicious! This was a best-selling dish in Zorba’s in Hong Kong and the recipe stayed with me when we opened Zorba’s in Boracay (Philippines) and then through to the Wine Press in Manila. We had bowls of marinating meat in the kitchen and on order, we would skewer up the meat and grill. You can use chicken, lamb or pork, however I think lamb leg works best as the fatty meat offers excellent flavours after grilling - the meat does not dry out and the marinade helps to tenderise the lamb and just turns this dish into an explosion of smokey and spicy flavours. The creamy tzatziki then just makes this dish complete. Serve with Greek salad and a spicy, round red wine like our Rewen Estate Malbec (link to see Brad's tasting video)

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

1 kg lamb leg meat, cleaned and cubed

For souvlakia marinade
350 mls olive oil
350 mls white wine
50 gms garlic, chopped
Juice of three lemons
25 gms oregano, dried
35 gms fresh coriander, chopped 15 gms salt
15 gms black pepper
5 bay leaves

For the tzatziki
500 mls natural yoghurt
20 mls Vinegar, red wine
2 Cucumbers
40 gms fresh mint leaves, chopped finely
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped finely
Dash salt

If you are preparing this for lunch then the evening before, start to work on the tzatziki by placing some kitchen paper towels into a sieve over a pot and pouring in the yoghurt over the paper towels. Leave for 12 hours in the fridge, the water content of the yoghurt will run through the paper and the sieve into the pan, you will then have a lovely thick and creamy yoghurt base remaining.

The next morning, peel the cucumber and cut down the middle, take out the seeds with a teaspoon, chop into small cubes and place in a sieve, drizzle the red wine vinegar and the sprinkle the salt over the cucumber, place a plate with a weight over the cucumber and then let the vinegar and the water content of the cucumber drip out into a pan for about six hours.

Use the cucumber and the yoghurt, which can then be mixed with the garlic and mint and you have a wonderfully thick tzatziki.

Also prepare the night before. Cube up the lamb leg, I suggest having this cleaned by your butcher before purchase so you’re just buying just the meat for cooking (some fat on the meat is good).
Mix up the ingredients of the marinade in a separate bowl and pour over the lamb. Leave for six hours (minimum three, not more than twelve).
Thread the meat onto wooden or metal skewers and then grill on high heat and sear until crispy. The flavours are quite amazing.
Serve on pita bread with tzatziki and Greek salad, garnish with fresh mint.

Wine Pairing
This is fantastic with a light and spicy red wine, something that has been through oak barrelling - so our Rewen Estate Malbec that's been aged in American oak is a magical marriage.

Did You Know?
That excavations in Santorini, Greece, unearthed stone sets of barbecue for skewers used before the 17th century BC.