Whilst doing field work in Greece a few years ago, I discovered a love of souvlaki – a fast food consisting of meat on a skewer, which was then wrapped in a pita with vegetables and Greek yogurt. I was often so hungry after being on site from early in the morning, that I had finished my souvlaki by the time I had walked back up the hill to my apartment and was wishing I’d bought two. This recipe is partly inspired by those souvlaki memories and partly invented as a result of what was in the cupboard and fridge (specifically a can of artichokes that I bought to make Easy Chicken but didn’t use). It makes enough to fill about 6 pitas, depending on how generously you fill them (and how much fat comes out of the pork!). This does not have to be marinated, but doing so will improve the flavour and help to tenderise the pork (particularly if you use cheap pork, as I did!).
What you’ll need:
750 g – 1kg diced pork
1 can or jar of cooked artichokes (I used a jar with a drained weight of 240 grams; if your artichokes come as whole hearts, cut them into quarters before using)
Generous glug of olive oil
Generous glug of lemon juice
Pepper (and salt, if desired)
A package of spinach leaves (I used a 260 gram pack)
6 pita breads
Salad vegetables (I used shredded lettuce and sliced tomatoes)
What to do:
1. Place the pork and artichokes in an ovenproof dish. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, pepper and (if using) salt to the dish and mix together thoroughly. If you have time, cover the dish with cling film and leave to marinate for a few hours or overnight.
2. When you’re ready to cook the pork, pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4 (180º C or 350º F) and then place the dish in the middle of the pre-heated oven for about 2 hours or until the pork is cooked. You will need to mix around the pork and artichokes a couple of times during the cooking process to ensure that it browns evenly.
3. Once the pork is cooked, spread the spinach leaves over the pork and artichokes and put the dish back in the oven for about 2 minutes to soften the spinach, and then remove the dish from the oven and mix the spinach into the pork and artichokes. Any crispy bits of spinach should soften as they are mixed with the cooking juices. Place the dish back in the oven for a few minutes and then remove once the spinach has cooked. Apologies for the lack of picture of this stage – I was in a hurry to finish our supper by this point and forgot to take a picture!
4. Toast the pita breads and split them in half. Stuff each one with salad and some of the hot pork, add a dollop of Greek yogurt and then enjoy!