Lamb Souvlaki with Tzatziki

Total Time:
2 hr 50 min
Prep:
2 hr 30 min
Cook:
20 min

Yield:
4 to 6 servings

Ingredients
  • 2 pounds lamb, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup grated onion
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon Essence, recipe follows
  • Pita bread rounds
  • Tzatziki, recipe follows
  • Tzatziki:
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, sliced in half and seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice or white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh dill or oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon Essence, recipe follows
  • Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
Directions

Place the meat in a non-reactive bowl. Mix together the lemon juice, oil, salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon oregano, garlic, and grated onion, and pour over the meat. Cover and chill at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Thread the meat onto metal or bamboo skewers.

Heat the oil on a griddle or in a large skillet over high heat. Add the onions, remaining teaspoon oregano and Essence to the griddle and cook light brown, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the pan.

Preheat a grill. Grill the skewers, turning occasionally, until brown on all sides. Remove from the grill. Quickly heat the pita bread on the grill until just warmed through and pliant. Holding a pita in the left hand, and the skewer in the right hand, pull the contents from the skewer into the pita bread. Repeat with the remaining skewers. Divide the cooked onions among the pita, and top with Tzatziki (cucumber sauce). Serve immediately.

Tzatziki:

Put the cucumber in a strainer set over a bowl. Sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt and drain for 1 hour. Put the yogurt in another strainer set over a bowl and drain for 1 hour. Combine the cucumber and yogurt in a bowl with the remaining ingredients and stir well. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour before serving.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

Yield: about 2/3 cup

Recipe from New New Orleans Cooking, by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.


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    Take your time get it right and one word " AWESOME ".
    We made this with sirloin steak and it was out of this world! Our guests loved it and these was not a single morsel left after our bbq!
    Just like my Yiayia used to make. Very authentic, works well with lamb, pork or chicken. If you use Greek yogurt you don't have to strain it. I don't always drain the cucumber either, I don't think it makes that much difference if you are going to use the tzatziki right away. And no offense to Emeril, but the "essence" is optional in my opinion, though if I don't use it I do add a pinch of cayenne. Perfect for a casual outdoor meal with friends. Opa!
    I know...don't change the master's recipe but please try this. Take a lean pork tenderloin and have it sliced hair thin, as thin as possible and this can be done by a butcher. Then follow Emeril's recipe to the tee, obviously substituting your shaved pork for the recipes recommended meat. After marinating several hours or overnight, sear the pork on hot grill using an open slotted grill pan. Sear it good and then place it in pita bread. I do this for my buddies out on the ice while ice fishing. We call them field gyros. Also, in addition to the zatziki sauce, hair thin slice some tomatoes and purple onoin. Sprinkle the tomatoes and onioins with sumac seasoning and place atop the pork in the pita bread. WOW!!!
    Sure to delight with a tzatziki that's better than alot of restaurants that I've tried.
    This souvlaki was incredibly delicious (i'm an Aussie who's grown up on lamb). It's time consuming with the marinades & cucumber yogurt, BUT very easy to make - no hard work, just waiting time. My US husband who doesn't eat lamb has requested this for next week too! THANKYOU Food Network! :)
    I've tried a couple of Emerill recipes and they have been amazing! I can't wait to try this one! If you haven't tried it already, try his New Orleans BBQ Shrimp! It's amazing!!
    I had been wanting to have some souvlaki like the Greek Orthodox Church in GR, MI serves at the annual Festival of the Arts. The taste of this brought me right back!! I used pork because that's what I'm used to and because it was on sale. I actually used pork chops and cut out the bones. Two hours of marinade time was plenty... there was lots of flavor and no mushiness to the meat. And rather than messing around with the skewers I used my veggie pan for the grill and grilled the pieces that way- quite a bit less time consuming. the whole process seemed time consuming but the result was delicious!!
    I used pork instead of lamb because it's what I had in the freezer- the marinade was so good with the meat...I only marinaded for a 1/2 hour and the meat was flavorful, juicy and tender off the grill
    Just like the souvlakis I had in Greece
    I used chicken instead of lamb and it was fabulous. The sauce has a wonderful flavor and is a wonderful tribute to greek food.
    excellent recipe; really went together quickly when the meat was set to marinade the night before. Try using pork vice lamb for a Crete-style dish.
    This was entire too involved for something sold on the streets of Greece. It's equivalent is a hamburger in the states, Preparation time is extreme!
    Tastes almost like actually sitting at a souvlaki stand in the middle of Athens. The onions and oregano sauting smell like a real souvlaki stand.
    this is really good. it reminded me of a meal I had in Germany. the cucumber sauce compliments the lamb very well.
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