Matt Preston's Not a Souvlaki

Matt Preston's Not a Souvlaki

4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra to serve sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2.2 kg lamb shoulder
½ cup (125 ml) chicken stock
⅓ cup (80 ml) lemon juice
2 tablespoons mint jelly
2 Lebanese cucumbers, cut into thin batons
8 Greek pita breads
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced (on a mandolin, if you have one)
½ iceberg lettuce, shredded
2 teaspoons English mustard

3 cups (840 g) Greek-style yoghurt
2 small Lebanese cucumbers, coarsely
grated and squeezed to remove excess liquid
1 large garlic clove, crushed
¼ cup finely chopped mint
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Pickled grapes
300 g seedless green grapes
⅓ cup (80 ml) apple cider vinegar
¼ cup (55 g) caster sugar
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick


Not a Souvlaki Method

Start by making the tzatziki. Line a colander with muslin or a new, clean cloth and place over a bowl. Spoon the yoghurt into the muslin and fold the muslin over to cover. Set aside in the fridge overnight to drain the yoghurt so it becomes thicker. Or just use shop-bought tzatziki – I won't judge you, provided you decant it into a pretty bowl.

Preheat the oven to 140°C (120°C fan-forced). Combine the garlic, rosemary, oregano, lemon zest and oil in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Score the fat on top of the lamb in a diagonal pattern. Place the lamb into a roasting pan. Add the stock and ¼ cup (60 ml) of the lemon juice to the pan. Rub the lamb all over with the herb mixture.

Cover the top of the dish with a sheet of baking paper and then cover with foil to completely seal. Roast for 5½ hours.

Increase the oven temperature to 220°C (200°C fan-forced). Remove the foil and paper, and roast for a further 20 minutes or until the lamb is golden and crispy. Transfer the lamb to a serving platter, cover loosely with foil and set aside for 10 minutes to rest.

While the lamb finishes cooking, pickle the grapes. Place the grapes in a heatproof glass or ceramic bowl. Place the vinegar, sugar, bay leaves and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan. Stir over low heat for 5 minutes or until the sugar dissolves. Add to the grapes and toss to combine. Set aside, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes to infuse.

To finish the tzatziki, transfer the strained yoghurt to a bowl and add the cucumber, garlic, mint and lemon juice. Season well with salt and pepper and stir until well combined.

Combine the mint jelly and remaining tablespoon of lemon juice in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds or until the jelly softens slightly. Stir until well combined. Set aside to cool (it will look firmer again, but it will be easier to toss). Add the cucumber batons and toss until well coated.

Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. In batches, add the pita bread and cook for 1–2 minutes each side or until warmed through. Alternatively, heat them directly over a gas flame to get some burnished markings. Wrap in a clean tea towel to keep warm and soft as you cook the rest.

Use two forks to pull the lamb apart in big shreds. Top the pita breads with tzatziki, lettuce, cucumber, onion, pickled grapes and lamb. Add a smear of English mustard on the bread where it will touch the lamb – or just smear it straight onto the lamb!


This recipe is from Matt Preston's World of Flavour Book

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