I love the idea of pork souvlaki. I love the flavours, I love the charcoal flavour that the grill imparts and I love any meat that gets dipped in lots of tzatziki. What I don't love is dry, leathery meat and, unfortunately, that is almost always the case when people try to cook small chunks of lean meat over the grill.
That's where sous vide comes in. I just made my regular marinade and instead of cutting the pork into bite sized pieces, I cut my pork tenderloins into 1" slices and then after 24 hours of soaking in the fridge, I sous vide them before cutting some of the disks into chunks and skewering them (I left half of them as is and grilled the medallions, which worked even better) right before we threw them on the grill for a quick char.
I finally have my perfect pork souvlaki - tender, moist (OH MY GOD THAT HORRIBLE WORD AGAIN) and with all the wonderful souvlaki flavours but without the dry, overcooked bits that are almost unavoidable when you grill them from raw.
If you don't need this much pork, you just throw a few of the cooked bags straight into the freezer after you are done cooking them in your sous vide bath and cooling in an ice bath so you can eat them at a later date. To reheat, you put the bags into a sous vide bath that is a couple of degrees cooler than it was cooked in (so, in this case135F/57C -138F/58.5C) for 45 min if defrosted and add 30 minutes if cooking from frozen) and make sure to grill them either in a grill pan or on the BBQ for a quick sear.
Sous Vide Pork Souvlaki
makes approx 20 good size skewers serving at least 15-20 people as an entree, more as part of a buffet
Ingredients:2 kg pork tenderloins (approx 3 large)
3 tbls dried greek oregano
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint
juice and zest from 2 large lemons
200 ml extra virgin olive oil
2 tbls balsamic vinegar
1 tbls sherry vinegar
6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
few grinds of black pepper
about 2 tsp of kosher salt
Directions:Mix everything together, aside from the pork, in a large bowl
slice your tenderloins into 1"slices and then toss the pork into the marinade and put it in the fridge overnight.
preheat your water bath to 140F/60C
Remove the pork from the marinade , shake off any excess and place the slices into your ziplock freezer bags in a single layer, not overlapping and use the water displacement method to get the air out OR use your vacuum sealer on pulse so you don't flatten it out too much. If you use ziplocks, after you do the water displacement method to seal up the bag, lift the bag back out for a second and move the pork around inside to make sure it's all in one layer - no overlapping ever or you risk uneven cooking.
Cook the pork for at least 2 hours and up to about 4 hrs.
When the meat is done, you are either going to use it immediately or you will cool it down in an ice bath and then store it in the fridge until you want to use it. At that time, pop the bags back into a 135F/57C sous vide bath for 45 minutes to reheat.
When it's time to cook, remove the pork from the bath, remove from the bags and wipe dry on some paper towel.. You can cut the meat into cubes, thread onto pre soaked wooden skewers or metal skewers OR leave the medallions whole and grill over a hot bbq just long enough to char the outside - you are not cooking them, you are simply searing the outside.
Serve with tzatziki and pita.