Greek roast in my home is a tradition. Rain or shine and all year round, Saturday is not a Saturday unless it finds me grating cucumber in the morning and making tzatziki in time for Saturday night’s Greek roast at home. Okay, there are a few exceptions where Saturday night finds us elsewhere but even then, wherever we are, we wind up having some kind of Greek roast for dinner. As it is such a favorite in the family, it made sense that I should explore different variations. I blogged one recipe ages ago – today I will share with you three more.
VARIATION Nr 1 – Chicken chunks wrapped in bacon
All the recipes I give you today serve 2 people. Here are the other three:
VARIATION Nr 2 – Bifteki (i.e. Greek burger patties)
Ingredients: 125gr of beef mince, 125gr of pork mince, 1 egg, 1 large onion finely chopped, salt, pepper, oregano, chopped parsley, dry breadcrumbs (about 4-6 tablespoons).
Put all the ingredients except the breadcrumbs in a bowl and mix with one hand. With your other hand keep adding breadcrumbs one spoonful at a time while mixing with the other. As soon as the mixture is firm enough for a piece to stay in shape in your hand, stop adding breadcrumbs (it takes about 4-6 heaped tablespoons).
Drizzle a dash of olive oil in your oven dish and spread it with your hand evenly. Make the biftekis in your hands, flatten them a little and place them apart in the dish. The mix should make 4-5 depending on how big you want them.
I suggest you bake the meat with roast potatoes. Preheat your oven with grill and air at 190 degrees. Cut up potatoes in small pieces, place in a bowl and mix with salt, pepper, oregano. Place them in the oven dish with the meat. Cut up 1 green pepper in pieces, put in too, along with 3-4 cherry tomatoes. Score 1-2 garlic cloves with a knife in 2-3 places each and place them in the bottom of the oven dish. Drizzle olive oil all over the food. Pour 1 cup of hot water at the side of the dish, tip the dish from side to side in your hands to spread the liquid evenly. Bake for 40 minutes in a low shelf. Use two forks to turn over the meat and potatoes carefully. Bake for another 20 minutes. Juice half a lemon and sprinkle all over the food. Switch off heat and place back in the oven for a couple of minutes before serving. Serve with tzatziki and green salad. Don’t throw away the whole cloves you’ve baked. Remove the skin and add them to the meal. They are a rare delicacy!
Try this instead! For a smoother mix, grate the onion or put it through the blender (optionally with a couple of tomatillos too for colour!) then add to the bowl with the meat etc to make the biftekis. Also, instead of breadcrumbs, use oatmeal (Quaker Oats) straight from the pack into the mix. This is a much healthier and way more nutritious option.
Did you know? You can fill your biftekis with thin slices of feta cheese and pieces of green pepper! To do this, divide your mince mix in 4 pieces. Take two pieces, make into balls, flatten them and place them on a dish. Place 1 thin slice of feta and 1-2 pieces of green pepper on each of the two pieces. Use the other two pieces to make into balls, flatten, and cover the biftekis. Make sure to cover them well all around. This recipe makes two large, filled biftekis.
VARIATION Nr 3 – Pork or chicken souvlaki
For this variation, you need stainless steel or wooden sticks for your meat chunks. Alternatively, use the rosemary bush in your garden for extra flavor! Cut off 4-6 hard stalks, remove the leaves, wash, and hey presto! You have the perfect sticks that will give your souvlaki extra goodness and flavor!
In this variation, I propose rice instead of potatoes. Bake your souvlakis with garlic cloves, peppers and cherry tomatoes (see previous variation for roasting instructions. Don’t forget the lemon juice in the end). About 20 minutes before the meat is done, boil a cup of Basmati or Thai rice with salt until it’s soft to your liking. Put through a sieve and rinse rice with hot water. Place back in the pan that you used to boil it. Add 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric, pepper, ground ginger, chopped parsley and a dash of olive oil (or if you don’t mind the fat, add a little oil from your roast). Mix well and serve with green salad and tzatziki.
Did you know? In between the meat chunks, you can put in onion leaves and green pepper pieces on the sticks for extra yumminess!
VARIATION Nr 4 – chicken with curry and mushrooms
In this variation, you will be baking the potatoes separately from the meat. I use two small baking dishes that fit together on the same shelf in the oven. The meat is baked covered with foil while the potatoes are cooked uncovered. Use any mushroom you want among white, brown, oyster or portobello. Personally I prefer brown or portobello mushrooms.
Place the chicken chunks in the dish. Add peppers and mushrooms, a dash of olive oil, a dash of mustard, a dash of milk, salt, 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1 small onion cut in slices, a bit of oregano. NO WATER. Mix well with your hands. Cover with foil. In the other dish, put in the potatoes cut in small chunks. Add salt, pepper, oregano, garlic clove. Mix well. Sprinkle olive oil, add half a cup of water. Place both dishes in the oven. Cook for 40 minutes. Take out of oven, mix contents in meat dish, turn over potatoes in the other dish. Cover the meat again. Bake both dishes for another 20 minutes. Add juice of half lemon on both dishes (less in meat, more in the potatoes). Serve with tzatziki and green salad.
Did you know? If you add mustard when you mix your potato chunks with salt, pepper and oregano, they taste even better!
Note: If you wish to accompany the meal with souvlaki pitta bread but they’re not available to buy in your part of the world, this recipe is easy to follow: https://eatyourselfgreek.com/greek-pita-bread/
There you go! Greek roast in four different ways. I hope you will try them all out! Make sure to write in, send me a photo and tell me which one you like best!
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