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Oregano and orange pork skewers recipe

Oregano and orange pork skewers recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Pork
  • Cuts of pork
  • Pork fillet

These lovely oregano and orange pork skewers are a fruity and scrumptious addition to your next barbecue. Perfectly paired with the Greek salad, this complete dish is a party of textures and flavours.

Hertfordshire, England, UK

3 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 400g (13 oz) pork fillet, cubed
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 1 (325g) pack baby plum tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced into wedges
  • olive oil, for brushing
  • 50g (2 1/2 oz) pitted black olives
  • 80g (3 oz) baby spinach
  • 100g (3 1/2 oz) feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:10min ›Extra time:10min marinating › Ready in:30min

  1. In a bowl, toss the pork with the garlic, oregano, orange zest and juice. Leave to marinate for 10 minutes.
  2. Thread the pork, tomato halves and onion wedges onto skewers until all the pork is used up (reserve the leftover vegetables for the salad). Brush with olive oil and barbecue (or grill) for 8 to 10 minutes, turning once or twice, until cooked through and no longer pink in the middle.
  3. For the salad, combine the olives, spinach, feta cheese and leftover vegetables. Mix the oil and vinegar, season and drizzle over the salad. Serve with the skewers.

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Stir together bitter orange marinade, honey, olive oil, garlic and seasoning set aside. Evenly thread pork, peppers and onions onto skewers place kabobs in rectangular baking pan or dish. Pour marinade mixture evenly over top cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Turn kabobs cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat grease grate well. Cook kabobs, turning occasionally, until pork is cooked through, 12 to 14 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro just before serving.

Ikarian Braised Pork with Honey, Orange and Rosemary | Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street

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Pork shoulder (also called &ldquopicnic shoulder&rdquo or &ldquopicnic roast&rdquo in the US) is the most common meat to use for carnitas. It is typically well-marbled with fat and often includes some good surface fat as well.

The fat in this cut will render out during the slow cooking, giving the meat extra juiciness and adding fat for the second stage of cooking, which gives the crispy, fried bits.

Either bone in or boneless pork shoulder work just fine.

You could also use pork butt (also called &ldquoBoston butt&rdquo in the US) to make this dish. (Pork butt comes from the same part of the pig as the shoulder, it is juts typically more of a uniform shape, since it is from higher up on the foreleg.)

The accompaniments

Hayden gives two serving suggestions for her souvlaki: “The more traditional Greek way, with round fluffy pitta breads, chips and mustard sauce” and “the Cypriot way: in oval pitta breads, with shredded cabbage and griddled olives”.

Intrigued by the mayonnaise-based mustard sauce, and tempted by the chips, I opt for the former, but her creamy tzatziki is so very good that most testers opt for that instead. “I’d have to alternate,” the lapsing vegetarian says through a mouthful of meat, “I can’t taste them both together.”

Akis Petretzikis is the only one to add vegetables to the skewers themselves.

Petretzikis is the only one to add vegetables to the skewers themselves, in the form of red onions and peppers. They are a good combination with the charred pork – “like a home barbecue from the 80s!” Martha says joyfully – but are very much an optional extra. It’s easier, I think, to serve the skewers with a tomato salad, perhaps with some thinly sliced red onion and chopped parsley, as most recipes recommend. (Like Kiros, I prefer to soak my onions for a milder flavour, but if you’re less of a wimp, feel free to ignore this step.)

Chips are, of course, always a possibility, but bread is a must. Oval Arabic pitta are the most widely available here, but if you’re lucky enough to have access to a shop selling fluffier, round flatbreads (I got mine from a Turkish greengrocers), they’re much easier to roll up around the meat, and better at soaking up the juices too. Or, if you’re more of a sourdough sort, Harley suggests using slices of “country bread” as a plate.

I’ll leave the last word on souvlaki to Hayden, a woman practically weaned on them: “Be sure to finish with a sprinkle of paprika”.

Prep 30 min
Soak 20 min
Cook 15 min
Makes 4

For the skewers
600g pork tenderloin
200g pork shoulder
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
100ml olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tbsp dried oregano
½ tsp fine salt

To serve
½ red onion, peeled
4 large tomatoes
Juice of ½ lemon
1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
4 flatbreads
200g tzatziki
1 pinch paprika

Cut the tenderloin and shoulder into cubes of roughly 2x3cm. Whisk together the crushed garlic, oil, lemon juice, oregano and salt in a container large enough to hold all the meat, then add the cubes and turn until well coated.

Cube the meat and marinate.

Cover and leave to sit in a cool place for between one and four hours.

Soak four wooden skewers in water, if using.

About half an hour before you want to eat, slice the onion very thinly. For a milder flavour, put in a bowl of cold water and leave to soak for 20 minutes.

Soak the red onions for a milder flavour.

Meanwhile, slice the tomatoes and arrange on a plate. Season and sprinkle with lemon juice, then scatter with the drained onion and the parsley.

Make a salad of tomatoes and the red onion, and sprinkle with lemon juice.

Prepare a barbecue, or heat a griddle pan until smoking hot. Thread the meat on to the skewers, pushing it together so you can’t see any skewer between the pieces. Griddle on all sides until well browned and cooked through. Meanwhile, warm the flatbreads in another hot pan or a low oven.

Thread the marinated meat on to skewers and griddle.

Sprinkle the skewers with paprika and serve with salad, tzatziki and bread.

Does souvlaki mean pork, chicken or lamb to you – or something even more exotic? How do you like to eat them, and where does the best version you’ve ever had?

Tips and Tricks for Al Pastor Kabobs

  • Soak Wooden Skewers: You can use metal or wood skewers but just take care you soak your wood skewers for at least 30 minutes otherwise they can catch fire!
  • Pork Tenderloin: I recommend pork tenderloin for these Al Pastsor Kabobs, because, as it’s name implies, it is tender! Pork tenderloin is extremely easy to work, has hardly any excess fat to remove, easy to cut into cubes, comes prepackaged in the weight we need, cooks in the same amount of time as our bell peppers, onions and pineapple and stays tender when grilled – just don’t overcook!
  • Don’t cut pork too small: Cut your pork into 1 ½ inch cubes in order to keep them juicy. Avoid cutting the pork too small or it can easily overcook. Lastly, try and chop your pork roughly the same size so they cook evenly.

  • CANNED Pineapple Juice. Please use only CANNED pineapple juice! Canned pineapple juice will infuse your pork with flavor without leaving it mushy if it’s not marinated too long. Fresh pineapple juice still contains enzymes that could break down your pork and more likely to leave it mushy in a short amount of time.
  • Handle Guajillo chiles with care. After you remove the seeds from your dried Guajillo chiles, immediately wash your hands. Take care not to touch your eyes while you are working with them! (more on Guajillo chilies below).

  • What is Achiote Paste? This spice paste is made from the annato seed that gives the Al Pastor its traditional bright red-orange color as well as oregano, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, garlic and salt. It is slightly sweet, peppery, nutty and smoky. You can find it in any Mexican market or you can Amazon-it.
  • Achiote Paste Substitute: (will not provide the authentic red color)
    • 1 ½ tablespoons paprika
    • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
    • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
    • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
    • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
    • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
    • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
    • &frac18 teaspoon cloves

    • Assemble Ahead of Time. Due to the thick nature of the marinade, you can assemble the skewers ahead of time, cover, and refrigerate until ready to cook. I would suggest marinating the pork for at least 2 hours then you can assemble and refrigerate any time after that – of course the longer they are allowed to marinate the better. The only catch is you have to use metal skewers because wooden skewers will dry out (even if they have been soaked) and catch fire.
    • Dip for more heat. Al Pastor is tangy, sweet and smoky but not spicy. I love to use some of the marinade as a dip for additional heat and flavor. Just note that when you taste the marinade, it will taste much spicier than the kabobs will be – so don’t worry!

    Preheat oven to 180 °C.
    Cut the pork into long thin slices about 5cm wide and set aside.

    Heat a little oil in a small saucepan and gently fry the onion, garlic, ground cumin and fennel seeds for a few minutes or until fragrant and golden.
    Add the orange juice, lemon juice and honey and allow to cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool in the fridge.
    Once the glaze has cooled, add pork belly slices and set aside to marinade for 30 minutes.
    Thread pork strips onto the bamboo skewers, alternating with an orange slice or two, and reserve any leftover marinade.
    Roast for 15 minutes or until the pork is cooked through, basting with the leftover marinade every few minutes. Once pork is cooked, remove from oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

    Crackling salt
    Preheat the oven grill.
    Sprinkle the pork skin with Maldon sea salt and cumin seeds, making sure you season well into the cracks of the scored skin.
    Place the seasoned skin onto a foiled oven tray and place under the grill for a couple of minutes or until the skin has turned into crackling, is golden brown and crispy.
    Remove from heat, chop up finely and sprinkle over the pork skewers before serving.

    Recipe Summary

    • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice, plus 1 tablespoon freshly grated zest, and orange wedges for garnish
    • 5 garlic cloves
    • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh thyme, plus sprigs for garnish
    • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 1/4 pounds boneless pork loin, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes

    Whisk together orange juice and zest, garlic, thyme, mustard, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Whisking constantly, pour in oil in a slow, steady stream whisk until emulsified. Add pork toss to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and let pork marinate 20 minutes at room temperature

    Heat a grill or grill pan until medium-hot. Thread 5 or 6 cubes of pork onto each of 4 skewers season with salt and pepper. Discard marinade. Grill pork, turning occasionally, until cooked through and slightly charred, about 12 minutes. Garnish with thyme sprigs, and serve with orange wedges.

    Make the marinade:

    Soak the red chile in very hot water to cover until softened, about 15 minutes. Drain the chile and put it in a blender, along with all the remaining marinade ingredients. Blend until smooth. Set aside 1/2 cup of the marinade for basting. Put the remaining marinade and the pork in a large zip-top bag, seal, and massage the contents to coat. Marinate for 1 to 2 hours in the refrigerator. Remove the pork discard the marinade.

    Make the kebabs:

    Thread the meat onto skewers, alternating with the onion, the poblano pieces, and the whole radishes.

    Build a medium-hot charcoal fire or heat a gas grill to medium high and oil the grill grate. Grill the kebabs (uncovered for charcoal covered for gas), turning every 2 to 3 min. Once the pork loses its raw look, baste with the reserved marinade each time you turn the skewers. Grill until the pork is firm to the touch and the edges have begun to brown and the vegetables have begun to color and soften, about 15 min. Mound the skewers on a warm platter tent with foil to keep warm. Brush the scallions with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until they begin to brown and soften, turning frequently, 3 to 5 min.

    To serve:

    Remove the meat and vegetables from their skewers, mound them on the platter and arrange the scallions around the edges.

    Nutrition information per portion


    Shows how much energy food releases to our bodies. Daily caloric intake depends mainly on the person’s weight, sex and physical activity level. An average individual needs about 2000 kcal / day.

    Fatty Acids

    Are essential to give energy to the body while helping to maintain the body temperature. They are divided into saturated "bad" fats and unsaturated "good" fats.

    Saturated Fats

    Known as "bad" fats are mainly found in animal foods. It is important to check and control on a daily basis the amount you consume.


    The main source of energy for the body. Great sources are the bread, cereals and pasta. Use complex carbohydrates as they make you feel satiated while they have higher nutritional value.


    Try to consume sugars from raw foods and limit processed sugar. It is important to check the labels of the products you buy so you can calculate how much you consume daily.


    It is necessary for the muscle growth and helps the cells to function well. You can find it in meat, fish, dairy, eggs, pulses, nuts and seeds.


    They are mainly found in plant foods and they can help regulate a good bowel movement while maintaining a balanced weight. Aim for at least 25 grams of fiber daily.

    A small amount of salt daily is necessary for the body. Be careful though not to overdo it and not to exceed 6 grams of salt daily