George Calombaris: Sheftalies (Cypriot souvlaki)


  • Serves 4 people

  • 250 gm (1½ cups) freekah (see note)
  • 1 cup each (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley and coriander, finely chopped
  • 75 ml olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 2 vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 4 pieces flatbread
  • To serve: Greek-style yoghurt
  • Sheftalies
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 200 gm each minced lamb and minced pork
  • 200 gm (1 cup) fine fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp (firmly packed) mint, finely chopped
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • 100 gm caul fat, soaked overnight in salted water (see note)
01   Combine freekah and 1.3 litres cold water in a large saucepan, bring to the boil over medium-high heat and cook until tender (15-20 minutes). Drain, cool to room temperature, then add herbs, olive oil and lemon juice and season to taste.
02   Meanwhile, for sheftalies, heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion, sauté until tender (6-8 minutes), transfer to a bowl and cool. Add remaining ingredients (except caul), season to taste and knead until combined. Form ¼-cups of mixture into 5cm-long ovals, flatten slightly and set aside. Drain caul, rinse under cold water until water runs clear, then squeeze out excess water. Cut caul into 7cm squares, wrap each meatball in caul and refrigerate until firm (1-1½ hours).
03   Meanwhile, preheat an oven to 170C and a char-grill over medium heat. Blanch tomatoes (10-20 seconds), then refresh. Peel, remove seeds, finely dice and set aside.
04   Char-grill sheftalies, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through (5-6 minutes).
05   Meanwhile, warm flatbread in oven for 5 minutes, then spread each with yoghurt, fill with three sheftalies, spoon over freekah mixture, scatter with diced tomato, season to taste, roll and serve hot.
Note Freekah is available from health-food shops, select delicatessens and the health-food sections of select supermarkets. If unavailable, substitute burghul. Caul fat is available from select butchers and will need to be ordered.

This recipe is from the March 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.







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