• Jorge's Cretan Hogget Souvlaki
  • Jorge's Cretan Hogget Souvlaki
  • Jorge's Cretan Hogget Souvlaki
  • Jorge's Cretan Hogget Souvlaki
  • Jorge's Cretan Hogget Souvlaki

Jorge's Cretan Hogget Souvlaki 500g

£12.95

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  • Each pack weighs approx. 500g
  • Makes 4 smaller or 2 larger skewers
We currently have 0 remaining in stock.

For delivery 22-25 May

  • Delivered fresh
  • suitable for freezing
  • native breed
  • grass-fed
  • cook on the bbq

Product description

Jorge Thomas, founder of Swaledale Butchers, shares the story of Cretan Hogget Souvlaki:
"In the early spring of 2018, I was fortunate to spend six glorious days on the island of Crete, the largest and most southerly of the Greek Islands. Awash with colour from wildflowers and flowering shrubs, and heady with the scent of wild oregano and thyme on the warm breeze, this was not the arid landscape I had envisaged. Far from it - stopping by the roadside, high up on the Lasithi Plateau, a particularly verdant and fertile area of farmland in the east, dotted with grazing sheep and dominated on all sides by the Dikti mountains, it struck me that it was as densely green and lush as any British hedgerow on a country lane. Characterised by small, wooden, white-sailed windmills built to irrigate the land in summer, this area is responsible for an abundance of produce - lamb, artichokes, almonds, pears, cherries, walnuts, and potatoes, amongst other things, all of staggeringly good quality. If ever there was an argument for keeping things simple and letting the produce do the talking, this was it, and thankfully, this is a sentiment central to Greek food.

Ambling through sleepy villages and along country lanes, lunchtime neared, and my hunger became apparent - a steady plume of smoke in the distance caught my eye. Soon, I could see a rotund man, dressed in nothing more than a pair of white shorts, tending a grill at the roadside. Three tables simply dressed under a mature olive tree made for a captivating scene, and shortly I was scanning over a handwritten menu of little description (and all the better for it) comprising half a dozen dishes. A lady, notepad in hand, crossed the road towards me from a small building opposite. Trying to recall the few Greek words I knew, I was somewhat taken aback to hear a strong Yorkshire accent – it turns out she had fallen in love with a Greek farmer on holiday some 20 years ago, and it was he who was tending the grill. She recommended the souvlaki - "we use mountain herbs and more spices than other parts of Greece," she explained, quite normal on account of Crete’s southerly location, not too far from the coast of Africa. She went on to explain that spices like cloves, cinnamon, cumin, and paprika were used with regularity.

The resulting skewers were something of a revelation. Made from sheep a year old, what we refer to as hogget* in Britain, they were unlike any I had tried previously, with the unmistakable punch of cumin along with the other more familiar flavours of garlic and oregano. Red wine vinegar was favoured, it was also revealed, as opposed to lemon juice, the latter being responsible for toughening the meat somewhat, something which has borne true in my experience also. Eaten with a ‘village salad’, an iteration of a Greek salad (those wishing to replicate would do very well to follow George Ryle’s Greek salad recipe, with the addition of a chopped green pepper) and a tzatziki made, intriguingly, with equal quantities of finely grated carrot and cucumber (be sure to squeeze out any excess moisture), and the essential herbal note of dried mint and crushed garlic.

Ideal for cooking over smouldering coals, briskly but not too close to the embers, this limited product is a homage to that lunch."

*Hogget are yearling lambs, aged 12-24 months that are left to develop and fatten naturally on the rich, nutrient dense grass of the spring and summer months. Grown in the way nature intended, and left to mature at their own pace, hogget is a testament to the superior quality, taste and texture of native breed meat. The meat from a hogget sits nicely between that of lamb and mutton; with a more pronounced and evolved flavour than lamb but far more tender than mutton, it truly is fantastic meat to cook with. Jorge's Cretan Hogget Souvlaki is Always Fresh Never Frozen®, butchered to order, vacuum packed, and shipped in recyclable packaging to arrive safely insulated and ready to enjoy.

Ingredients

Our hogget is reared by Garry Schofield who farms National Trust land in the stunning valley of Upper Wharfedale, just above the pretty village of Buckden. This is peak Yorkshire Dales, with truly breath-taking scenery. These sheep are able to spend their lives roaming the meadows, slopes and moorland of this special place, grazing on lush pasture and wildflowers.

Jorge's Cretan Hogget Souvlaki: diced leg of hogget, wild Cretan oregano, ground cumin seed, fresh garlic, sea salt, sweet paprika, black pepper, red wine vinegar, Cretan extra virgin olive oil

Cooking advice

  1. Remove the marinated meat from the fridge 1-hour before cooking to allow it to reach room temperature.
  2. Place the meat and marinade in a bowl, mixing thoroughly to ensure the marinade is evenly distributed.
  3. Thread the meat onto skewers*. This quantity is ideal for 4 smaller or 2 larger skewers. The key is to pack the meat tightly on the skewers to ensure even cooking and moisture retention.
  4. Prepare a charcoal or wood BBQ, ensuring the grill is raised to provide medium-heat over white-grey coals.
  5. Place the skewers on the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes, allowing the meat to colour. Turn the skewers and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and let the skewers rest in a warm place for 6-minutes.

*Either wood or metal skewers can be used. If using wood skewers, soak them in water for 30-minutes before you thread meat.

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