Octopus Stew (Mihali Maghoula)

Growing up, Shish Kebabs were the chief "street" food in Athens. It was a treat to go to the local "souvlatzidiko" (shish kebab grill house) on sweet summer afternoons, and stand outside the store, while the heady smell of roasted mutton drove one crazy! The best ones are made with mutton meat, which unfortunately has been replaced by the much cheaper option of pork. Accompany them with "tzatziki", tomato salad and toasted bread!

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1 kg of mutton, without the bone and fat
2-3 onions
2 red or green peppers
75 ml extra virgin olive oil
juice from one lemon
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried thyme or a few sprigs fresh thyme, finely cut
salt & pepper to taste


  • Ask your butcher to bone the meat and cut it in 4 cm cubes. A bit of fat on the meat is desirable, so that it won’t dry during the roasting.
  • Cut the onions and peppers (deseeded) into quarters

1. Separate the onion pieces.

2. Combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and herbs in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and beat well until the sauce has thickened.

3. Add the meat cubes. Cover the bowl well, refrigerate and let the meat marinate for 4-8 hours, stirring regularly.

4. Remove meat from the marinade and assemble kebabs by alternating meat, onion and pepper on metal skewers (or wooden skewers that have been pre-soaked in water). Place on grid and baste with plenty of sauce.

5. Grill 4 to 5 inches from medium-hot coals or under the broiler until cooked through but not dry (about 4 to 5 minutes per side), basting frequently with remaining sauce.

6. When ready serve immediately on a platter with a garnish of tomato slices decorating the sides and a bowl of home- made tzatziki.

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