Friday, May 22, 2009


Gyros. Home made. Soooo good. First I minced some onion in the food processor, and then some garlic as well. I then took 1lb of ground lamb, and pulsed it in the old food processor with the onion and garlic, until it was a fine grind, then added a tablespoon or so of dried oregano, a teaspoon of marjoram, and a healthy bit of salt and pepper, and mixed it well. Press this mix into a loaf pan, and cook it at about 325 degrees in a water bath (see the photo above) for about 45 minutes, give or take a few, and then put a weight on top of the meat (I used another loaf pan, and then balanced my cast iron skillet on top of that, plenty heavy enough) and press it for about 15 minutes.
Gyros are served with a wonderful yogurt based sauce called tsajici. I get some Greek yogurt, an english cucumber (I like these better than a standard cuke, but if you use the standard, I would peel it, and scoop out the seeds with a spoon, as the seed bed in the standard is wetter and looser than an english, and can thin out you tsajici), a lemon, and salt and pepper, nice and simple. Take about one quarter of the english cucumber and peel the skin off, then dice the meat finely. With your veggie peeler, scrape off two strips of the zest of the the lemon, and mince it, add both to your bowl of yogurt. Squeeze the juice of the lemon into your mix, add salt and pepper to taste, and ta-daa!!! You have made tsajici! I let it set for at least an hour to allow the flavors to marry, and wouldn't recommend using it before that.
Traditionally served on warm, soft pita, I got this idea one night when we were enjoying Indian food.Naan bread is the perfect choice to simulate excellent pita (most pita from the grocery store tends to be stale and crumbly when folding, this fixes that issue). Just follow the instructions on the packaging, excluding the butter and water (both are not necessary) and brace yourself for Greek sandwich bliss.

When the meat has finished resting, slice it on long thin strips and place on your now warm "pita" bread. Dollop on your tsajici, and then add whatever toppings suit your fancy. I put fresh lettuce and tomato, but really there are no rules. Roll that bad boy up and get to work on one of the greatest sandwiches in the world.

I would have had a picture of the final project, but it was soooo good I lost control of myself and ate it all up before I could snap a pic. I have no self control.


Anonymous said...

File this under why the hell didn't I think of that. My guys love gyros, but my son hates "meatloaf." That they're basically the same thing would never enter his mind. I've got to make this.

Freida Bee, MD said...

I just bought Naan for the first time a few days ago and yuummmmy. We had the garlic flavored version(buttered) with a garbanzo bean/ tomato soup, some almond basmati rice, and cherry tomatoes and cucumbers. Very tasty. The bread was a hit. I'll have to make gyros. Sounds delicious.

Whiskeymarie said...

I have my students make homemade gyro meat all the time- lots of them have no idea that you can actually MAKE stuff like this, not just get it at the gyro place down the street.

Hmmm...I DO have lamb in the fridge, maybe I should make some too.