Monday, June 20, 2011

Gyros with Tzatiziki sauce

Gyros is one of my all time favorite foods, ever. When I was pregnant with the Little Witch we had to pass 2 gyros places weekly on our way to Lamaze class. Needless to say we had gyros for dinner at least once a week! I love love love it!!!!

While the Witch has a well stocked and equipped kitchen, I do not have a spit or a rotisserie, which would make making gyros hard. After all its a cone shaped loaf of meat, with a large skewer through the middle that is grilled on a vertical rotisserie. Not exactly standard home kitchen equipment. So what does a Kitchen Witch do when she wants to make gyros but has no gyros rotisserie?

I decided to make the gyros meat into a loaf, much like a meatloaf, seasoned gyros style. That means lots and lots of garlic, Mediterranean herbs and spices and a blend of beef and lamb. I used a 50/50 mix of ground beef and ground lamb for cost savings as the lamb is expensive, and most gyros is a lamb/beef blend. Because it is a meatloaf I added some basic binders, 1 egg and a bit of cracker crumbs, to help hold it all together. The Witch then chucked all the ingredients into the food processor and let it all blend together well, which helps it to bind and form a cohesive loaf that won't fall apart when sliced.

When you order a gyros sandwich they shave the meat off the spit so each piece of meat is browned. Its so good, and something I didn't want to forgo in my homemade version. After the loaf cooked I removed it from the oven and allowed it to rest for about 20 minutes. I then sliced the loaf into thin (1/8 inch thick) slices and pan fried them in a bit of olive oil. The meat slices browned up nicely and got crusty and browned on the edges, just like a good gyros should be. Pile the meat onto a hot pita bread, top with tzatiziki sauce, lettuce, tomato and feta and feast!! The final browning step is optional but I'd not forgo it, the seared edges really helped transform the gyro loaf from a meatloaf to a gyro sandwich.

makes 8 servings
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground lamb
6 cloves garlic minced
1 medium onion minced
1.5 t kosher salt
1/8 t pepper
1 sprig fresh rosemary minced
3 sprigs fresh oregano minced
1/2 t cumin, ground
1/8 t coriander seed, ground
1 egg
2 T milk
6 saltine crackers OR 1/4 c bread crumbs
3 T olive oil

Pita bread (click here for a homemade version)
Tzaiziki sauce
shredded lettuce
feta cheese
diced tomatoes

makes 8 servings, 2 T each
1 cup greek yogurt plain (Greek Gods Traditional Greek Yogurt is what the Witch used and recommends)
1/2 cucumber, grated and squeezed dry
1/2 t dried dill weed
about 6 leaves each mint and oregano, chiffonade
1 clove garlic minced
1/4 t kosher salt
1/8 t ground pepper

Combine everything into a bowl and stir well. Allow to sit for at least 1 hour before eating so the flavors can blend.

Preheat oven to 375F

Finely mince the herbs and press garlic thru a garlic press (or finely mince, your choice). Combine everything BUT the olive oil into the work bowl of a food processor. Run for 30 seconds or until the mixture forms a ball and is throughly mixed.

Form the meat into a long rectangle, (about 8 inches wide and 2 inches tall, 14 inches long) making it slightly thinner in the middle. Drizzle 1 T olive oil over the top of the loaf and bake for 35-45 minutes or until it reads 160F internally. Remove from oven and allow to rest before slicing.

OPTIONAL: Slice meat into thin (1/8 in) slices. Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add 1 T of olive oil. Once oil is hot fry the slices of gyros until they are golden browned. Flip and brown on 2nd side. Remove from pan and allow grease to drain off.

Assemble the gyros sandwiches with 3-4 slices of gyro meat, lettuce, tomato, feta cheese and tzatizki sauce wrapped in a warmed pita bread. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts provided by SparkPeople recipe Calculator
Gyro meat ONLY
8 Servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 371.8
Total Fat 30.3 g
Saturated Fat 11.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 14.2 g
Cholesterol 107.4 mg
Sodium 467.7 mg
Potassium 295.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 2.6 g
Dietary Fiber 0.1 g
Sugars 0.2 g
Protein 20.7 g

Nutrition Facts provided by SparkPeople recipe calculator
Tzatiziki sauce ONLY

8 Servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 35.2
Total Fat 2.8 g
Saturated Fat 1.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 7.5 mg
Sodium 77.9 mg
Potassium 25.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 1.8 g
Dietary Fiber 0.1 g
Sugars 1.5 g
Protein 1.1 g


anthony stemke said...

I daresay, your gyros and tzatziki recipes are a treasure.
You say lamb is expensive, I don't know - but beef is dear right now.
I like the way you have improvised the home kitchen gyro, very impressive. I am looking forward to preparing this.
Thank You.

Jenn said...

I have been instructed to tell you that you are a genius and that I will be making these when I create my next two week menu :) No excuses for not making it now that the Witch has made them!! lol (I told you!!)

Jay said...

interesting n looks very appetizing..:P

Tasty Appetite

Foodycat said...

That's a really clever work-around to get the gyros flavour! I must give this a go.

StephenC said...

You are a genius. We're off to the shore for a few days, but when I get back I will become a gyro hero.

Julia said...

What a creative way to make gyros!

Cranberry Morning said...

Don't gasp, but I have never ever eaten lamb. I keep thinking of all those sweet little new lambs I saw in Yorkshire. :-) Actually, I've never eaten it because I never see it at the grocery store. Maybe if I actually looked for it... This looks good. It's about time I made something different!

Christie said...

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and for your lovely comments. You blog is stunning and I can't wait to attempt you sour cream and coffee cake.

Yenta Mary said...

Oh, my gosh, that's inspired! And absolutely temptation incarnate, particularly as I'm sitting here debating what's for dinner! Fabulous recipe ... :)

All Our Fingers in the Pie said...

Very creative! I love gyros, too, and I don't think I can buy them anywhere around here. Might have to try your version.

Care's Kitchen said...

seriously? These are simply over the top! I LOVE gyros as much as you do and would love to have been at your table enjoying one or two of these beauties! Making husband will go crazy!

Pam said...

Now I am totally craving a gyro!

claudiia lamascolo said...

We just love greek food and boy does this make me hungry fabulous sauce too!

Baking Addict said...

yummy! Can I have one please? :)

priya said...

Looks amazing!!!! /I look forward to your feedback /thanks for this man it was very helpful.

Used Kitchen Equipment

Big Dude said...

We love gyros and will put this on the try soon list.

Tonya said...

Gyros are also one of my all favs. I can't wait to try this! Thank you.

Chris said...

I have a rotisserie but it hasn't made it's way onto the new grill just yet. I've done Alton Brown's gyro recipe in the past with decent success but the insides didn't get cripsy only the outer edges. Next time I might finish it with your technique.

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