Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My Big Fat Greek Sandwich - S8E20

Hi Internet!  It's been a week since our last post, but don't worry, we've been busy cooking!

Here's a dish that I love to eat but would have never thought that I would be making it at home.  Plus, it was very easy to make and can serve all your friends or just yourselves for dinner and left overs for lunch.  It's the gyro (pronounced YEER-OH). The gyro is traditionally known to us Americans as roasted meat, generally lamb, wrapped in pita bread and garnished with tzatziki sauce and feta cheese.  Good Eats uses this same formula to create our gyro.

So lets get cooking!  Please note, the following ingredients list provided is suppose to serve 8 people.  We didn't want to create too much for fear of not liking it, so we only used a 1/2 pound of meat rather than the requested 2 lbs.  Along the same lines, we scaled the seasonings accordingly.  One last note, when we to purchase the ground lamb meat, the butcher had already started cleaning to close for the day and didn't want to put lamb stew meat in his just cleaned meat grinder.  Instead, he recommended ground goat which had already been ground and ready to go.  So this is our first time trying goat as well!

Gyro Meat:
1 medium onion, finely chopped or shredded
2 pounds ground lamb
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried marjoram
1 tablespoon dried ground rosemary
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Tzatziki Sauce:
16 ounces plain yogurt
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
Pinch kosher salt
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
5 to 6 mint leaves, finely minced
Pita bread
Feta cheese crumble
Julienne red onions
diced tomatoes

First, take your chopped onion and process it in a food processor for 10 to 15 seconds and then put it in a paper towel (I used a couple of coffee filters) and squeeze until almost all of the juice is removed and return it to the food processor.  Then throw in the ground up meat and the rest of the seasonings.  Run it for about 1-2 minutes until the mixture looks past like.

Traditinally, a gyro is "roasted" meat on a revolving skewer, but since I don't have one handy, AB gives an alternative to cook the meat as a sort of meatloaf in the oven. So preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Then place the mixture into a loaf pan, making sure to press into the sides of the pan.  Apparently our loaf pan has a meatloaf insert to help drain the juices out while its cooking...who would have known (Jesse did obviously)?  Place the loaf pan into a water bath and bake for 60 to 75 minutes or until the mixture reaches 165 to 170 degrees F.  Then take the pan out and let it rest with some foil over it until the internal temp reaches 175. 

Pre-oven mixture
Cooked goat "meatloaf"
To make the tzatziki, you can either get plain greek yogurt that has most of the moisture already taken out, or we used plain yogurt and grabbed some scoops and put it in some coffee filters and hung it to let the liquid drain for about 15 minutes.  Ideally you would want to drain it for 1-2 hours.  Then mix in the rest of the ingredients and its ready to go!

Yogurt draining in the fridge

Home made tzatziki

Finally, warm up the pitas in the oven or microwave, slice off some of the lamb/goat in the strips and lay it down on the pita along with some sliced onions and feta and top it off with the tzatziki.  It was DELICIOUS!  I think we'll be making this dish again, maybe for a group of friends and make the whole 2 lbs the next time around :)


  1. That looks amazing! And surprisingly easy to make! I hope I get to try it sometime ;)

  2. Also, thanks to this, I've been looking up pita bread recipes.