Monday, January 21, 2008

Homemade Gyros w/ Tzatziki Sauce

A traditional gyro (pronounced: euro or yee-ro) should be made with at least 50% ground lamb, and the rest beef. The best ground to use is one with a high fat content (helps to bind and keeps it shape.). The main flavoring ingredients should always be: garlic, onion, marjoram, rosemary, salt and black pepper. To learn about the history of the Gyro you can click here.

Gyro Meat

1 pound ground lamb (or 1/2 half lamb and 1/2 ground beef)
1/2 cup very finely chopped (or shredded) onion
2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried ground marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dried ground rosemary
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Mix everything together and let sit in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
Blend all ingredients in a food processor for about 1 minute. (When cooked, this will help give it a more traditional gyro feel. Otherwise, it just takes like cooked minced meat.)

Form into an oblong around a spit, and slow cook over a grill for around 30-45 minutes, cooking far from the coals, and rotating slowly. Alternatively (as most of us don't have a spit lying around), bake in the oven in a loaf pan for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, at 325 degrees F. It should be a bit dry. Slice and serve on pita bread with chopped onion, tomatoes, Tzatziki Sauce (below) and feta cheese with some fries on the side.

Tzatziki (pronouced: za-ZEE-kee)
(Greek Yogurt and Cucumber Sauce)

16 ounces Greek yogurt or 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 or lemon juice
5 to 6 mint leaves, finely minced or try dill for a different taste

Place the chopped cucumber in a tea towel and squeeze to remove the liquid; discard liquid. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the drained yogurt, cucumber, salt, garlic, olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice, and mint. Place in refrigerator to blend flavors for at least two hours before serving. (This resting time is very important.) Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week...If it even lasts that long : )
Yield: 1-1/2 cups

*If you can't find Greek yogurt, you can substitute regular plain yogurt by placing the yogurt in a cheesecloth. Gather up the edges, suspend over a bowl, and drain for 2 hours in the refrigerator to remove liquid and thicken yogurt.


JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

This is the yummiest food EVER.

Welcome to The Foodie Blogroll!

Bitsy said...

I agree! Thanks for dropping by. : )

liz said...

This looks super tasty!!! I'll try to make this sometime. Thanks for the recipe :)

Andy2 said...

Gyros are amazing. I spent last summer in Greece and fell in love with them. Somehow all the ingredients just taste amazing together with the hot pork, cool tomatoes and tzatziki and the bite of red onion. My girlfriend and I made them a few weeks ago, and even with probably not the best tomatoes and faux tzatziki, they were delicious.

Anonymous said...

I'm about to try this recipe. I'll let you know what I think. As far as cucumber sauce I added a splash of lemon, and white vinegar for more taste! I also had none of the greek yogurt and yogurt, so I added sour cream. Sauce tastes great so far! Let you know about meat.

Anonymous said...

Ok made the sauce. Smells delicious. I'm letting the marinade for the meat sit for 4 hours, and cucumber sauce sit for 4 hours. I cant wait to see how it turns out.

Anonymous said...

Ok! Now, I'm done. I used 1 pd ground beef. It tasted amazingly like Lamb! Let me tell you folks.. I loved this recipe. My family loved it. It all tasted exactly like the restaurant gyros. The absolutely best recipe ever. I am 20 years old and it was even easy enough for me to do. The sauce tasted exactly like the gyro sauce. Would recommend using lamb all the way. Tasted great with feta cheese on top, and black olives, and shredded lettuce. Thanks.