Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce

I am sad to say my leg of lamb is almost gone.  It has made such delicious meals and snacks, from the roast which we enjoyed for dinner, then as lamb sandwiches to the dolmades which we had for snacks and lunches to this final post:  Gyros.  Gyros are a family favorite and they really are not hard to make at home. 

We enjoyed them in the traditional way stuffed inside pita bread with tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, lettuce and red onion but if you are watching your carbs you can turn this into a fantastic salad.  Just make a Greek salad with all the fixings - lettuce, tomato, olives, cucumber, feta cheese -  and top it with the heated gyro meat.  Serve it with Greek salad dressing and tzatziki sauce.  How good does that sound?

By the way, I use full fat Greek yogurt for the tzatziki sauce.  It is so rich and creamy.  You know when you eat at a Greek restaurant how rich and smooth the tzatziki sauce is?  Well that is why.  No fat free versions here.  And you are not using anymore here than that huge dollop of sour cream you put on your baked potato.  In addition, the yogurt contains those good for you probiotics people pay extra money for at the drug store.  This is a much yummier way to get them!  If you do choose fat free yogurt (which will still be good) make sure it is Greek yogurt.  Any other kind will just be watery.  No exceptions - it must be Greek.

This recipe makes enough gyro meat to stuff 6 pita breads.  Prepare the meat a day in advance as it needs to chill overnight.

Pack the meat mixture into a loaf pan lined with foil.  Leave enough foil over hanging to cover meat later.
Slice the chilled meat fairly thin.
Brown the meat on both sides in a non stick skillet coated with oil or bacon fat.

Ingredients for the Gyro meat:

1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
1/2 cup very finely diced onion
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

Heat oven to 325.  Line a loaf pan with foil long enough to extend over the side of the loaf pan. 

Mix all the ingredients together well and pack it into the loaf pan.  Leave the foil hanging over the side, it will be used later.  Bake the meat for 1 hour.  Remove from the oven and drain off fat.  Now use the foil to cover the meat and place some heavy cans on top to weight the meat down.  Place it in the refrigerator overnight.

When ready to serve, remove the meat from the pan and slice it thinly.  Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat and coat the bottom with oil (or bacon fat as I did).  Put the gyro meat in the pan in a single layer and brown on both sides.  It is now ready to serve. 

Ingredients for Tzatziki Sauce

1 medium cucumber
2 cups plain Greek yogurt, I used full fat but it will taste good with fat free Greek yogurt.
1/4 cup fresh chopped dill
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
1-2 tablespoons fruity olive oil
1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt and pepper

Peel the cucumber if waxed.  Grate it on the large holes of a cheese grater.  Place it in a colander and toss it with 1 teaspoon of salt.  Let it sit for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile combine remaining ingredients except salt and pepper.  Add the olive oil and vinegar to taste.  When the cucumber has sat for 10 minutes use your hands and really squeeze it to remove all the water.  This way it will not water down your tzatziki.  Once it is really well drained add it to the sauce.  Then season with salt and pepper. 

Build your gyros. 


1 package pita bread (6 pieces)
Gyro meat, heated
sliced tomato
sliced red onion
tzatziki sauce

Preheat oven to 200.  Wrap the pita bread in foil and heat for 10 to 15 minutes to soften while preparing everything else.  Once heated let everyone make their own gyro to taste with all the yummy ingredients.



Comments welcome! I look forward to hearing from you!