Last night I decided to try making my own gyros. I had picked up a package of pita bread at Sam's the day before because we like it for sandwiches but I was really hungry for gyros. I searched several recipes and combined ingredients. The result was excellent so I thought I would share the recipe in case any of you want to try it also. The recipes I found sounded a little complicated so I have omitted any steps I didn't think were necessary--like placing a weight on the meat after it was removed from the oven. We thought the meat was as good as any we have had in restaurants. Let me know if you try it and your thoughts.
1 medium onion, finely chopped or shredded
2 pounds ground lamb, beef, pork, chicken or a combination (I use lean ground beef)
1 T. finely minced garlic, or 2 or 3 cloves.
1 t. ground thyme
1 t. oregano
1 t. dried marjoram
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. dried ground rosemary
1 t. coriander. optional
2 t. kosher salt
1 t. freshly ground black pepper
Process the onion in a food processor for 10 to 15 seconds and turn out into the center of a tea towel or paper towel. Gather up the ends of the towel and squeeze until almost all of the juice is removed. Discard juice.
Return the onion to the food processor and add the meat, garlic, and spices and process until it is a fine paste, approximately 1 minute. Stop the processor as needed to scrape down sides of bowl. When done, press the meat mixture into a loaf pan, making sure to press into the sides of the pan.
Refrigerate overnight or several hours to let flavors blend.
When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Place the loaf pan on a wet towel in a larger pan in the oven and then fill to about half the height of the loaf pan with boiling water. Bake for 60 to 75 minutes or until the mixture reaches 165 to 170 degrees F.
Remove from the oven and drain off any fat. Allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 175 degrees F. Slice and serve on pita bread with tzatziki sauce, chopped onion, tomatoes and feta cheese.
After slicing, I browned the slices in a very small amount of olive oil in a pan on the stove to gently crisp them. This is also a great way to heat them for leftovers.
16 ounces plain yogurt or sour cream
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and shredded
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 t. Dried dill, or to taste
If desired, you can place the shredded cucumber in a tea towel and squeeze to remove the liquid; discard liquid. I don’t do this because I like a more liquid tzatziki sauce. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the yogurt or sour cream, cucumber, salt, garlic, vinegar, and dill. Serve as a sauce for gyros. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups