When coming up with this week's menu on Sunday Matt said he wanted to try making gyros at home. I imagined this would be a little complicated but was pleasantly surprised at how easy Alton Brown's recipe was, no harder than making meatloaf (actually easier than our favorite meatloaf). Does it taste like a gyro you get out that's cooked on a spit? Not exactly, but it was still really tasty. This recipe makes a lot of meat, enough for 6 to 8 servings. We halved it since it was just for 2 & it seemed to work just fine. The biggest difference is the loaf won't be a thick but since you are just slicing it and putting it in a pita is doesn't really matter.
1 med onion, chopped
2 lbs ground lamb
1 T garlic, finely minced
1 T dried marjoram
1 T dried ground rosemary
2 t kosher salt
1/2 t freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 325. Process the onion in a food processor for 10 to 15 seconds. Put it into a tea towel and squeeze out as much juice as you can. Return the onion to the food processor and add the remaining ingredients. Process until a fine paste is formed. Place the mixture into a loaf pan, spreading it into all the corners. Put the pan into a water bathe & bake until the mixture reaches between 165 & 170, should be about an hour. Remove from the oven & drain off any excess fat. Place a brick covered in foil on top of the meat (we used another loaf pan filled with canned goods for weight) and let sit for 15 - 20 minutes. Slice and serve on pita with tzatziki sauce, onions & tomatoes.
You can also cook this on a rotisserie. See Alton Brown's recipe for details on that.
(this is a wonderful version of this sauce)
16 oz plain yogurt
1 med cucumber, peeled, seeded & finely chopped
pinch kosher salt
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 T olive oil
2 t red wine vinegar
5 to 6 mint leaves, finely minced
Place the yogurt in a tea towel, gather up the edges, suspend over a bowl and let drain for 2 hours in the refrigerator. (I've read you can buy Greek yogurt & skip this step.)
Place the chopped cucumber in a tea owl & squeeze to remove the liquid. In a medium bowl combine the drain yogurt, cucumber and all remaining ingredients. Can be stored up to a week in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Makes 1 1/2 cups