I really enjoy Gyros and I've always wondered whether I could make them at home. It turns out to be easier than you might imagine. The most difficult part is finding ground lamb. If you have a local meat market (not your standard grocery store typically, but a dedicated meat market) you should be able to get it. Or, wait until Easter when Lamb is more readily available.
I went to Dickman's meat here in Tucson where they had meats I didn't know could even be purchased, including Antelope, Alligator and a few other extremely unusal offereings.
I found this recipe online and did a small amount of tweaking to meet with my vision. I have to say that I was utterly astonished at how precisely like what I get in a Greek Restaurant this was. It tasted exactly like what I was hoping for! This may be my greatest copy-cat success ever!
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground lamb
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tsp fresh oregano, finely minced
1 tsp fresh marjoram, finely minced
1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely minced
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and mix well.
2. Knead the mixture on the counter for 10 minutes - just like you're kneading bread. You may want to use a dough-scraper to help keep the counter clean.. Pick that meat up and SLAM it into the counter, continuing to do so for the 10 minutes. This is key to getting the correct texture. This allows us to melt the fat so that we get a nice smooth texture in the end. (Do NOT skip this step!)
3. Form into a flat loaf - I like to put the meat onto a piece of wax paper, and flattening it into a 3" high slab rectangle. I cover it with another piece of wax and use a rolling pin to flatten it out, just make sure you straighten out the edges to form a rectangle so that when it comes time to slice, they are nice and even. You can bake it with a brick (wrapped in tin foil) on top of it it you want it to stay super dense but I didn't bother with that.
4. Bake the loaf on a broiler pan (or pan with raised edges, because it will leak grease!) at 350 for about an hour and 10 minutes, turning the loaf over every 15 minutes.. I used a rack in a smaller jelly roll pan. (I did turn the oven up to 375° for the last 15 minutes to enhance the browning effect)
5. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing thin.
2 6 oz containers Greek yogurt
1 cucumber, unpeeled and seeded
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
3 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Mix together and allow the flavors to meld for a least 2 hours before serving.
I picked up some Mediterreranean flat bread from Trader Joe's, diced some cucumber, onion and tomato to add to the mix and we had one heck of a delicious meal.
Let me know if you try it! I'd love to hear how it turns out for you.