Thursday, September 16, 2010


Yes! You can make delicious gyros meat that goes wonderfully with the tomatoes, cucumbers and onions of the season. I had seen this recipe, and the tzatziki recipe that goes with it, some time ago, and finally decided to try it.

Local lamb and beef are, happily, quite available at our farmers' markets. You can also order from Thundering Hooves in Walla Walla, and they'll bring the order to a drop point in the Tri-Cities.

Honestly, this gyros meat is actually fun to make, is wonderfully delicious, and while it's baking will make your kitchen smell like a Greek restaurant!
Gyros and tzatziki recipes adapted from Velveeta Ain't Food

1 pound ground lamb
1 pound ground beef
2-1/2 teaspoons kosher (coarse) salt
1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 large yellow onion
2 large cloves garlic
4 slices bacon

Combine lamb, beef, salt and oregano with your hands. Wrap or cover and chill for at least 2 hours. This is important!

Line a small broiler tray with foil, poking holes in the foil so the fat will have a place to drain.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a food processor, pulse the onion, garlic and bacon until pureed. Add the lamb/beef mixture and puree, scraping down sides as needed, until you have a smooth paste. Yes, it is not going to be attractive!

Gather meat into a rough loaf shape with you hands and place it on the foil-lined broiler tray. Shape it into a loaf that is about 2 inches thick; this will result in a loaf length of about 9 inches and width of 5 inches or so.

Place meat on middle rack of preheated oven and bake for about 1 hour or until it has an internal temperature of 155 degrees. Let loaf cool. I refrigerated mine and sliced it after it had chilled; this probably made it easier to slice.

Cut chilled loaf into 1/4-inch slices. Broil slices about six inches from broiler for about 4 minutes per side, or until meat is becoming crispy and browned.

Serve with tzatziki (below), and diced, fresh tomatoes, onion and cucumber. If you'd like a traditional gyros sandwich, you can make a thick flatbread (not pita bread) such as naan, and enfold your gyros meat and condiments in a bready enclosure. I served tabouli salad and decided not to use bread, and we didn't miss it.

Makes 28 1/4-inch slices, about six servings


3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 medium clove garlic, pressed or finely chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped (or mint)

Mix all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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