Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Homemade Gyro Sammiches
Ever since leaving NY in 2005 I've been searching for a decent Gyro down here in the Philly suburbs. The only decent ones are in the actual city itself, which is a bit of a schlep. You can get them from just about any pizza joint locally but they take the meat out of a freezer in little premade slices - not carved from the spit, so in my mind that is NOT a gyro. I came across an Alton Brown recipe that I fiddled with and simplified a bit. It's a little time consuming but the flavors are pretty authentic.
NOTE: I also included my Tzatziki Sauce recipe - make this prior to starting the sandwiches of course.
1 lb ground lamb
1 lb ground beef (recommend high fat content - 80/20)
1 large yellow onion and 4 cloves garlic, pulverized in food processor then drained of liquid.
1 tbsp each of ground oregano, ground rosemary, ground marjoram, kosher salt
1 tsp each of black pepper, ground cumin, ground thyme
Mix all this together in a Kitchenaid mixer and run on high until it becomes tacky and almost paste-like. Don't slack on this step otherwise the consistency will just be like meatloaf, not what we're going for in a gyro. It could take up to ten minutes run time on high to get it just right.
Remove the mixture and mold it into a 9"x6" loaf pan, pressing down to remove as many air pockets as possible.
Heat oven to 325. Place the loaf pan inside of a larger, deeper pan filled about halfway with water (you want the water level equal to the where the meat comes up to in the loaf pan.) Bake in this mock "Bain Marie" for 1 hour. Remove loaf pan from water and let rest for a few minutes. Drain the fat and reserve.
Once cool enough flip the meat out of the loaf pan, slice thinly and fry - using the reserved fat from the baking (which has all the great flavors from the spices in there.) Check a piece for salt level - you may need to add a little more to the meat while frying at this point.
Put on pita bread and top with the usual Gyro goodies; lettuce, tomatoes, slivered onion and Tzatziki sauce. TIP - I find it hard to find really GOOD pita bread in the supermarkets so I use Indian Naan bread from a little Subzi Mandi joint down the block from me - it's awesome. If you have an Indian place local and you have the choice between using that or the Peppridge Farm shit in Pathmark --- ALWAYS opt for Naan bread.
Here's my quick recipe for Tzatziki Sauce:
8 Oz of Greek Yogurt (Fage 4% is the best - don't use lower fat it's sour)
4 Oz sour cream
1 medium cucumber (peeled) and 3 cloves garlic, processed until fairly smooth but not liquified.
Appx. 2 oz (a small handful) of crumbled feta cheese
1 tsp each dried mint and dried dill
1 tsp honey
1 tsp white vinegar
Salt to taste if needed (test for this LATER)
Mix all ingredients and let set in refrigerator at least two hours -- test salt level prior to serving.
Posted by Fugs1 at 8:07 PM