Lamb Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce
This Greek dish features grilled lamb seasoned with garlic, rosemary, and oregano served with tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, and onions on pita bread
4-5 pounds lamb meat*
10 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon dried oregano (if using chopped fresh oregano, use 2 tablespoons)
1/2 tablespoon dried rosemary (if using chopped fresh rosemary, use 1 tablespoon)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Dry seasoning ingredients:
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
dash cayenne pepper
Tzatziki sauce ingredients:
16 ounces plain yogurt (I use lowfat)
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and minced**
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
6 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
Pita bread***, warmed in the oven
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced****
4-5 tomatoes, washed, cored, and thinly sliced
Lettuce leaves, optional
Crumbled feta cheese, optional
1. Begin by making the tzatziki sauce. Before measuring the yogurt, be sure to pour off any watery liquid that might be separated in the container, rather than just stirring it back into the yogurt. Take the minced cucumber, place it inside a clean tea towel or dish cloth, and squeeze to remove the liquid. Combine all of the tzatziki sauce ingredients, and then refrigerate, covered, for at least an hour. This sauce will keep for several days in the fridge.
2. Trim fat from meat. Place meat in a large glass dish. Rub the minced garlic cloves onto both sides of the meat.
3. Combine the meat marinade ingredients. Pour over lamb steaks. Cover dish and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or as long as 6 hours, turning steaks once or twice during that time.
4. Remove dish from refrigerator and allow the meat to warm to room temperature. Combine the dry seasoning ingredients with a fork or whisk.
5. Place dry seasoning on a plate or in a shallow dish and then coat both sides of the steaks with the dry seasoning. After coating, place steaks on a clean plate (i.e. not back into the marinade dish).
6. Preheat grill to medium. Grill until meat is done (our inch-thick steaks took about 12 minutes total).
7. Thinly slice the lamb steaks. Serve meat on warm pita bread, topped with onion, tomato, and tzatziki sauce.
*We use lamb shoulder steak, which has some bone and some fat, so if you're using lean boneless meat, I suggest using 3-4 pounds rather than 4-5 pounds. :)
**I use a food processor to mince the cucumber!
***We would use about 12 of our homemade pita breads for this recipe. The pita breads can be cut in half and filled (each round bread then makes 2 gyros) or simply filled and folded over like a soft taco (each round bread then makes one gyro). Joshua likes his cut in half and filled, and I like to wrap mine! :)
To warm the pita bread, I place the bread inside a damp towel and then wrap in foil. I put this in a warm oven (not any hotter than 250 degrees) for 20 minutes or so.
****If our onions are rather strong, we like to saute them in a tablespoon of butter before serving. But if you love raw onions, then just add them raw! :)
1 hour (plus marinade time)
These gyros are delicious! The recipe looks long, but the steps are all pretty simple (I just like to give lots of details!). We used homemade pita bread for our gyros, which (of course) made them even better! :) Very yummy and beautiful. We have some leftovers, which I like eating cold -- though it would be easy to re-warm the meat and bread. :) My rating: 10/10