Oh.my.god. These gyros. Okay – I am not going to lie – they are LABOR INTENSIVE. But with proper planning and a weekend to work with – they can be done. And they are TOTALLY worth it.
These literally give the gyro’s from your local fair a run for their money – and you can have them anytime!
Ground lamb can be a little hard to come by in smaller towns – make sure you check with local butchers if your grocery store doesn’t carry it. Additionally, you can *buy* gyro flatbread, but it’s easy to make, and you can grill it, or cook it on your pizza stone in the oven.
Homemade Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce
For the Gyro Meat:
1 pound ground lamb
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
½ yellow onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 clove garlic, sliced
3 ounces slab bacon (or 5 slices sliced bacon), cut into ½-inch pieces
Directions for the Gyro Meat:
1. Make the Gyro Meat: In a medium bowl, combine the ground lamb, salt, pepper and oregano leaves with your hands, mixing until all of the seasonings have been evenly distributed. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Place the lamb mixture in the bowl of a food processor and add the onion, garlic and bacon. Process until a smooth puree is formed, 30 seconds to 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
3. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. With moistened hands, shape the lamb mixture into a rectangle about 8 inches long and 5 inches wide. Bake until the center of the loaf reaches 155 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
4. Adjust the oven rack to the highest position (1½ to 2 inches below broiler element) and preheat broiler. Slice the loaf of lamb meat crosswise into very thin pieces (they should be about ⅛-inch thick; no more than ¼-inch thick). Lay the strips on a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and broil until edges are browned and crispy, 2 to 4 minutes. (I did this in two batches, as I couldn’t fit all of the sliced meat on one baking sheet.) Be sure to keep an eye on it, as the broiler works quickly!
For the Tzatziki Sauce:
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeds removed and cut into large chunks
1½ teaspoons kosher salt (for draining cucumber)
1½ cups plain Greek yogurt
1 small clove garlic, grated
4½ teaspoons lemon juice
1½ teaspoons chopped fresh dill
Directions for the Sauce:
1. Place the cucumber in a colander in the sink and sprinkle with the kosher salt. Let sit and drain for 30 minutes. Dry thoroughly with paper towels, then chop very finely.
2. Combine the finely chopped cucumber with the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice and dill. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. The sauce can be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to three days.
- 3-4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon active dry or instant yeast
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3-4 tablespoons, melted butter
Directions on Making Flatbread:
- Pour the milk into a liquid measure and heat in the microwave until warm to the touch (about 110 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer). If using active dry yeast, mix the sugar and yeast into the milk and let it sit for 4-5 minutes until the mixture is foamy and the yeast has activated. Once the yeast/milk mixture is foamy, pour the mixture into a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and add the salt and 2 1/2 cups of the flour (proceed with the second paragraph of the recipe). If using instant yeast, pour the warm milk into a large bowl or the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Add the sugar, instant yeast, salt and 2 1/2 cups of the flour. Proceed as directed below.
- Mix well to combine. Continue adding flour gradually in small amounts, until a soft dough is formed that cleans the sides of the bowl. Knead the dough by mixer or hand until it is smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes in the mixer or 10 minutes by hand.
- Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and let it rest at room temperature, covered lightly with greased plastic wrap, for about 2 hours.
- After the dough has rested, turn it onto a lightly floured surface and divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, rounding each into a ball shape. Cover the pieces with a towel and let them rest for 30 minutes. While the dough rests, preheat your oven to 500 degrees F and place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven. (If you don’t have a pizza stone, try grilling the dough on a lightly oiled outdoor grill or use a hot griddle to bake the naan – you’ll have to experiment with cooking times but I’ve seen either of those methods used with cooking naan also.)
- Once the dough has rested for 30 minutes, one by one, roll each piece into a circle about 6-8 inches wide, depending on how thin or thick you want your naan. Lay the circle of dough on the hot pizza stone and spritz lightly with water. Close the oven and bake the naan for 2-4 minutes, until it is lightly puffed (some pieces will puff more than others) and brown spots begin to appear on the top. Remove the naan from the baking stone and place on a cooling rack. Brush lightly with melted butter. Stack the hot naan on top of each other as it comes out of the oven. Cover with a towel and let the naan cool completely or serve warm.