12 October 2016

Gyro Meat

I happened to chance on this Greek dish while browsing for a Greek omelette. It looked very yummy and delicious. So I looked at a couple of Gyro meat recipes and used the ingredients from one and the procedure from another and got a very yummilicious gyro meat to serve with pita bread and tzatziki sauce. Recipe from https://manfuelblog.com/2015/08/23/easy-homemade-gyro-meat-recipe/ and http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/gyro-meat-with-tzatziki-sauce-recipe.html

Makes about 30 to 35 slices

  • 450 grams lamb mince
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • Mix the lamb mince with salt, pepper and oregano. Form it into a tight ball, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. (I refrigerated it for about three hours.)
  • Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
  • Process the onion in a blender for 30 seconds and turn it out into a cheese cloth to remove all the juices.
  • Put it back in the blender along with the garlic and the refrigerated mince. Process it to a fine paste.
  • Line a rectangular baking dish with aluminium foil and place the mixture into it. Form it into a rectangular loaf, making sure it is uniformly flat.
  • Bake in the oven for about 60 minutes or until the internal temperature reads about 165 to 170 degrees Celsius.
  • Remove all the excess fat and place it in the cooling rack with a brick covered in silver foil over it for 10 minutes. (I baked in the convection of my microwave oven so I left it in the oven for 10 minutes with the brick over it.)
  • Slice it thinly and pan fry it over the stove top until browned and crisp on one side to get the crispy effect in gyro meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie.
  • Make a sandwich with about 3 or 4 slices of gyro meat, slices of onion, tomatoes and tzatziki sauce inside pita bread or on top of it as desired and serve. (Recipe for homemade pita bread tzatziki given below.)
  • Alternatively, you could serve gyro meat with only the tzatziki sauce.
Recipe for Tzatziki Sauce
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (I found them in Nilgiris Supermarket in Chennai). Alternatively, you could use hung yogurt instead. (Yogurt hung in a cheese for at least 7 to 8 hours)
  • 1/2 English cucumber
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/3 cup fresh or frozen dill (I used 3 tbsp dried dill)

  • Dice the cucumber thinly and strain the juices in a cheesecloth.
  • In a bowl, combine the strained cucumber, yogurt, lemon juice, pressed garlic, dill, salt and pepper.
  • Refrigerate and serve.

Recipe for Pita bread
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 1/2 cups + 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 to 2 tsp olive oil
  • Mix the water and yeast together in a bowl and let stand for 5 minutes till completely dissolved. Add 2 1/2 cups flour, salt and oil and mix well to form a shaggy dough.
  • Knead the dough for 5 to 7 minutes until smooth and elastic. Add more flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking to the hands and the work surface, but use it very sparingly.
  • Coat another bowl with olive oil. Set the dough in this bowl and turn it until completely coated. Cover it with a plastic wrap and allow it to rise and double in about 2 hours time.
  • Gently deflate the dough and divide it into 8 equal pieces on a lightly floured work surface. Roll it gently with a floured rolling pin about 8 to 9 inches and a quarter of an inch thick. 
  • Preheat the oven to 215 degrees Celsius. Bake it on a baking tray. The pita will start puffing up after 1 or 2 minutes. They are done when they are fully ballooned. (Pitas won't puff if the oven is not very hot so make sure it is preheated fully)
  • Keep baked pitas covered with a plastic wrap until all are done.

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