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Lamb Gyros with Yogurt Dill Sauce

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Lamb Gyro

Because it’s Sunday…and it’s pouring…and my grill is out of propane….again.

Because I’ve been gushing non-stop for three weeks about these incredibly good, genuinely-authentic-tasting-make-‘em-at-home-yourself lamb gyros.

Because I swore I’d post this recipe the next time Strauss Lamb went on special, and the time is NOW!

If you love gyros but hate driving to the corner of Oakland and Locust for a fix, here you go.  If you’re one of my friends who’s endured my gyro chatter since mid-July, this is for you too.

It’s one of the best recipes I’ve made this summer, I’m not gonna lie.  I was even a little worried that I had over promised on this recipe, so I gave it to two of my foodiest friends for them to try.  Both friends made these gyros for two separate groups of people, and all in attendance gave them an overwhelming thumbs up.  Honestly.  They’re that good.

Now.  Please pay close attention to the steps of the recipe.  It’s not difficult to make, but you do have to follow the directions.  Don’t be afraid.  Use the Force.

Peace.  Love.  Gyros.

LAMB GYROS WITH YOGURT DILL SAUCE
SERVES:  6-8
SOURCE:  foodnetwork.com, recipe by Alton Brown

1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 lbs. ground lamb, broken up (Strauss Lamb Patties are on sale)
1 T. finely minced garlic
1 T. dried marjoram
1 T. dried ground rosemary
2 t. kosher salt
½ t. black pepper

Yogurt Sauce, recipe follows

Pita bread or flatbread, warmed
Shredded lettuce, diced tomato, slivered onion
Crumbled feta

Process the onion in a food processor for 10 to 15 seconds.  Onion should have the consistency of smooth applesauce.  Turn out onion into the center of a tea towel.** Gather up the ends of the towel and squeeze until almost all of the juice is removed. Discard juice.

Return the onion to the food processor and add the lamb, garlic, marjoram, rosemary, salt, and pepper and process until it is a fine paste, approximately 1 minute.** Stop the processor as needed to scrape down sides of bowl.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Place the mixture into a loaf pan, making sure to press into the sides of the pan**.  Place the loaf pan into a water bath and bake for 60 to 75 minutes or until the mixture reaches 165 to 170 degrees F. Remove from the oven and drain off any fat. Place the loaf pan on a cooling rack and place a brick wrapped in aluminum foil** directly on the surface of the meat and allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 175 degrees F.  Drain off any additional fat that has accumulated and transfer loaf to a cutting board.  Slice and serve on pita bread with yogurt sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, onion and feta cheese.

**Several Notes**
1).  Instead of the tea towel, I used a fine strainer over the sink, and pressed out all of the liquid with a wooden spoon.
2).  If your food processor is small, do this step in batches.  Process the first batch; spread it into the loaf pan, then repeat with the second batch.
3).  Press it down really well!
4).  I didn’t have a brick.  I placed a piece of foil over the top of the meat, then set another loaf pan on top of the foil, and filled the pan with cans of beans to weigh it down.

YOGURT DILL SAUCE
1 c. plain Greek-style yogurt
¼ c. finely chopped red onion
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ T. chopped fresh dill
2 t. fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, stir together sauce ingredients.  Chill until ready to use.

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Leah Damron is an avid home cook who believes in using the freshest ingredients available, and she challenges herself weekly to create meals out of (mostly!) sale items. If Sendik's ever gave a title for "Biggest Fan", she believes she would win, hands down. Leah lives in greater Milwaukee with her husband, three children, and her big black lab, Daisy."

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