The first time I had a gyro (pronounced year-o) was on my honeymoon in Washington, DC. Hubby took me to the Old Post Office Pavilion to eat and climb the clock tower for a fantastic view of the city. If you're ever in DC, stop by and explore this cool historic attraction.
It wasn't until much later that I thought about making my own gyros. I searched the internet for recipes and found a few that were doable. Hey, when I have to raise and slaughter my own lamb, that's a little out of my doable range. After testing a few recipes, I came up with my own version that is pretty tasty.
Side note - do not take your small animal-loving daughter with you to the grocery store when you have to ask the meat counter guy for a pound of ground lamb. It leads to all sorts of unpleasant questions and declarations of vegetarianism on the part of said daughter. Don't say I didn't warn you.
For the sauce:
1/2 cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 container (6 oz) plain Greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
2 teas lemon juice
1 TBSP minced fresh mint leaves
dash of salt
Anyway, start by making the tzatziki sauce so the flavors have a chance to blend. Place the cucumber in a small food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Squeeze as much liquid out as you can with paper towels.
Place in a small bowl and add remaining ingredients. Cover and place in the fridge.
For the gyro meat:
1 lb ground lamb
1 lb ground turkey
1 TBSP minced onion
2 teas dried oregano
2 teas minced garlic
1 teas dried thyme
1/2 teas salt
Additional toppings : feta cheese, tomatoes, lettuce
In a large bowl, mix the meat and seasonings. Shape into a loaf and place in a greased crockpot.
Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until cooked all the way through. It smells so yummy while it cooks! Carefully remove from the crockpot (I use 2 spatulas and it works just fine) and let sit for 15 minutes. Cut into slices of desired thickness.
Slather a piece of flatbread or a pita with the tzatziki sauce. Add a slice or two of gyro meat, tomatoes, and feta cheese. You can also use lettuce too.
The meat is juicy and drips so eat over a plate! And while I'll always have fond memories of the Old Post Office gyro place, these homemade ones are much, much better!