Lamb Gyro with Tzatziki Sauce. One of my most favorite dishes to order from a Greek restaurant. There’s something so distinctive and special about the flavors of the heavenly sliced meat topped with the cool Tzatziki Sauce. If you love Gyros like I do then you know exactly what I’m talking about. This recipe brings all that together.
Notice the Flax, Oat Bran & Whole Wheat Pita Breads in the basket above…THEY gave me all the motivation I needed to finally make this classic dish at home. They’re only 60 calories, high in fiber, big on taste and begging to wrap their arms around something as lovely as ground lamb seasoned just so.
To prepare the Gyro meat, ground lamb is combined with fresh oregano, salt & pepper then chilled for at least an hour (or up to overnight). The chilled meat is then combined with and diced bacon, chopped onion, and garlic in the food processor. It’s quite a process, one that I will never doubt again after tasting the end result. No need to change a single thing.
Once the meat is ground fine it’s shaped into a loaf that’s about 1 1/2″ high, 8″ long, and 5″ wide. Then onto a foil lined baking sheet and baked at 300 degrees for 35 – 40 minutes or until an internal temperature of 155 degrees is reached. The loaf is then cooled to room temperature for about 15 minutes before being thinly sliced for a final broil. This last step is what gives the meat it’s signature crispy edges and unctuous sizzle.
To serve, warm the pita bread under the broiler until soft and pliable. Spread Tzatziki Sauce on the center of the pita, then layer sliced tomato, lettuce leaves, thinly sliced red onion, gyro meat, and another dollop of sauce. You can also add an optional sprinkling of crumbled feta cheese. Trust me when I say, you’ll know this Lamb Gyro recipe is spot on when the aromas from your oven send you right back to the last time you enjoyed this wonderful sandwich.
I’m so thankful to have found this recipe at Serious Eats, slightly adapted.
For the meat…
- 1 lb. ground lamb or 85% lean ground beef
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly cracked pepper
- 2 Tbl. fresh oregano leaves minced (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
- 1/2 onion diced (about 1 cup)
- 2-3 garlic cloves sliced
- 3 slices bacon diced
- 4 pita breads hand-pulled, not pocket type
- sliced tomatoes
- loose lettuce leaves
- thinly sliced red onion
- Tzatziki Sauce see recipe link in post
- crumbled feta cheese optional
For the meat…
- Combine the lamb, salt, pepper, and oregano in a medium bowl. Mix with hands until well blended then cover and refrigerate at minimum one hour or up to over night.
- Process onion in a food processor to get a fine chop, about 10 – 15 seconds. Then turn out onto a tea towel and wring out onion liquid. Reserve.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a shallow rimmed baking sheet with foil and reserve.
- Place cold lamb mixture in the bowl of a food processor, with onion, garlic, and bacon. Process until a fine paste-like mixture is formed, scrapping down edges as you go, about 1 minute total.
- Form mixture into a loaf about 1 1/2″ high, 8″ long, and 5″ wide on the foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes until internal temperature reaches 155 degrees. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
- Adjust oven rack to highest broiler position and preheat the broiler. Slice loaf crosswise into 1/8th to 1/4-inch thick slices. Lay slices on foil lined baking sheet and broil until edges are brown and crispy, about 2-3 minutes. Remove and tent with foil. Warm bread under broiler, turning after 45 seconds per side.
- To serve…
- Spread Tzatziki Sauce on the center of each pita. Layer with sliced tomato, lettuce leaves, red onion, and gyro meat slices. Top with another dollop of sauce.