Gyro Meat

Matt Albright

TVWBB Member
Let me try this again...

Having never cooked lamb, how is it in comparison to deer when it comes to being lean?

My coworker gives me deer meat every "Redneck Ramadan" and I usually try to do something different with it.

Do you think a 1/2 & 1/2 mixture of deer/beef or a 1/3 and 2/3 deer/beef mixture would do?

Thanks in advance
 

K Kruger

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
1/3-2/3 venison:beef is how I'd play it.

Lamb is no where near as lean as venison. It's closer to beef (AU and NZ lamb is a bit leaner than commercial American lamb, which is grain fed; specialty American producers frequently grass feed only); the fat is softer and finer due to their youth at slaughter. It is less marbled than beef (more fat is on the flesh, under the skin, than in it), which is why the fattier lamb shoulder cuts tend to be used for grinding==and for barbecue.

I'd go with the spicing I recommendd to Bryan for the pork-beef mix.
 

Bryan S

TVWBB Olympian
K.K. Thanks for the non lamb version of this. Any one that's in the know is this recipe close? It's from AB on the foodnetwork, so I would guess it's close enough.

Tzatziki Sauce:
16 ounces plain yogurt
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
Pinch kosher salt
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
5 to 6 mint leaves, finely minced

Place the yogurt in a tea towel, gather up the edges, suspend over a bowl, and drain for 2 hours in the refrigerator.
Place the chopped cucumber in a tea towel and squeeze to remove the liquid; discard liquid. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the drained yogurt, cucumber, salt, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and mint. Serve as a sauce for gyros. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups
 

K Kruger

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Yes.

But. while the yogurt is draining (tripled cheesecloth or a fine mesh sieve can be used), salt the cuke lightly (I usually seed then grate it) and place it in a colander in the sink for 30 min to drain. Then squeeze.

The garlic can be 1-4 cloves, depending on garlic preference.

The mint can be subbed with dill if you wish. (I mostly like mint versions but dill versions are a nice alternative.)
 

Mac_D

TVWBB Member
made this in the oven w/ 50/50 lamb/beef and it turned out fantastic!

Anyone know where you can purchase a "twine mesh bag" that would make doing this on a grill rotisserie easier? Would hate to have it fall apart.
 

K Kruger

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
If you have a spit roaster it shouldn't fall apart provided you mixed to the pasty point then packed/wrapped well. In an Ez-Que, or similar basket-type rotis, it could be a different story. As the meat cooks it shrinks, of course, setting up the possibility of it ending up getting tossed around as it loses contact with the holders. It should be possible to use a flat or doubled skewer and, rather than the potato thing I do, tie the skewer to the basket at both ends and, also at both ends, tie the skewer to the holders. With equal tension, the skewer should ride in the middle of the basket, the meat not touching a thing. I have not yet tried this but it should work.
 

John Bridgman

TVWBB Super Fan
I just spent a week in Germany and was surprised to find that most of the Gyro / Donair shops switched over to using turkey after the mad cow scare and never switched back.

It's not the same but surprisingly good.
 

Sean Jones

TVWBB Member
Originally posted by John Bridgman:
I just spent a week in Germany and was surprised to find that most of the Gyro / Donair shops switched over to using turkey after the mad cow scare and never switched back.

It's not the same but surprisingly good.
I love donner kebobs. I eat them all the time. Most of the shops in my area use lamb. Still trying to duplicate them at home.
 

Shawn W

TVWBB Emerald Member
Originally posted by Bryan S:
K.K. Thanks for the non lamb version of this. Any one that's in the know is this recipe close? It's from AB on the foodnetwork, so I would guess it's close enough.

Tzatziki Sauce:
16 ounces plain yogurt
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
Pinch kosher salt
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
5 to 6 mint leaves, finely minced

Place the yogurt in a tea towel, gather up the edges, suspend over a bowl, and drain for 2 hours in the refrigerator.
Place the chopped cucumber in a tea towel and squeeze to remove the liquid; discard liquid. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the drained yogurt, cucumber, salt, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and mint. Serve as a sauce for gyros. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups
that's the recipe I use ... I often don't bother going to buy mint, I usually use white vinegar and I use FULL FAT Balkan style yogurt
and a good sprinkle of Greek seasoning for color and more flavor.

I drain the yogurt in a paper coffee filter overnight in the fridge. Put the filter in a colander, the colander in a bowl that suspends the colander above the bottom. About 1/3 the volume of yogurt used will fall out as liquid.

Drain the yogurt overnight, make tzatziki in the morning (chance to blend flavor) for the evening meal.

It's good for a couple of days but goes downhill pretty quick after that.
 

D Larsen

TVWBB Super Fan
Okay, since I THINK I have this pic hosting/posting stuff figured out, here are a few shots of my Gyro cook earlier this summer.

Gyro Cook

Our thoughts on the cook :

We're not big lamb fans, so I used a 3:1 ratio, for about a 2 lbs total (1 loaf). The grocery store didn't have ground lamb, so I used the food processor to chop up the lamb. We agreed that it needed MORE lamb next time !

The loaf was dry, and needed more "fat", spices or something. Looked good, though !

The tomatoes with feta and olives was good, too


Dean....
 

D Larsen

TVWBB Super Fan
Originally posted by D Larsen:
Okay, since I THINK I have this pic hosting/posting stuff figured out, here are a few shots of my Gyro cook earlier this summer.

Gyro Cook

Our thoughts on the cook :

We're not big lamb fans, so I used a 3:1 ratio, for about a 2 lbs total (1 loaf). The grocery store didn't have ground lamb, so I used the food processor to chop up the lamb. We agreed that it needed MORE lamb next time !

The loaf was dry, and needed more "fat", spices or something. Looked good, though !

The tomatoes with feta and olives was good, too


Dean....
Forgot to add that I bought a package of Australian lamb chops....trimmed 'em and
ground in the food processor to almost paste....added to 1 1/2 lbs 90% ground beef and processed again...

Dean....
 

K Kruger

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Ahh. Don't trim at all. If you do it again go for shoulder chops (they have more fat) and just take the bone out. You'll get more fat, necessary to avoid dryness. Ditto with the beef. Don't use lean ground beef. Fat also carries flavors better.

Your plate looks good though. The tomatoes, stellar. I could eat the whole platter right now.
 

D Larsen

TVWBB Super Fan
Originally posted by K Kruger:
Ahh. Don't trim at all. If you do it again go for shoulder chops (they have more fat) and just take the bone out. You'll get more fat, necessary to avoid dryness. Ditto with the beef. Don't use lean ground beef. Fat also carries flavors better.

Your plate looks good though. The tomatoes, stellar. I could eat the whole platter right now.
Thanks, Kevin....I'll try those "mods" the next time !

Dean...
 

Shawn W

TVWBB Emerald Member
Kevin:

Do you recall if you liked the rotis cook or the WSM cook better? I'm thinking to do this on the gasser infrared (probably because the pita/donair places have theirs on vertical electric rotis .... then again I bet those are already cooked, they are just being kept warm in that fashion).

I think it's not much more work really to do 6lbs as 3lbs. Assuming nothing but a pair of inserted forks to hold it, how large a loaf would you suggest as max for a horizontal rotis (in terms of practicality ... how well does it hold together)?
 

K Kruger

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I honestly didn't notice a difference between the two.

I think my concern would be weight. The rotis'd version held together very well. Elongated, I don't think there would be a problem. It is possible there might be were the loaf to be made more fatter than longer--but maybe not. In either case it's important that the bind be good when the loaf is made.
 

Shawn W

TVWBB Emerald Member
Kevin, if you happen to be on, how important is the compress duration? My loaf has been in the fridge for 30 minutes, got a really good pack with the saran wrap, and it was processed to paste but I HAVE to leave the house in 4.5hrs.

I could put it on in two hours (rotis) then eat but if it's better to leave it overnight we'll have it tomorrow.

?
 

K Kruger

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Hmm. It's important--but 2 hours might be long enough. It is hard to know exactly. I'm not sure I can be of any more help than that.
 

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