Gyro Meat

Jane Cherry

TVWBB All-Star
Well, I've learned something new about this. I didn't know that the food processor step was actually to change the texture to fine, and I didn't know the resting part was for compression. Guess we all learn something new everyday! I've made this twice, and despite my stupidity, it came out great. Will most probably be better next time.
 

Shawn W

TVWBB Emerald Member
Ack! The 3lb loaf fell off the spit. I didn't catch it right away but I caught it before anything burnt. I guess next time I'll try letting it sit overnight and maybe only half the loaf with the setup I have. Pics Here

I put opposing pins through the loaf (one on each end) to prevent it from moving around, but I think my rotis is so slow gravity eventually won. It just fell through the bar after it started flopping around.

Are there any tips for me about how to rotis this better?

I figured out a neat little trick about the saran wrapping. When it's time to tighten, face it from the side, grab the ends of the saran wrap then just start rolling it (both ends twisted in the same direction. Easiest part of the whole thing, suprised me.

Anyway, really really great stuff! Wouldn't change a thing. Looking forward to doing it again and trying a poultry version. Did 50/50 beef and NZ lamb, started with blade steaks and shoulder chops. I wondered what the reaction would be ... I've never once cooked or served lamb before, but everyone loved it. The 3lb loaf was devoured in pitas by 5 people (no sides).

I can't believe this one has been on my to do list for two + years.
 

K Kruger

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
It might have been the weight, surely. Perhaps with a larger loaf some ties of some sort to go around the circumference?


I'm glad you enjoyed the meat.
 

Benny L.

TVWBB Fan
I'm really interested in trying this out... not this weekend by probably the next. I love gyros and lamb in general, but I've never cooked with lamb myself.

Kevin's original recipe notes that he used "arm and shoulder slices". Dean did the recipe with "lamb chops" and Kevin recommended trying "shoulder chops". I did a little searching at my supermarket not knowing if they'd even have lamb, and they actually had the following:

Lamb Shoulder Arm Chops ... 4.99/lb
Lamb Shoulder Blade Chops ... 3.99/lb
Lamb Loin Loin Chops ... 9.99/lb
Lamb Leg Short Cut Sirloin Off ... 4.99/lb
Ground Lamb ... 4.49/lb

Kevin, or anyone else who's tried this recipe and/or knows lamb, which of these would you suggest? I know Ground Lamb would probably be a safe bet, but I'm interested in trying out "grinding" my own in the food processor. I'm guessing the Shoulder Arm Chops are what I'm looking for, but I figured I'd run it by you all.

Thanks in advance for any pointers!
 

K Kruger

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Go with arm or blade chops, whichever has less bone. At home, the market lamb selection is extremely limited. I often need to buy both if needing any sort of quantity because the store is unlikely to have any more than a few packages of each available.
 

D Larsen

TVWBB Super Fan
Benny,

Seems to me that the blade chops would save you a $1 per lb


I wanted ground lamb to avoid the hassle of trimming and grinding, but our grocery store told me I had to "special order" it...

If you're set on using the food processor, then take Kevin's advice, which is never wrong ! Make sure to include enough fat, and post your results !!!

Dean...
 

Don Irish

TVWBB Pro
I've got my first one resting in the fridge for a cook tomorrow
.

What kind of wood do you all use, if any? My choices than I have on hand are hickory, apple, and cherry. Place down the road may have some grapevine, is it worth the trip/expense?
Thanks,
Don
 

Benny L.

TVWBB Fan
Well I did my little "Greek Night" on Sunday, and these turned out fantastic! The smell while I was blending the meat and herbs together was unbelievable.

I chickened out on grinding my own meat from scratch, mainly because of time constraints. I'm sure it doesn't take long if know what you're doing, but this would be my first time and I wanted to ensure the loaves had plenty of time to chill and compact. I started with ground lamb and 80/20 ground chuck. Next time I will definitely try grinding my own and just prep the loaves the night before. I split the meat into two loaves for managability and cooked them both on the top rack of the WSM. I added one medium size chunk of Alder to the fire to give just a little smoke, but I may not even bug with that next time.

For starters/sides/fixins' I took some inspiration from Dean's tomato/olive/feta platter. I also added a couple of Dolmas (from Whole Foods... though I'd like to try making my own), some Smokey Baba Ganoush from this recipe, some Kicked Up Humus from a recipe on this site (that I can't seem to find any more?), and some white and wheat pita bread.



Served up the sliced Gyro Meat with the Tzatziki Sauce in Bryan's post (using Greek yogurt) and more pitas. We ate more for leftovers last night and I added a bit of lettuce and some thinly sliced onions and cucumbers.



Sorry no pics of a plated meal... we usually serve family style here, and once the food's ready it's time to EAT.
The best thing I can say about this is that it tastes just like real gyros! The wife and I both thought the flavor was even better the second day. Thank you for the recipe Kevin, and to all you guys and girls for the great ideas.
 

D Larsen

TVWBB Super Fan
Benny,

That looks like a great meal ! Thanks for the pics


That reminds me....the wife has been bugging me to do this one again, using KK's recommendation on additional fat, etc. I think I'll try the Greek yogurt, too...my tatziki was too soupy last time...

Dean...
 

Benny L.

TVWBB Fan
Dean-

For the Tzatziki I used the Fage yogurt Rita and Kevin mentioned... found it at Whole Foods. I'd never tried it before, but it was similar in consistency to sour cream, but with a milder flavor like yogurt (but more flavorful than just plain yogurt). It's good stuff, and I think it'll definitely help make the sauce thicker.
 

D Larsen

TVWBB Super Fan
We went to Treuth's for our case of tri-tips today....while there, we noticed they had "ground lamb" (frozen). Having watched the Alton Brown/Good Eats show last night about "Gyros", we decided it was time to try this again


I'm thinking of a 50-50 mix with 80% ground beef....not knowing where the "ground lamb" came from, or how much fat it has, does this sound like a good mix to try ?

I also plan on trying a "drained" yogurt....don't feel like driving down to the Trader Joe's for Greek style (it's a ways for us !). We've been invited to a neighbor's for Labor Day, and thought we'd bring this dish.....any advice ?

Dean...
 

K Kruger

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Lamb that is ground is most often shoulder plus scraps. The mox should be fine.

Drain the yogurt in a fine sieve or a cheesecloth-lined colander, covered, in the fridge for several hours or overnight. It works well.

Have fun!
 

D Larsen

TVWBB Super Fan
Originally posted by K Kruger:
Lamb that is ground is most often shoulder plus scraps. The mox should be fine.

Drain the yogurt in a fine sieve or a cheesecloth-lined colander, covered, in the fridge for several hours or overnight. It works well.

Have fun!
Thanks very much, Kevin !

One other quick question, if you don't mind


Your original post calls for dried spices except for the rosemary. We have a small spice garden with most of the gyro stuff....is there any advantage (or disadvantage !) to using fresh vs. dried ? What adjustments would you recommend on quantity ?

Dean...

EDIT : Just unwrapped the 1 lb of ground lamb from the butcher paper, and it DEFINITELY has enough fat in it this time !
 

K Kruger

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I don't see an advantage or disadvantage to using fresh here. For fresh I'd suggest 1.5 T thyme, 1.5 T oregano, 1 T marjoram.
 

D Larsen

TVWBB Super Fan
Well, the second gyro was much better than my first attempt


I see that "fat" is the key that I missed last time....The neighbor had a beer can chicken on the top grate of his WSM, and several racks of ribs on the bottom grate. The chix and ribs were very good, but my gyro and tzatziki were a hit, too ! None of the guests had seen or eaten a "home-made gyro loaf" before


The loaf was 1 lb ground lamb/1 lb 80 % ground beef; fresh herbs from the garden, based on Kevin's recommendations. Smoked on the kettle, indirect, with a 50/50 mix of Jack Daniel's oak, and cherry chips. Done in 1 1/2 hours. The tzatziki was the one posted by Bryan, from the Food Network.

Only 2 lousy pix....was behind "schedule", as usual
...one on the grill, just when it hit 165, and 1 of my "leftovers"
Pix here .

Thanks for your help, Kevin !

Dean...
 

D Larsen

TVWBB Super Fan
Thanks, Jane ! Hope your's taste as good
Mine didn't "plate" real pretty, but it tasted mighty good !

Kevin or anyone....another question....(and forgive me if this is another noob one !)...

What is the reason for the parchment paper ? I put my loaf directly on the kettle grate and then said "Oh Crap ! Forgot the parchment !" After a short argument with the wife (
), we added the paper, but I'm curious to know....what "function" does the paper fulfill ?

Thanks for any clarifications !

Dean...
 

K Kruger

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I'm glad you enjoyed your second attempt and that your guests did too. Looks delicious.

Moist loaves often become soft and sticky as their temp rises in the early stages of cooking. The parchment is there to prevent the possibility of the meat getting in between the grates and/or sticking to them.
 

Shawn W

TVWBB Emerald Member
Originally posted by K Kruger:
I'm glad you enjoyed your second attempt and that your guests did too. Looks delicious.

Moist loaves often become soft and sticky as their temp rises in the early stages of cooking. The parchment is there to prevent the possibility of the meat getting in between the grates and/or sticking to them.
The other thing I like about parchment is keeping black lines off the food; some food moreso than others .. like smoked cheese or back bacon. I used to keep my grates sparkling clean but now I just burn them clean on the gasser.

One thing I would caution about parchment is to be aware of a potential grease run off and in which direction if the parchment gets lifted. You can get a wicked flare up. For this reason I suggest trimming the parchment to a fairly close fit.
 

Top