I recently posted a recipe for making homemade pitas so I wanted to make sure I got this Lamb Gyro Meat recipe (or at least the link to it) up here, too.
I love, love, love lamb and to me the most authentic tasting gyro is the one made with lamb. So a few weeks ago when I got some ground lamb on sale I knew exactly what I wanted to make with it. One of the first recipes I came across was this Lamb Gyro Meat recipe from Alton Brown and I knew it was the one I was going to make. I wanted it to taste authentic (after all, how often do I make lamb gyros) and to have that same texture that you get in a restaurant. After I read through his recipe I knew this would taste authentic. I was right!
If you are familiar with Alton you know that sometimes his recipes can get a bit technical so I am actually just going to tell you to go check out his recipe and instructions. I am afraid if I were to rewrite his directions I would confuse you or miss a step.
I just want to make a few notes on what I would do differently or things you don’t want to miss. First of all, the flavor is great and I wouldn’t change that at all. It is VERY important if you want the typical gyro meat texture to press the meat down as much as you can. I would probably try to find something to press it with a bit better next time although I think mine turned out pretty well. If you do have a brick lying around use it and then put something on top of it like a cast iron skillet. I used a bacon press to flatten the meat and then placed my skillet on top of it. Basically – you want to find something super heavy to smoosh it down so you don’t get air pockets in the meat and it forms a nice loaf.
If you look at my pic above you can see that there were some air pockets in the meat. It’s not the end of the world but it would have looked better if there were no pockets of air.
Also – if you are going to go through the effort of making your own gyro meat then make your own pitas, too. Some good Tzatziki sauce and red onions to top them off won’t hurt either. Enjoy!
Lamb Gyro Meat
- 1 medium onion finely chopped or shredded
- 2 pounds ground lamb
- 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon dried marjoram
- 1 tablespoon dried ground rosemary
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Process the onion in a food processor for 10 to 15 seconds and turn out 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.
- Slice and serve on pita bread with tzatziki sauce, chopped onion, tomatoes and feta cheese.