I was fortunate to meet Chef Psilakis last year at the Buick Food + Wine event in Stamford and I was happy to also receive, gratis, his latest cookbook, How to Roast a Lamb.
The cookbook is good, albeit, slightly daunting so when I wanted to make gyros – I was surprised how quickly [and easily] they came together [although I barely followed the recipe]!
The key is very finely ground meat. Finely ground, to the point of a paste is what you’ll need. I used turkey ground meat, which is basically paste meat. The meat itself wasn’t flavorful so next time, lamb and pork [as the recipe calls for!].
Recipe transformed [a nice way of saying I did whatever I wanted!] from Psilakis:
*ask butcher to run ground meat through grinder once more for that super fine grind
- 1 thick slice of Spanish or sweet onion [I used sweet]
- extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 1 pound marbled, finely ground lamb – preferably from the shoulder [I used turkey meat hahahahha]
- 8 ounces finely ground pork
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon garlic puree [there’s a recipe for this but I used the roasted garlic found in the Whole Foods antipasti bar and just mushed it up…do it!]
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon espelette pepper or best quality chile powder [I used Indian EXTRA HOT chile powder]
- 2 tablespoon fresh herbs such as dill, parsley, or chives [I used cilantro because I felt like it]
- 1 whole scallion, minced [I forgot to add this in, so I just topped it with it]
- 2 large eggs, beaten [I used one]
Brush the onion slices with a little olive oil and season with kosher salt and pepper. On a hot griddle pan or in a cast iron skillet, grill the onion until tender. Separate into rings and chop very finely.
Lightly brush a 7.5 x 11-inch baking dish with olive oil and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F [I just used a small rectangular Pyrex].
In a large mixing bowl, combine the grilled onion, lamb, pork mustard, garlic puree, coriander, espelette, fresh herbs, scallion and eggs [I just mixed this in the Pyrex dish because I didn’t feel like wasting another dish!]. season liberally ith kosher salt and pepper and thoroughly combine the mixture with clean hands [opposed to dirty hands]. Transfer to the baking dish and spread out evenly to the edges, smoothing the top flat. Place the dish inside a large roasting pan and add boiling water to about halfway up the sides of the baking dish [I just poured water in the roaster and put it over heat on the burner to make it boil – just make sure you roaster can be directly on the burner!!!].
Bake for 45 minutes or until the gyro shrinks away from the sides and is quite hot in the middle when pierced with a metal skewer [around 150 degrees F]. Remove the pan from the water bath and cool to room temperature [I didn’t do this; we were hungry so we ate it right away].
Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or ideally, 24 hours to develop the flavors [again, I ate it right away].
Place a large, platter upside down over the baking dish. Turn both over and carefully remove gyro [nope, I just cut it out of the Pyrex!].
I then got some naan + tahini sauce + greek yogurt + feta [made a sauce and smeared it onto the naan]. I sliced some iceberg lettuce and layered that on the naan/sauce, topped it with the gyro meat, sprinkled some scallions on top and VOILA!
I only have one photo because we ate the food in mere seconds! And it’s blurry because I was so excited to eat :-)