Saturday, September 27, 2008

Slow Greek Fast Food

As you know, I went to the Carrboro Farmer's Market this morning; and I picked up a pound of ground lamb that I wasn't sure what I was going to do with.

As I had a long drive home, I thought about trying my hand at one of my favorite pseudo-Greek foods; gyros. I knew I had seen my man Alton Brown do a Good Eats episode about them, but I couldn't remember much about it.

Some gyro recipes I saw called for beef and lamb, or pork and lamb - I just kept it simple - just the ground lamb. I actually followed Alton's recipe for the meat near verbatim....spiced it fairly heavily with garlic, majoram and rosemary. The whole mix went in the food processor until it was a paste. I rolled it out and squeezed it tight with plastic wrap.

For the tzatziki sauce I strained the yogurt over a tea towel clipped to a bowl and let it drain for a few hours. The resulting thick yogurt was mixed with chopped cucumbers, garlic, olive oil and a little vinegar.

The meat was a major pain in the rear. I have a Ronco rotisserie that normally works pretty well, but I don't have the 'cage' accessory. I needed something to bind up the meat while it cooked. I tried improvising with wire, but it wasn't working. After that I formed it into a loaf and tried to broil it, only to find my oven's broiler is dead. Finally I broiled it with a propane torch that I had purchased awhile back to fix some plumbing issues at the old house. (:D NEVER give up!) After I got a nice char on the outside, I finished it in the oven, which by now was pre-heated.

I gotta say, it turned out really well for all the trouble. The flavor was spot-on, majoram works a lot better than oregano I think, and the rosemary is really nice too. The texture was a little off with a tendency to crumble more than slice, but not bad at all. Jennie really liked it and Lucy ate it without being asked.

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