Okay friends, here’s my favorite food of all time – all wrapped up and ready to eat. Gyros.
Crispy meaty bits, tart olives, crunchy cucumbers and radishes, a bit of fresh lettuce and some herby yogurt sauce – all wrapped up in a warm naan bread – I mean, what’s not to love about this situation??
Gyros. Geeros. Guy-rus. Cheerios. I don’t judge anyone on their ability (or lack thereof) to pronounce the name for this amazing sandwich – so let’s skip over the pleasantries and get to the recipes, shall we? 😉
Now, I know there are two camps when it comes to lamb – one is pro-lamb and the other is heck-no-lamb – and I’m not here to talk you into lamb if you are part of the second camp. But I will tell you that down below, in the “my notes” section of the recipe – I put a little sub-recipe in there as to how you can make these delicious gyros using beef/chicken/mushrooms/tempeh – so don’t give up on me just yet please.
After a wonderful family Easter gathering we had a bit of leftovers from dinner. The glazed carrots and roasted potatoes went into a vegetable-laden lentil soup and the handful of hot cross buns were turned into a breakfast bread pudding with lots of chocolate bits and toasted nuts (more on that later!!) – but what the heck to do with the remaining herb crusted leg of lamb??
I think someone once said, “when all else fails, make a sandwich.” Well, I’m not sure if anyone ever said that before, but that’s certainly how I feel about food when I can’t figure out what else to do with it. I mean, slap the food between two pieces of bread…add the food it to the top of some toasted bread….or here, wrap the food inside some warm naan bread with some crunchy veggies and a creamy herby yogurt sauce.
These gyros are a perfect mix of all the flavors and textures – crispy, crunchy, warm, cool – and basically, just delicious. Like I mentioned, these came about because I had a leftover lamb roast in my fridge, but who the heck has a leftover roast sitting in their fridge on a daily basis??
Not me. And probably not you either.
So if you were reading this and wondering if you really had to roast a whole leg of lamb for just a few sandwiches, my answer is HECK no. You can use any meat or veggies you would like – check out the details under the “my notes” section of the recipe and get to enjoying one (or three) of these lovely gyros, gee-rah, guy-roos today.
roasted lamb gyros with herb tzatziki sauce
makes 6 gyros
for the herb tzatziki:
2 cups greek yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons water
1/2 cucumber, peeled and chopped into small pieces
2 tablespoons minced chives
2 tablespoons minced parsley
2 tablespoons minced cilantro
red pepper flakes
In a small bowl, add the yogurt, lemon juice, water and stir everything together to combine. Add the cucumber, chives, parsley, cilantro, and a pinch of salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes to the yogurt and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Set aside.
for the gyros:
6 pieces of naan
12 ounces cooked leg of lamb meat, thinly sliced into bite sized pieces
extra virgin olive oil
washed and trimmed lettuce leaves
1 cup cherry tomatoes, washed and sliced in half
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
1/2 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
2 red radishes, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons mint
2 tablespoons cilantro
herb tzatziki sauce
Warm a cast iron or non stick pan over medium-high heat and toast the naan, one at a time. Keep the toasted naan warm by wrapping in a clean kitchen towel or foil wrap. Set aside.
Place a large cast iron skillet or non stick pan over high heat. Add a good glug of olive oil to the pan and allow the oil to become hot – then add the lamb. Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper over the top of the lamb and give it a good stir. Turn the heat down to medium and allow the lamb to get crispy before stirring – letting it cook for about five minutes at a time. Once the lamb gets nice and crispy, remove it from the heat and build your gyros.
Place a warm pita on a plate – add some crispy lamb bits, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, cucumber, radishes and a scoop of the herb tzatziki. Sprinkle with the mint and cilantro and enjoy!
my notes: You can make these gyros using cooked beef or chicken – you could use tempeh or this mushroom recipe too if you are looking for a non-meat option – just substitute the same amount as listed above for the cooked lamb.
Not everyone has cooked meat in their fridge, so if you want to make these gyros using uncooked meat, then I would suggest 1 1/2 pounds of uncooked meat – cut into thin, bite sized pieces. Marinate the sliced meat in: 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, a pinch of salt, a pinch of black pepper, 1 tablespoon minced rosemary, 1 tablespoon minced thyme, 1 teaspoon minced garlic. Place everything together in a big bowl with the meat, stir to combine, then cover in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Place a large cast iron skillet or non stick pan over high heat. Add a good glug of olive oil to the pan and allow the oil to become hot – then add the marinated meat and marinade to the pan. Turn the heat down to medium and all the meat to get crispy before stirring – letting it cook for about five minutes at a time. One the meat gets nice and crispy, remove it from the heat and build your gyros.