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Greek Gyro


Recipe (click to expand)

2poundlean, boneless lamb (use meat cut from the leg or shoulder), cut in 1 inch cubes
1/3cupolive oil
1/2cuplemon juice, fresh
2eachgarlic cloves, peeled, cut in quarters
1teaspoonthyme, fresh, chopped
1teaspoonoregano or marjoram, fresh, chopped
1pepper, freshly ground
2eachspanish onions, cut in thinly sliced rings
24smromaine lettuce leaves, washed and dried
6lgpita bread rounds
3eachtomatoes, ripe
2cupplain yogurt
1eachgarlic clove, peeled and minced
1teaspoonoregano or marjoram, fresh, chopped
1tablespoonlemon juice, fresh
1teaspoonolive oil
1salt and pepper, to taste


The morning before an afternoon barbecue, make marinade by combining oil, lemon juice, garlic cloves, herbs and pepper in a medium bowl. Remove about 1/4 cup to mix with the onions. Place lamb cubes in bowl with remaining marinade; toss to coat well.

Place onions in small bowl and toss with reserved marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and chill, up to several hours, turning several times.

Meanwhile, make yogurt sauce by lining a medium bowl with cheesecloth and spooning in the yogurt. Tie up edges of cheesecloth with string to form a pouch. Suspend over bowl (tying from refrigerator rack above bowl), or place in a colander over bowl and let stand to drain several hours. Moisture will drip from the yogurt, giving it a thicker consistency. Mix drained yogurt with minced garlic, chopped herbs, lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper. Cover and chill. Makes about 1 cup.

Stack pita bread rounds into 2 piles and wrap each in foil, dull side out.

To barbecue, heat coals or gas barbecue. Remove meat from marinade, reserving some marinade for basting. (Discard any large garlic pieces.) Thread lamb onto greased skewers and grill over greased grill about 4 inches from hot coals. Cook, turning and basting often, about 10 minutes or until lamb is brown on the outside, still pink inside. Warm pita rounds over barbecue.

Before serving, lift the onions from the marinade with a slotted spoon and place in a serving bowl. Cut whole tomatoes into thin wedges and place on plate. Place lettuce leaves on plate. Set out yogurt sauce and lots of napkins to facilitate handling of gyros.

To serve, cut each warmed pita bread in half and separate to form 2 pockets. Each person fills a warmed pita picket with some of the grilled lamb cubes, lettuce, tomatoes and onions, topping with a spoonful of sauce.

Yield: 12 gyros, 2 per person.

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