Greek Lamb Gyro Bowls with Tzatziki

by Beth @ Tasty Yummies

Greek Lamb Gyro Bowls with Tzatziki

Greek Lamb Gyro Bowls with Tzatziki

Being away from my family living in California, it has gotten a bit easier with time and there are less and less tears over random moments, holidays, but one of the things I miss most is Sunday dinner as one a big family.

I grew up eating delicious home cooked Greek food. My family, they know their way around the kitchen. Everyone has their specialties and their things. My mom is an incredible baker, while not Greek herself she has mastered Greek desserts and pastries, baklava, koulourakia cookies. My dad is the king of savory, the grill master, the Greek God of souvlaki, marinated grilled leg of lamb, roasted potatoes among many other specialties. Sadly while my dad makes THE best lamb you’ll ever eat, neither he nor anyone else in our family has ever mastered homemade gyro. Whenever my parents serve up gyro, which isn’t super often, it usually comes already prepared and frozen. Meh. It makes me sad that we aren’t making it ourselves. Also sadly, these pre-made gyro meats tend to be very processed and they almost always contains gluten, so naturally I won’t touch them. Short of going to a more traditional shop, cart or restaurant, where they cook the meat traditionally over a spinning spit or rotisserie – it’s impossible to get the real thing, I haven’t had it in many, many years.

Traditional Greek gyro, from what I have read, is made with whole cuts of pork, slowly cooked rotisserie style, and thinly shaved, while Americanized Greek gyro is the pressed, almost sausage-like, thinly sliced minced beef and/or lamb blend. Usually served in a pita, wrap style it is a meal that I never get to eat, yet I still find myself craving it.

Greek Lamb Gyro Bowls with Tzatziki

I am home in New York right now, with my family, visiting and meeting my brand new nephew Keaton James, born just three weeks ago. As I was preparing for this trip home to Buffalo, I got giddy at the thought of all the homemade Greek food I would be eating. Greek food is my comfort, it’s what I crave at the holidays, when I am homesick or when I come down with a bug. Greek food from a restaurant is just never the same and somehow making a big feast of Greek food at home, just the two of us, while I do it occasionally, it just never tastes the same to me. This is the food best served with a large group of the people you love most. A big Greek feast needs to come with a side of very loud chatter, tons of laughs, stories from back in the day and it needs kids running around the very same living room that my dad ran around as a little kid.

I will be making these gyro bowls for everyone this Sunday, for our big Sunday Family Fun Day. We will be celebrating my Dad’s birthday, my Mom’s retirement, my sister’s brand new baby and just being together! Now, if I could only learn how to transport myself home to New York every Sunday, for the day – I would have everything in the world, I could ever need.

Greek Lamb Gyro Bowls with Tzatziki

The gyro meat, while not shaved from a big spinning rotisserie of spinning slow cooked meat, it totally has the same classic flavor and texture, without the hassle and with no additives. Rather than tucked into a warm pita (which I have yet to master gluten or grain-free, but don’t worry, I will), and served in a wrap, which would certainly be incredible, the gyro meat is the star of the show in these veggie loaded bowls.

I looked at many recipes and made this recipe a few times to get it to my liking, flavor and texture-wise. If you are into the science of cooking, this post was a huge help in me getting the gyro recipe to where I was happy. It talks about why salting and letting the meat sit is important, the role that the fat from the bacon plays and lots more. Geeky food time nerding out.

Greek Lamb Gyro Bowls with Tzatziki

Greek Lamb Gyro Bowls with Tzatziki

Greek Lamb Gyro Bowls with Tzatziki

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kate April 16, 2016 at 7:36 am

This sounds amazing! I love that it is made with lamb patties. I think I’ll give it a try for dinner this week. Thanks for the great recipe! I adore Greek food!

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2 Colleen May 16, 2016 at 2:51 pm

Thank you for this! My husband is Greek and we look forward to making this. I just wanted to throw out to you – but I imagine you must have heard of it – cassava flour works great at making pita/tortillas. We’ve been using it as our go to flour for over a year now. I tend to make the recipe up as I go, but I would love to see you create a good pita with it! The brand we use is Otto’s..
Again, thank you for all your creativity!

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