Traditional gyros are Greek sandwiches usually made with slices of meat, mostly lamb, but often a combination of lamb and beef, or even turkey or chicken. They have been eaten in Greece since around the early 1900’s. They are very similar to the döner kebabs of Turkey and shawarma of the Middle East. Though the roots of the gyro date back 100 years, the modern day gyro as we now know it, is a fairly new creation, most probably created in New York, around the 1970’s.
The name gyro comes from the Greek γύρος (gyros, ‘circle’ or ‘turn’), and is a calque of the Turkish word döner, from dönmek, also meaning “turn”.
When I made my batch of lamb last week, It’s Ok, I’ll Make Lamb I only used half of the lamb I purchased. So the next batch became gyros. I made them with all the traditional Greek toppings and fixins’. Gyro meat is traditionally stuffed into a warm pita with tomato, red onion, a few French fries, and a healthy dose of tzatziki served on the side. Once again, it was a combined meal. I made all the gyros and Lauren brought some corn chowder, a delicious salad, and some cantaloupe. We all enjoyed a very tasty Mediterranean meal out on the deck before heading off to our next adventures for the day.
I started off by marinating the lamb for about 6 hours in just a basic herb and garlic marinade.
Then I made the tzatziki sauce and chopped up the tomatoes, red onions and cucumbers. As you all know, I love all different kinds of ethnic foods, and I try to keep them as authentic as I can when I make them, though there are always plenty of recipes from which to choose. There is never just one way to make something.
This sauce is very easy to make and takes no time at all, and it is so cool and refreshing.
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
1 heaping TBSP garlic
2 TBSP lemon juice
1 tsp paprika
1-2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced medium-fine
2-3 TBSP red onion, diced fine
Mix everything together and combine well. Chill until ready to use.
We cooked the lamb and heated up the pitas on the grill, and then it was time to wrap up the gyros and enjoy them out on the deck.
I also plated up a variety of olives for us to enjoy along with some French fries, making the meal even more authentically Mediterranean and Greek.
It was a perfect summer meal that was made even better while sharing it with our good friends Mike and Lauren.
It all looks Greek to me and that is A-OK. Even simple everyday things can be turned into a celebration of life and all that is good. Make the most out of everything. Enjoy all your days. Everyday is always a better day when shared with good friends, loved ones and family.
Stay cool, stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.