The gyros served on the streets of Athens, New York, and Istanbul are made from specially-pressed meat which is put on the skewer when it is processed. These two variations for home-made gyros use ground and cubed meat.
In a large bowl, combine the above ingredients up to and including the salt and pepper, and knead thoroughly. Mixture should be spicy but not too herby, and hold its shape. Break into 5 sections, each the size of a navel orange, then break each section into 6 balls. Knead and flatten slightly to a thickness of about ¾ inch. Cut the bacon slices into widths equal to the meatballs and place a slice on each one. Continue shaping the balls, keeping the slices of bacon between them. Slip a cane skewer through the centers and roll gently with the palms to smooth the edges (you will need 5 or 6 skewers total, depending on their size).
--O)O)O)O)O)-- O = meatball, ) = bacon slice
Cover and refrigerate overnight.
To cook, set on a broiler tray or grill and cook over/under moderate heat, turning every 5 minutes. The surface will be crusty and the inside cooked within 25 minutes.
To serve, put out the pita, meat, tomatoes, parsley and yogurt in separate dishes. Let guests open the bread or rolls and stuff them with meat and garnishings to their taste. You may want to strain the yogurt by putting it in cheesecloth in a colander or hanging over the sink; it will give off a lot of liquid in an hour or even less. Serves: 6 or 7.
Cut the meat into small cubes. In a bowl, preferably earthenware, mix the marinade ingredients well and add the meat, mix again, cover and leave to marinate for 24 to 48 hours. The recipe actually calls for marinating in a kioupi or earthenware storage jar rather than a bowl; a bowl in the refrigerator would be fine.
When ready to cook, thread the meat on 18 to 24 skewers. Grill over embers of vine branches. Serve hot.
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© 1998 Ronald Florence Last modified: 31-Oct-2001 17:48:17 EST