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Disclaimer: Last time I posted a Greek-inspired recipe, I got some serious hate mail. Actually, this has happened quite a few times with food that is inspired from countries other than the United States. I am not going to pretend that this recipe for lamb gyros is authentic to Greece. We all have different ideas of what authentic means and no one is wrong. Traditions are passed down through families for a reason, and they change over time. This recipe is INSPIRED by a Greek dish that I grew up eating and one in which I have grown to love and adore. Tzatziki is not normally spiced up and almost NEVER has mayo in it. I prefer roasted cubed or sliced leg of lamb to chicken or pork, and I did not cook my meat on a vertical spit because I don’t own one. I would appreciate it if you would keep the negative comments to yourselves because they are hurtful and unnecessary. I still love you all. xoxo
So on that happy note, let’s talk about these super simple and delicious lamb gyros with spicy tzatziki. If you guys have learned anything from reading this blog, you know that I don’t love to do things the normal way. I think this is mostly because I need to keep things “spicy” in the kitchen. I’d get super bored doing things that are the same and common. I personally think it keeps things fun and exciting, and if I do share a recipe that is more traditional I definitely have to put a fun little twist on it.
I could probably go on for days and days, but no one has time for that.
When I made these gyros, I had a ton of lamb leftover from Easter brunch. When I was thinking of fun and interesting ideas to put this leftover lamb to use, a sandwich was at the top of that list. So the recipe below for how to cook the leg of lamb I had already cooked the day before. I totally recommend doing this if you are crunched on time because the lamb does take a couple of hours to marinate, but the flavor is oh so amazing and totally necessary!
I totally love this recipe, and I hope you guys do too! Pair these lamb gyros with a brown ale because I love, love, love brown ales with lamb! Have a wonderful day everyone! xo
1 tablespoon Mediterranean seasoning (Italian seasoning may be substituted)
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
For the Spicy Tzatziki
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup mayo
1/2 cucumber, peeled and diced
1/4 cup fresh dill
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon hot sauce of choice
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
salt and black pepper (to taste)
For the Lamb Gyros
12 slice of pita bread
1 cup spicy tzatziki (from above)
1 cucumber, sliced thin
3 Roma tomatoes, sliced
2 large red bell peppers, sliced thin
1 medium red onion, sliced thin
2 avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced thin
3/4 cup feta cheese crumbled
3 pounds cubed or sliced lamb (from above)
chopped fresh parsley or dill (for garnish)
For the Lamb
Remove the lamb from it's packaging and set aside. In a large bowl (that has a fitted lid), whisk together the oil, lemon juice, rosemary, Mediterranean seasoning, garlic, salt and black pepper. Place the lamb in the large bowl and toss to coat with the mixture, rubbing it in where necessary. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
Once the lamb has marinated, remove from refrigerator. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with foil and then place an oven-safe rack on top. Place the lamb directly on the rack, then place in the oven and cook until a probe meat thermometer reads 145 degrees F for medium rare, about 1 hour (I cook my lamb to 135 degrees F for rare, but you may cook your lamb to the temperature of your liking). Remove the lamb from the oven and let rest for at least 15 minutes. Once the lamb has rested, cut into cubes or strips and set aside.
For the Spicy Tzatziki
To a high-powered blender of food processor, add the Greek yogurt, mayo, cucumber, dill, lemon juice, hot sauce, chipotle chili powder, salt and black pepper. Puree on high until smooth and creamy. Pour into an airtight container and refrigerator until you are ready to use.
For the Lamb Gyros
To assemble your lamb gyros, spread a thin layer of spicy tzatziki on a slice of pita bread and then layer on cucumber, tomato, pepper, onion, avocado, feta cheese, and lamb. Garnish with fresh parsley or dill and enjoy immediately.