Cauldron Cooking: Poor Man’s Gyros
Let me apologize straight away that there’s no image of the final product. Everyone ate so fast, I wasn’t quick enough to get the “plated” photo. Forgive me. Just know this is a well-loved recipe and my go-to for a pick-me-up meal in the middle of the week, when we all need a little boost.
The magic in this recipe is about balance and grounding. This is a meal in itself and is very balanced, especially if you include the hummus and the cucumber and tomato salad inside of the flatbread sandwich. Imagine each of the ingredient’s vibrations grounding you and those who partake of this meal to balance your emotional, physical, and spiritual being.
You’ll need at least a cast iron frying pan for this one. If you have a food processor, that makes the hummus making easier; but, you can smash away with whatever you have available. I make hummus no less than once a week, so I’ve invested in a food processor.
You’re going to need a good-sized lemon, juiced. No need to zest it. One tablespoon of the juice is going to be saved for the gyro meat; the rest for the hummus. Lamb and lemon juice were made to go together. Regardless, one of your first prep steps is to juice that lemon.
Make the hummus first. The day before if you can manage it, especially if no one will eat it all before the gyros are made. That doesn’t always happen here. So if you need to make it right away, no worries. If you’re doing by hand, get comfortable. It may take an extra minute or twenty.
No need to make fancy meat patties like many homemade gyros recipes call for. Remember, this is “Poor Man’s Gyro.” You can be poor on time or energy…what have you. But after you eat these, you’ll know that the patty method doesn’t change the deliciousness.
For your flatbread or pita, you can warm the bread by putting it between two damp – not dripping wet – and microwave for 30 to 45 seconds. You may also heat in a low oven (190 degrees F) wrapped in foil, while you prepare the meal.
For the gyro filling:
2 pounds of ground lamb
1 onion, diced (you want enough to cover the bottom of your skillet
1 Tablespoon of lemon juice (reserved from juiced lemon in hummus ingredients)
2 garlic cloves, minced, more if desired
For the salad topping:
1 English cucumber, cut into bite-sized quarters
1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
4 oz. of feta cheese, or more if desired
1 shallot thinly sliced
Parsley (fresh or dried), to taste
Greek dressing, to taste
For the hummus:
1 can of chick peas/garbanzo beans, liquid drained
1 Lemon, juiced, with reserved 1 Tablespoon for gyro filling
Olive oil, about 1/3 cup in total
Tahini (2 tablespoons)
1 Tablespoon, Minced garlic
1/2 Tablespoon, Dried mint (optional)
Harissa seasoning, to taste (1 rounded teaspoon is a good starting point) (optional)
For making the sandwich:
Your favorite flatbread or pita
Garlic or Tzatziki sauce, to taste (see photo above)
Hummus: Drain the beans, add 1/4 cup of the olive oil, and then put all the ingredients into a food processor and work until smooth. After it’s smooth and creamy, scrape into a bowl that you can cover, add a sprinkle of olive oil, Harrissa seasoning, and some parsley. Refrigerate until ready to use with gyros.
Salad Topping: Slice the shallots and put into a bowl. Cut the cherry/grape tomatoes into bite size pieces — at least in half and put in bowl on top of shallots Cut cucumber into quarter slices. Put on top of tomatoes in bowl. Put feta cheese crumbles on top of cucumbers. Sprinkle with a light coating of Greek dressing. Toss. Set aside.
Gyro Filling: Heat cast-iron skilled on medium until hot. Saute garlic for one minute. Put chopped onion in and cook 1 minute. Add lemon juice and ground meat, and then cook until pink is gone. I have found that if I let it cook down on low after the pink is gone, most of the grease of the meat is gone. You can drain grease if you like. But lamb is way leaner than beef, so be careful not to burn your filling.
Put it all together: Take your choice of flatbread or pita and spread a thin layer of hummus on it. Take the gyro meat – use a slotted spoon if necessary – and spread a thin layer over bread. Top with garlic tahini sauce. Then spread gyro salad topping on top of that. Serve immediately.
Enjoy the balance of yumminess and healing to all parts that are you and your dining guest!
Food is Everyday Magic,