After trying several other recipes and being disappointed, I've experimented multiple times to come up with this version. The meat is tender, flavorful, and pretty darn close to what you get at a very good Greek restaurant. I usually use lamb necks, which are very economical... but it does take some work to get the meat off the bones, and the yield is only about 50%. You need a good food processor and a grill to make this recipe!! Please note that you need to start at least two days before serving.. and three days is better. My fussy 5 year old LOVES this gyros even though she won't touch a hamburger.
- Two to three days before:.
- Cut the meat into small cubes, removing only large pieces of fat. Grind rosemary until fine, add the garlic, oregano, rosemary, salt, pepper, and lemon zest (fine grated from one lemon) and process a bit. Do not add the onion!
- Place the meat and spice mixture in a plastic bag, mix well, seal tightly and chill, turning now and then.
- 8 to 18 hours before serving:.
- Coarsely chop the onion and process it in the food processor until it is mushy with no onion pieces in it. Pour it out onto a clean fine weave cloth, gather the cloth up around the onion and squeeze out the liquid very well until the onion is very dry.
- Working in batches, grind the meat cubes in the food processor until finely ground. Add the onion to all the meat and mix well. Then re-process in batches until the mixture is reduced to a fluffy paste -- this may take two or more minutes per batch. Knead the meat mixture very well, form into a compact log 8-10 inches long with blunt ends, and wrap very tightly in plastic wrap (see picture). Chill for 3 to 18 hours.
- 1.5 to 2 hours before serving:.
- Remove plastic wrap and re-wrap tightly in foil. Put on indirect heat on the BBQ 375-400 degrees, turning every 15-20 minutes for about 60-70 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. Remove from grill and leave in foil for at least 20 minutes. Final temperature should be 160-165.
- Slice very thin horizontal slices. If you like your gyros meat crispy, saute the slices in a hot skillet for a few minutes before serving (I like mine soft, so I just zap it very briefly if I need to warm it up!).
- Serve with tzatziki (try #59336) and warm pita.