3 cups plain yogurt (do not use low-fat or nonfat)
1 English hothouse cucumber (about 16 ounces), peeled, halved
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 large tomato, quartered, seeded, thinly sliced
Place strainer over large bowl. Line strainer with 3 layers of
cheesecloth. Spoon yogurt into cheesecloth-lined strainer; let stand at
room temperature to drain 3 hours (liquid will drain out and yogurt will
thicken). Transfer yogurt to medium bowl; discard liquid. Meanwhile,
coarsely grate cucumber. Place in another strainer; let stand at room
temperature until most of liquid drains out, about 3 hours. Discard
liquid. Squeeze excess moisture from cucumber. Mix cucumber, dill and
garlic into yogurt. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Mix tomato into yogurt. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
1 1/2 lbs. shoulder lamb*
1 lbs. beef chuck*
1/4 C. dehydrated onions
1/3 C. water
1 T. salt
1 T. sugar
2 t. oregano
2 t. black pepper coarsely ground
1 t. cumin
1 t. hot paprika (cayenne)
1/2 t. cinnamon
2 cloves garlic minced
2 t. vegetable oil
*including some fat 8 or more slices blanched bacon or fresh pork belly slices,
Grind lamb and beef together, using large hole plate on meat grinder. Regrind
using small hole plate. In small bowl reconstitute onions in water. In another
small bowl combine next 6 ingredients and mix thoroughly. In large bowl combine
meat, onions and spice mix. Add garlic and vegetable oil, mix thoroughly with
hands until spices are evenly distributed. Refrigerate covered several hours.
In a small skillet, fry a small amount of the meat mixture in a little butter.
Taste for seasoning and adjust, if desired. Blanch bacon by simmering in hot
water about 3 minutes. If pork belly is used, blanching is not necessary. Drain
on paper towels. Line loaf pan (8 1/2 x 5 x 3") with bacon or pork slices,
covering sides and bottom. Pack gyros meat into pan, filling to the top of the
pan. Cover with remaining slices of bacon or pork.
Place filled pan in hot water bath, reaching 3/4 of the way up the loaf pan.
Bake at 375°F. for 20-30 minutes. Reduce heat to 325°F. and continue baking 30
Remove pan from oven. Remove loaf pan from hot water bath and place on wire rack
to cool. Cover with aluminum foil and weigh with about 2 lbs. weight to compress
loaf. Cool to room temperature, refrigerate meat, covered with weight 12 hours
or overnight to ripen and increase flavor. Meat will keep for up to 4 days
refrigerated. Slice very thin and serve in pita bread with sliced onions,
tomatoes and tzatziki sauce.