A super easy, homemade recipe consisting of leg of lamb roast, garlic, rosemary and served with pita or naan bread, tomatoes and Tzatziki sauce.
I don’t know why I haven’t shared this recipe before now. This is possibly my husbands favorite and I believe he would eat it everyday if I let him. If you haven’t delved into Greek cuisine yet my friend, well then, you haven’t really lived.
If you have a rotisserie, even better. I use my oven because that’s what I have, like normal people.
What IS a Gyro?
Gyro in Greek means ‘turn’ and is therefore the name adopted for the Greek-inspired sandwich where the meat is ‘turned’ on a rotisserie. I have always made it with a leg of lamb roasted in the oven but original Greek recipes usually use pork or chicken. It is adapted from the ‘Doner Kebab’, which is the Turkish name for Gyro. Gyros are typically served with tomatoes and a yogurt sauce on a flatbread such as pita or naan. The yogurt sauce is called Tzatziki and is very similar to the Indian yogurt sauce known as Raita. The Doner Kebab also shows up in the Middle East as a ‘Shawarma’ and in Mexico as ‘Tacos al Pator’, influenced by the Lebanese immigrants to Mexico. As in the U.S., Tacos al Pastor caught on quick, can’t keep a good recipe down.
Let me tell you something about Rosemary
Rosemary is a spunky, woody, fragrant herb that I learned to fall in love with while living in Texas, it grows EVERYWHERE. It’s an evergreen there, thriving in poor soils and hot spaces. Whenever I had trouble keeping things alive along my hot driveway during the scorch season, I planted a rosemary plant and boom, multiplied in size by at least 6 fold the next year. The fragrance grows on you too. So rosemary is what I left behind when I moved to Utah. I tried a small plant last Winter but it died back before our long Winter was over. This time I tried a large rosemary bush and I did have a good head start but as you can see…she is sickle too. Hopefully in the Spring I can move her back outdoors and maybe make a comeback. For now, this is what I have to work with.
I use either oregano or rosemary for my Gyro seasoning along with garlic, salt and pepper. I use a lot so whichever herb I have the most of is what I usually use.
To season with garlic, I cut a bunch of slits in my lamb roast and stuff peeled garlic slivers in side. Then I coat with lots of salt and pepper, tie it up with cotton string soaked in water and bake until the internal temperature reaches 145F then let it rest.
An easy homemade version of a Greek classic. Lamb, rosemary, garlic, salt & pepper, served with flatbread, yogurt sauce, tomatoes and onions.
- 1 leg of lamb, bone in is better but not necessary
- 1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and sliced in half
- 1/3 cup of chopped, fresh rosemary or organo
- olive oil
- salt & pepper
- 4 roma tomatoes or a can of diced tomatoes
- 1 onion diced (optional)
- yogurt sauce, aka tzatziki
- Butterly lamb by cutting almost in half, opening, then cutting the left side almost in half, then the same for the right.
- Cut slits in the meat for the garlic.
- Insert the garlic slivers in the cuts, rub meat with herbs, oil, salt & pepper.
- Tie roast with a cotton string that has been soaked in water, making a roast shape (see picture).
- Bake in oven, on a rack in a roasting pan at 300F until internal temp reaches 140F, about 2 hours depending on how many pounds your roast is. Let rest for 15 minutes before carving into small pieces.
- Serve with tomatoes, onions and yogurt sauce on a flatbread of your choice.
- A 4 lb leg of lamb yields about 12 servings.