Homemade Lamb and Beef Gyros (Sous Vide and Rotisserie)

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Happy Tuesday!

Are you over turkey and leftovers? I am! I love Thanksgiving, but I get bored and want to go for something international immediately after. My husband and I love Greek food, so it came to me that I wanted to make my stuffed grape leaves. But that’s not all. I wanted a gyro in the worst way, too.

Recently, I acquired a Ronco Rotisserie. Do you remember the commercial from the 1990s-2000s? “Set It and Forget It!” Best slogan ever. My problem? I have an obsession with watching it go round and round! One of my best friends told me that I ironically “stalk my food.” I can’t help it–it’s truly mesmerizing. I made rotisserie chicken two weeks ago, and I contemplated even doing my turkey in it for oven space purposes. So you can say I have a bit of an infatuation.

For all of you who know me personally, you know I am also a huge Sous Vide fan. It’s the best for proteins, and the low and slow water bath makes the meat extra juicy. So I had to use my Anova as I do for all my meat cooking.

I decided to grind my meat, blend in a food processor into a paste (it sounds gross, but trust me, it needs to bind!), sous vided for two hours, and then I seared it for about 30 minutes in my rotisserie. Last final step? I carved the meat into thin slices into a sizzling hot cast iron pan for a little extra crispy edge. Absolute perfection.

The homemade Tzakiki sauce came together in a snap too. It’s creamy and indulgent and totally makes this classic Greek dish complete.

My husband said this is a “Top 5” meal–10/10. He isn’t wrong. It is perfect. Enjoy! 🙂

Ingredients for the Lamb and Beef Gyro Meat

  • 1.3-1.5 pounds of Ground Beef
  • 1 pound of Ground Lamb
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Garlic Powder
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Salt
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Dried Oregano
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Black Pepper
  • 1 small White/Yellow Onion (I used yellow)
  • 1 fresh garlic clove

Ingredients for the Tzatziki Sauce

  • 2 cups of plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 2-3 tablespoons of garlic powder (to taste)
  • 1/2 small lemon, squeezed
  • 3 teaspoons of dried dill
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Other Ingredients

White Pita Rounds (4-6)

Vegetable Toppings (Lettuce, Tomato, Red/White Onion–your choice!)

  • **Feel free to make the pita rounds too, but the store bought ones, if heated up properly, taste great!) This recipe serves 4-6, so you would need at least 4-6 pita rounds.
  • ***You may also add in any vegetable you want. Some people like sliced onions, most people like tomato. I sliced up only a few small grape tomatoes for mine as lettuce has a bad reputation as of late (thanks Romaine outbreak!)

Special Equipment

  • 8-10 cup Food Processor (I have a Cuisinart 8 Cup)
  • Sous Vide (Immersion Circulator)–I have an Anova; Joule works well, too!
  • Rotisserie Machine (**optional, but it’s what I used. You can also simply broil the outside and rotate in the oven if need be.) <–P.S: I bought my rotisserie for $20 on Facebook Marketplace, so fear not!
  • Cast Iron Pan (Somewhat optional–this is for the extra searing at the end. I guess you could use another pan, but cast iron is highly recommended!)

Directions to the Pantheon of Street Food (How To Make the Gyro Meat)

  1. First, take out your food processor. Pulse until finely diced your onion and garlic clove.
  2. Next, add the ground meats (lamb and beef), salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano.
  3. Grind the meat mixture into its a paste (it looks gross, but trust me, it’s divine). If you find it’s not all evenly getting mixed, stop the machine and use a spatula to push down the meat to make sure everything is ground evenly.
  4. Once it’s a “meat paste,” dump onto a piece of parchment paper.
  5. Next, transfer it to a large piece of plastic wrap. If you need another piece of plastic wrap, that’s fine! You are using the plastic wrap to mold the meat into a round log.
  6. Once you have rolled the meat into a log, portion out a large enough bag with your vacuum sealer. I have a Food Saver. **Make sure you remove the plastic wrap when the “log” is inside the vacuum-sealable plastic bag.**
  7. Once you have the meat sealed, you are ready to heat up your water!
  8. Get a large pot/sous vide container of water big enough to cover your meat. Fill the water between the minimum and maximum water lines that are listed on your circulator.
  9. Preheat your Sous Vide (Anova, Joule) machine to 150 degrees F. Once your water is heated up to temperature, put the meat log (is there a nice way of saying this?) into the water, and set a timer for two hours.
  10. As your Sous Vide is heating up/cooking your meat, go make your sauce!

Note: If you don’t have a Sous Vide, you can try putting the meat into a loaf shape on a sheet pan and put it in the oven at 325-350 like you would a meatloaf, but I have never tried it this way. Plus, if you don’t have a Sous Vide, I am not sure what you are waiting for. It’s the best! It’s worth the $100 investment!

Making your Tzatziki Sauce

  1. Scoop out two cups of plain Greek yogurt into a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  2. Peel your cucumber and then Microplane/grate your cucumber (not too finely nor too thick) into the yogurt.
  3. Next, slice open half a lemon. Squeeze the lemon into your yogurt mixture (make sure there are no seeds!)
  4. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dried dill to your yogurt mixture.
  5. Stir all ingredients and taste. Add more salt and pepper as needed.
  6. When you’re satisfied, leave the mixture out to homogenize. The flavors will improve as it sits.

Putting It All Together

  1. Once your meat has finished cooking in the Sous Vide, it’s time to get it nice and browned on the outside.
  2. If you have a rotisserie, put the meat onto the prongs and put it into the machine and set for 30 minutes. If you don’t have, you can try carefully broiling the meat, rotating to ensure even browning on all sides. Alternatively, you can sear the meat whole in a cast iron pan/dutch oven. Again, I used a rotisserie as most gyros you order out are “gyrated” (if you go to a Greek place, you’ll likely see the vertical Doner Kebab machines).
  3. Once the meat is browned evenly on all sides, let the meat rest.
  4. Heat up your cast iron (preferably) skillet to medium-high heat. Put about a tablespoon of olive oil on the pan, spinning the pita round in the pan to help coat the oil.
  5. You will first heat up your pitas on both sides. You want the pita to be a little browned, but soft and pliable. About 1-2 minutes per pita (30 seconds to a minute per side).
  6. Once the pitas are warmed, you should slice the meat very thinly and cook in the same pan. You want a golden brown texture. Flip the meat often not to overcook.
  7. Assembling the pita: On the warmed pita, apply about a tablespoon of Tzatziki sauce and spread all over the pita. Then add your “salad” toppings of choice. Add the hot, seared meat on top.
  8. Fold and eat. Enjoy. Devour. Your life just may change today. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Sous Vide Egg Bites (Just like Starbucks)

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Happy Sunday!

Meal prepping. Keto (Ketogenic) diets. These are all trends as of late. And even though I’m not following a high fat diet for weight loss, I can say that these Sous Vide Egg Bites would make any dieter feel like they were not dieting at all.

Often times, I don’t have time to make breakfast in the morning. But I love a hot breakfast, particularly a sucker for eggs and bacon. So usually I’ll stop and blow $5-6 a day on breakfast alone when I don’t have to! By making these ahead, I can have my hot eggs and bacon without having a tasteless, rubbery result.

Sorry Instant Pot Fans: I have tried to make these by buying the silicone mold for an Instant Pot, and while  they’re good, they’re not as great as the ones I’ve had at Starbucks. I find it the Instant Pot that the eggs are a bit watery from condensation.

And although I love my Instant Pot for many things, I have to say that if you want to truly recreate these Egg Bites, you need to use the Sous Vide (French for “under vacuum”) technique to get the perfect consistency. The ingredients also play a part in its perfection–the cottage cheese gives these eggs a light airiness (I have tried with sour cream and it’s too heavy!)

Sous Vide is my favorite way of cooking as of late. It’s not quick, but it’s the best. By making my eggs this way, I get creamy, custard-like eggs that are beyond satisfying. There’s no other cooking process that can give you this texture. It’s surreal!

To make these eggs, you’ll need (4 ounce) small mason jars and a Sous Vide (I have an Anova, but I’ve heard great things about Joule as well.) Hopefully, you have these already. If you don’t, you need to–you’ll be making these every week. I have not made a different make ahead breakfast for work in over a month! Still in awe with these lovely cuties! Plus, by making these, you’ll only be paying about $4.00 for a week’s worth of breakfast instead of $5.00 a day at Starbucks.

Ingredients
4 eggs
4 tablespoons of cottage cheese
1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese**
1/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese**
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 pieces of thin bacon cooked crisp
1/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese for broiling (optional)                                                           1-2 dashes of hot sauce (optional, but listed as an ingredient for Starbucks–it gives it a slight tang!)

****Cheeses can be substituted, but if you want it to taste like Starbucks, you’ll need to use Gruyere and Monterey Jack Cheese. I love using just Cheddar sometimes! Use what you have and love!**

Directions

  1. Fill a stockpot or Sous Vide container to your minimum water line. Set your Sous Vide Cooker at 167 degrees.
  2. While the water is heating up,  add 4 eggs, 4 tablespoons cottage cheese, the 1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, 1/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese, salt, and hot sauce to a blender. Puree until it is a uniform mixture.
  3. Spray 4 jars (I use half-pint wide mouth jelly jars) with a non-stick spray. Break a piece of bacon into each jar. Pour egg mixture into jars. Wipe the rim of the jar to make sure it is clean, then place the lid on the jar. Place jars into the sous vide. Feel free to use tongs if you feel the water is too hot to handle.
  4. Once the Sous Vide has reached 167 degrees, cook eggs for about 35 minutes or until they are completely set. Note: If you use a bigger jar (like a regular 8 ounce jar), it will take longer!
  5. Remove eggs from the jars when they are done. Sprinkle additional shredded Gruyere cheese on top, and broil until they jut turn brown, if eating immediately.
  6. If saving for later, let cool down and then put into the refrigerator to eat during the week.
  7. For reheating during work mornings, take lid off of jar and microwave for 30 seconds. It should come right out of the jar by shaking it down if you sprayed the jar well! If you don’t have time to broil the top, just microwaving is fine–it’ll just have the creamy texture.
  8. Repeat every Sunday, if you’re crazy like me. 🙂