When I was first trying to go gluten free, one of my biggest cheats was with gyro sandwiches. I love, love, LOVE them. Then I started to get more serious about eliminating gluten, so I would just eat the meat, but most places use gluten as a binder, much like how cold cuts and hot dogs do. Inevitably, I would cheat, feel so happy, then feel so awful.
Finally, I decided to get serious and figured I’d just never be able to eat them again. I could make lamb with Greek spices in various ways, but never my beloved gyros.
One day, I had a serious hankering. I gave a google search a try. Lo and behold, Alton Brown had a fantastic recipe.
I didn’t have a food processor, but figured I could do everything else and just use my blender. I had a really powerful KitchenAid mixer that handled most things, no problem. It worked all right, but really folks, I’m going to tell you right now that if you do that, you will eventually break your mixer. I don’t care how powerful of a mixer you’ve got, unless you do really small batches (like, 4 or 6 for two pounds of meat), you’re going to overheat the motor. I actually saw smoke come out of mine. It was a really, really sad day here. To avoid what I did, either get yourself a food processor or go ahead and use your hands. Treat it like you would meatballs. Unless you want a tough, chewy meatball or gyros meat, don’t over mix.
The first few times I made this, I also made the tzatziki sauce. Now that Greek yogurt is commercially available, just grab some instead of worrying about draining regular yogurt. Dress the yogurt up however you’d like and go crazy.
One more note. This is not FODMAP friendly. It has a ton of onion and garlic in it, which is full of fructans and will make you have issues if you’re a fructose malabsorber. You can take a generic Beano before hand and should be fine if you’re like me and really can’t keep yourself from it. I tolerate onions pretty well, but your mileage may vary.
So, first things first. You’re going to need about two pounds of lamb, an onion, some garlic, and marjoram and rosemary. And salt and pepper, of course. Marjoram really makes this. It’s like a delicate oregano. Oregano will not work in it’s place.
Take the onion and chop it up. If you don’t have a food processor, make sure to mince the onion really, really fine.
Then dump the onion out onto a flour sack towel. If you don’t have one, use some cheesecloth or a paper towel. I’ve tried all three. The reason the flour sack works the best is because the little pieces of onion don’t come out when you’re squeezing all of the water out.
Above: The onions before squeezing all of the water out. Below: After.
Add the dehydrated onions along with all of the rest of the ingredients. I blend the spices with the onions and garlic before I add the lamb in. Just makes the final product smoother, in my opinion.
I’m lucky enough to have a local grocery that keeps ground lamb stocked.
Add the lamb to the spices and…puree!
Smoosh the meat mixture into a pan. Preheat your oven to 325 F if you haven’t already…
Place the pan with the meat in it in another pan with warm water to make a water bath. You don’t need to go halfway up the side of the dish, but a good inch of water is probably a good idea.
Please ignore my incredibly dirty oven. Haha.
And then…an hour or so later, you have perfection! This is after Alton’s step of putting the meat on a cooling rack and smooshing it with a foil-lined brick. I just used a cast-iron skillet. Plenty heavy.
Slice it up! It’s ready and sooo good!
No gluten, no problem!
Edited to add: This makes a ton of sliced gyros meat. It keeps just fine and you can eat it for meals for at least a few days (if it lasts that long). You can either microwave it to warm it up, or even better, warm up a skillet to medium-high, and sear it on each side to get a nice crust. It makes it that much more like having the real thing.