Monday, May 11, 2009

Lunch Week 9: Roasted Lamb Gyros

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it, unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided. So my lunch for the week: Roasted Lamb Gyros I really wanted to have lamb. But not lamb chops. What can I do? Lamb Gyros! They're tasty and stuffed with meat, vegetables, and a nice creamy sauce. All in a pita! I started first with a tzatziki sauce. It's fairly easy to make. And it's the type of sauce that gets better over time.
The ingredients: greek yogurt, cucumber, garlic, and vinegar/lemon juice.
You're also supposed to add mint leaves but I couldn't find any fresh ones. Anyhow, first finely chop the cucumber. Add salt and drain out any liquid. To get more liquid out, I like to place the cucumber in a couple sheets of paper towels and squeeze all the water out. The volume is significantly reduced after this step.
Next, finely chop the garlic.

Add the yogurt and vinegar. Also add salt and olive oil to taste.

Mix well, cover, and refrigerate.
Next the roasted lamb. I purchase a large piece of boneless leg of lamb. There was a lot of fat and lining on it so some trimming and prepping was involved. After all that, I seasoned it well. You can use anything you like but make sure you always use salt and pepper. I also added cumin, curry, paprika, garlic powder, thyme, and tabasco. I rubbed everything in generously. Then wrapped it in string. Lastly I added more oil to the outside. Make sure to use vegetable oil or the like when roasting something for this long. It has a higher smoke point. No fire alarms going off here! While that's roasting (about 20 minutes per pound), I slice some onions, tomatoes, and lettuce for the pita. Ah, the beautiful leg of lamb roast if done when it reads 170 degrees internally. I use an instant thermometer. Wrap with foil and let it rest on the table for 15 minutes. This allows the juices to run back in.
Lastly, slice and serve!

Assemble everything on a pita to your liking. Add tzatziki sauce at the end. Yum!
The lamb is moist and very flavorful. The tzatziki sauce is tangy and thick but has a coolness with the cucumbers and a slight bite with the garlic. It mellows out the spices in the lamb. There's crunch and freshness from the vegetables. And everything is wrapped up on a nice pita. What a good lunch!

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