December 10, 2010

Gyro Patty Sandwiches

I've been pretty pleased with my Lodge grill pan, and last weekend was trying to come up with something to cook with it.  I recalled having seen a recipe for some grilled kebabs somewhere in one of my cooking resources, and after looking for a bit, I found the recipe for Grilled Middle Eastern-Style Ground Beef Kebabs in America's Test Kitchen 30-Minute Suppers.  This kebab recipe didn't involve chunks of meat; instead, it combined ground beef, onions and chopped parsley with Middle Eastern seasonings to make rectangular patties.   Looking at the recipe, I realized kebabs like that would cook just fine without the skewers, and that they would cook up quite well on the grill pan. 

There were some things I didn't like about that recipe - I preferred a more broad range of seasonings, and I knew a mix of ground beef and ground lamb would give a richer flavor reminiscent of gyro meat - so I took the parts I liked from that recipe and combined them with my customizations to make the recipe below.

I was quite pleased with the result.  The meat patties cooked up great on the grill pan.  They were juicy and flavorful, with nice grill marks.  Adding a minty yogurt-tomato sauce and wrapping it up in a warmed-up pita round resulted in not just a tasty sandwich, but one hearty enough to make a meal all on its own. 

Try this one out.  Grilled outside or in, I'm pretty sure you'll be happy with the result.

Gyro Patty Sandwiches

yield = 6 servings

1 1/4      cup + 3 tablespoons plain yogurt
1            tomato, cored and chopped
3            tablespoons lemon juice
3            tablespoons chopped fresh mint
3            teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/8      teaspoons salt, divided
1            teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper, divided
2            slices white bread, crusts removed and torn into pieces
1            pound ground beef
1            pound ground lamb
1/4         cup grated onion
1/3         cup chopped fresh parsley
2            teaspoons ground cumin
1/2         teaspoons Turkish oregano
6            pita breads

In a small bowl, combine 1 1/4 cup yogurt, the chopped tomato, lemon juice, chopped mint, 2 teaspoons garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Stir to combine, cover and refrigerate.

In a large bowl, combine the bread with 3 tablespoons yogurt.   Stir and mash with a fork to make a thick paste.  Add the ground beef and lamb, grated onion, chopped parsley, cumin, oregano, 1 teaspoon garlic, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Stir to combine the ingredients, then divide the meat mixture into six equal portions.  Shape into rectangular patties about 1 inch thick. 

Brush clean grilling service lightly with vegetable oil and allow to heat (for five minutes for outdoor grills, for about 3 minutes for grill pans) before adding the meat patties.  Grill for approximately 5 minutes per side over direct heat (or on medium-high, if using a stove top grill pan).  Serve on pita rounds spread with generous portions of the yogurt sauce.

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