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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 10-08-2013, 11:32 AM   #1
JazzyBadger
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Default Gyros w/ tzatziki sauce & Fries.

So my wife requested that I make some gyros for her, which is what caused me to make the pulled pork sandwiches I posted awhile back. I finally got around to actually making the gyros the other day, and we've eaten them for the past couple of days now. Making the lasagna and birthday cake for Mason's belated birthday party as I post this.

Started off with a boneless pork butt from Costco:


Removed the fat and saved for rendering, and sliced it down as thin as I could:


Seasoned with my 'gyro seasoning' which is basically salt, Greek oregano, fresh cracked black pepper, and some sweet paprika. I also generously apply white wine vinegar to the meat before applying the rub.



I vacuum seal that all down, and let it marinate for about three days.

Now comes the Tzatziki sauce, which is a must for gyros, at least in my opinion. To begin, I make the yogurt:


Three quarts of milk, with some milk powder thrown in for the extra proteins, and some 'yogurt starter' which is basically one of my previous batches of yogurt that I freeze into cubes. Each cube is a little over 2 Tablespoons, and I use about three cubes for this much milk.
There's yogurt makers, crock pot methods, yadda yadda, basically what I do is take two cups of the milk and heat it up to 115-117º, pour it into the yogurt starter, and mix it all up together. Before I do that though I take out my crock, and fill it full of water I've brought to a rolling boil, that's just to preheat the crock. I empty the water, throw the milk into the crock, and then add the yogurt/milk mixture into that, and stir it together:


I put the lid onto the crock, and wrap it in some towels. At this point in time I throw it into an oven that I've set to 400º for about two minutes, and then turn the oven off. That heat plus the pilot light keeps the ambient temperature in there at 'just about' the right temperature. I honestly couldn't tell you what it is, it's just the right 'yogurt making' temp.

Eight hours later and you get this:

Mmm, yogurt. That's just scooped out, and unmixed. You can see the whey laying around out there. You'd just stir it all up to get 'proper yogurt.'

To make the Tzatziki though you want 'Greek Yogurt' and so I take out the right amount, which for me was 32 ounces, and I stick it in my metal sieve with some cheap towels I got from Kroger in their clearance aisle, it's basically re-usable cheesecloth. This is what I get:


Mmmm, Greek Yogurt, and!

Delicious whey for making some Italian hoagies for meatball subs at a later date.

Now it's time for Tzatziki, the ingredients:


Cucumbers peeled, seeded, and going into the food processor so I can press out the liquid:


Mmm, cucumber... water? Juice? Usually I throw it into some vegetable broth, but wasn't planning on making any until next week so I just decided to drink it... and it was actually pretty refreshing.

Never ceases to amaze me HOW MUCH FREAKING LIQUID is in cucumbers.

All the ingredients thrown into the food processor:


Behold! TZATZIKI!

Throw that into a bowl, and let the flavors marry.
Now onto the fries!

I wash some potatoes, throw my french fry cutting disc thingamajigger onto the food processor, and cut some fries. Then I put them into some bowls, and throw a couple of trays of ice cubes in there, and fill it up with water:


Helps remove excess starch, and ice water seems to do a better job than room temp. Let them soak for about an hour, hour and a half. Then I drain them, and put them on some towel lined cooling racks to air dry. When they dried up, I laid out the frying line:


I par fry them for about 5 minutes at 350º. Once they're all done I load them onto baking trays so they can go sit overnight in the freezer:


On the day of the great cook I make the flat bread. Use my basic bread recipe, but with olive oil added into the mix; this is after it's been kneaded, and had its first rise:


I make 4.5 ounce dough balls, and roll them out with my French rolling pin, let them rest a few minutes, and roll it out the the final size. I cook them on my griddle:


Basically I treat them like pancakes. Throw them on, once they bubble I flip them over, and wait a minute or so before I pull them off; end result is this:

And here's all of them done:


Wrap them in towels, and throw them into my oven that's got a pot of boiling water to keep them 'bendy.'

Start up my lard in the D.O. and start up the grill outside for the pork.


Open up my Vacuum sealed pork, and start throwing it on Lil' Spidey:


My grill guardians:


Back inside I've got the fries cooking up. The second fry sits at 400º and they go for another 5 minutes:


Once the pork's done cooking up I throw some sweet onions onto the Kettle, and cover them since the fire is getting pretty low at this point:


Ready in a few minutes:


Once everything's finished up I dice up some tomatoes, and make the plates:


A delicious meal was had by all. Thanks for looking.
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:46 AM   #2
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Outstanding!
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:54 AM   #3
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wow I have to say I am thoroughly impressed!! I love tzatziki sauce but never knew how to make it. Definite score!
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:57 AM   #4
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WoW!! I'm impressed that you've made everything from scratch. Some serious skills.
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Old 10-08-2013, 12:00 PM   #5
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Most excellent. You're right. It's NOT a proper Gyro without tzatziki. Your home made yogurt looks wonderful. I am curious though. Why press the cucumber? I always just mince them whole.
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Old 10-08-2013, 12:21 PM   #6
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You've got a lucky family. Lot's of love went into that meal.

I'd hit that gyros any day, every day.
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Old 10-08-2013, 12:37 PM   #7
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Most outstanding! But aren't you supposed to be teaching the young 'uns that they should be buying and eating processed chit that comes in disposable packaging?

I started noticing a long time ago that Greek places always have fantastic fries and have always wondered why that is.
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Old 10-08-2013, 12:37 PM   #8
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That looks great!!!!


I will be using your recipe. Going to try it this weekend.
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Old 10-08-2013, 12:42 PM   #9
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Very impressive cook!
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Old 10-08-2013, 12:44 PM   #10
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That looks great, but I know some Greeks that may find issue with the lack of lamb in this ;)
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Old 10-08-2013, 01:05 PM   #11
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This is incredibly impressive.
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Old 10-08-2013, 01:13 PM   #12
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I grew up in a heavily Greek populated area, so gyro without lamb is a bit sacrilegious to me. That being said... These look great! I break my own rule and make a brisket "gyro" (emphasis on the quotes). My wife makes a killer tzatziki that I use on just about everything in sight when there is some in the refrigerator.
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Old 10-08-2013, 01:21 PM   #13
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Holy cow man, that was nicely done.


I just have one question.


Can I come over for dinner?
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Old 10-08-2013, 01:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deguerre View Post
Most excellent. You're right. It's NOT a proper Gyro without tzatziki. Your home made yogurt looks wonderful. I am curious though. Why press the cucumber? I always just mince them whole.
Well I don't like the seeds spread in the tzatziki, plus I use the 'guts' for vegetable broth, I just throw it in my veggie scrap bag that sits in the freezer, and then when the bag gets full I cook it down into the broth with a bulb of garlic. I like the tzatziki to be relatively thick, so after the cucumbers get a run through the food processor I just squeeze out the water with the same towels I use to strain the greek (Well, not the EXACT same ones; I've got like eight of them or something.) It makes it into a nice flavor concentrated pulp, and keeps the tzatziki more 'dip like.' We use it for potato chips and vegetable dip as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sliding_billy View Post
I grew up in a heavily Greek populated area, so gyro without lamb is a bit sacrilegious to me. That being said... These look great! I break my own rule and make a brisket "gyro" (emphasis on the quotes). My wife makes a killer tzatziki that I use on just about everything in sight when there is some in the refrigerator.
I actually did some looking online, and talked to a guy who got us into the gyros at the Greek joint we went to after we were on the road all day, and he/the net said that pork and lamb were the 'traditional' meats for gyros. Apparently there's a lot of pigs, and sheep out that way. While I enjoy lamb a great deal the flavor is basically lost on my children, so it typically gets made with pork. When it's just something for me and my wife, it's lamb. Those days are few and far between though, because my Horde are a half dozen black holes, consuming everything in their path.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fingerlickin' View Post
Holy cow man, that was nicely done.


I just have one question.


Can I come over for dinner?
Any time man, any time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gtr View Post
Most outstanding! But aren't you supposed to be teaching the young 'uns that they should be buying and eating processed chit that comes in disposable packaging?

I started noticing a long time ago that Greek places always have fantastic fries and have always wondered why that is.
Well whenever I make the gyros I throw some Old Bay onto them, and they are about as close as I can get to the local Greek place than me and my wife went to, and whenever we're out that way we still go there just to support them as they're a local business. They've got that gooey on the inside, crisp on the outside texture that I like. I can't stand mealy fries, which is why I do the water soak, and the par fry.
As far as the processed food goes... ugh. I was raised on that crap, and it DID things to me man. Every now and again my wife still gets this horrid craving for fast food, and I have the same thing happen to me with soda. It's depressing. I vowed not to get my kids addicted to any of that crap. They eat tons of garbage food, but it's all homemade dammit. Down to the brownies covered in chocolate syrup. The chocolate syrup gets made from cocoa powder, and the brownies are all from scratch. Bad for you, but not nearly as bad as it could be.
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Old 10-08-2013, 01:49 PM   #15
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Good info on the tradition of pork for Gyro.
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