Greek Tacos

They’re not really tacos. It’s a gyro-like construction that uses ground lamb instead of gyro loaf, since (to my great sadness) I don’t have a giant vertical rotisserie of beefandlamb emitting warmth and delicious smells in my kitchen. If, like me, you lack this, good news! This is not a terrible substitute! It’s not the same, by any means,  but it’ll do, at least until you can get to a decent Greek place. While I prefer the lamb burgers in general (and you’ll note a repeated recipe here, though it is changed a bit), these are a much closer substitute to actual gyros.

I changed the tzatziki recipe to be a bit more traditional; it’s easy to add feta on top but difficult to pick it out of a sauce. Tzatziki is great on many, many things.

The roommate that had these enjoyed them quite a bit and demanded I get larger pitas next time. Success!

Greek Tacos, adapted from Jeff Mauro

Tzatziki*:
1 small English cucumber
1 c. Greek yogurt
3-4 cloves garlic, pressed or grated
2-3 Tbsp. fresh mint OR fresh dill, chopped fine
spritz lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Grate the cucumber on the large holes of a box grater. Salt it liberally and put it in a colander over a bowl or a sink. Let it sit for half an hour or more, then wring it out in a kitchen towel until it’s really quite dry. Stir the cucumber into the yogurt with the garlic, lemon and herb of your choice; taste for seasoning and season as desired.

Cucumber Tomato Relish:
1 small English cucumber, seeded and diced
2-3 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 small red onion, diced fine
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients and taste for seasoning. Let mixture sit on the counter for at least an hour for flavors to meld.

Lamb:
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. ground lamb
1/2 red onion, diced fine
1 tsp. dried oregano
4 cloves garlic, grated
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 Tbsp. red wine
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the lamb, seasoning with salt and pepper and breaking it up as it browns. Once it’s browned, remove it with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the onion to the lamb juices and cook until soft; stir in the oregano, garlic, and tomato paste and stir together until the garlic is fragrant and the tomato is beginning to caramelize. Deglaze with the red wine and add the lamb back to the pan, cooking until there’s almost no liquid left in the pan.

Assembly:
Pita
Feta cheese

Warm the pita in the fashion of your choice. Smear liberally with tzatziki and top with lamb, relish and feta. Eat!

*This is actually better made the day before, so the flavors can hang out.

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~ by iliadawry on 25 October 2012.

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