Okay, enough with my crazy mushroom obsession. Time to get back to something a little more mainstream. Like goat gyros!
Wait, don't leave! Goat is good, I promise. Remember that time I made Vikram Vij's goat curry and then never wrote out the recipe for you guys, apparently? Well, it was really delicious, trust me. So good that when goat came up in our Chestnut Farms meat CSA again, I dove for it. This time it was ground goat, and I knew right away what I wanted to do with it. Gyros!
First things first: pronunciation. You may, if you choose, mentally read the word gyro as "YEE-ro" with a Greek accent. Or, you can do what I do and pronounce it "JAI-ro" because I'm never going to change. Or, if you're too embarrassed to pronounce it in public at all, just make it yourself. I mean, when it comes right down to it, a gyro is just a souped-up meatloaf sandwich. One with slightly different flavorings and served in pita with lettuce, tomato, red onion, and a generous slathering of cool, creamy, garlicky tzatziki sauce. But, still, a meatloaf sandwich nonetheless.
My trusted Internet sources suggested that ground goat can be very lean, so I mixed it half and half with some ground pork. It wasn't dry at all. Feel free to substitute the goat/pork mixture with ground lamb (or ground beef, for that matter). It was super tasty, but this sandwich will be to-die-for during the height of tomato season. Mark it down!
Goat Gyros with Tzatziki
The meatloaf technique is borrowed from Alton Brown. The water bath seems a little fussy for meatloaf, and I may throw caution to the wind next time and go without it, but I'm including it here anyway. I mean really, Tammy, how hard is it to put water in a pan? Get your yogurt draining several hours before you start unless you're using Greek-style yogurt.
1 lb. ground goat
1 lb. ground pork
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. dried marjoram
1 Tbsp. dried rosemary
2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
8 large whole pitas
Head of lettuce
4 tomatoes, diced
Red onion, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Process onion in the food processor until minced, 10-15 seconds. Dump onion into center of a non-linty dishtowel. Gather up the sides of the towel, twist, and squeeze hard over the sink until most of the juice is extracted. Shake onion back into food processor and add ground meat, garlic, marjoram, rosemary, salt, and pepper, and process until pasty and gross, about 1 minute, scraping down the bowl halfway through. Don't worry, it gets better.
Scrape meat mixture into a loaf pan, pressing it into the sides. Place loaf pan in a larger roasting pan and fill that pan with water halfway up the sides. Bake about an hour and change until it's cooked through and smells great. Remove from oven and drain fat. I took another loaf pan, set it on top of the meatloaf and put some heavy tomato cans inside to weigh it down (I did this instead of weighing it down with a foil-wrapped brick per the original recipe). You could probably skip this step, too, if you wanted. Let rest 15 minutes. Slice for sandwiches.
To serve, nuke a stack of whole pita rounds for about 20 seconds until warm and bendable. Line each with lettuce leaves. Arrange your meat down the center (I find one or two slices broken up to be sufficient). Scatter diced tomatoes and sliced red onion, and spoon tzatziki sauce generously over it all. Fold up an inch or two of the bottom of the pita and, while holding it in place, fold one side over, then the other. Insert a toothpick or two in the bottom or wrap with foil. Dollop a little extra tzatziki sauce on top and you're good to go. When I reheat the leftover meat in the days that follow, I do so not in the microwave but in a pan with a little olive oil so I can brown each side while it heats.
If using Greek-style yogurt, use maybe 1/4 less than the recipe calls for since you don't need to drain it.
16 oz. plain yogurt
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. red wine vinegar or lemon juice
1 Tbsp. fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
Place the yogurt in a cheesecloth- or tea towel-lined strainer over a bowl, and drain for two hours in the fridge. Gather the chopped cucumber in another tea towel and squeeze over the sink to remove liquid. In a medium bowl, combine drained yogurt, cucumber, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, mint, and salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.