Growing up, I was raised in NJ, but most of our extended family was from the Pittsburgh area. Every 4th of July we would go back to visit, when the 4th of July festival was going on. This festival was a crafter’s dream, but it also had and still has delicious food. Meatball sandwiches and pepperoni puffs just to name two of the many foods you could get. One of the favorites though was the gyro. This pita pocket filled deliciousness was your traditional Greek gyro: filled with lamb, tzatziki sauce (yogurt-cucumber sauce), tomatoes, lettuce and more. We decided to bring you this recipe today with a little twist. Zach and I aren’t huge fans of yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, so we decided to make a delicious cucumber aioli instead. If these little pockets weren’t so freaking filling, I could have eaten 10 more!
Well it’s official, we are officially off of our Bridgeport kick, well for now that is. We jazzed it up a bit and paired these gyros with Santa Fe Brewing’s Imperial Java Stout. I know, I know…coffee stout with a gyro? It sounds strange, but trust me, they pair so well together! It’s just a tad hoppy, a lot malty, and a ton earthy. The “earth tones” of this brew pair so well with the earthy taste of the gyro. If you have yet to hear of this brewery, I’m surprised, since it’s New Mexico’s oldest micro brewery. If by chance you have not heard of it, google them and try some of their beers. They always provide a quality product. Don’t worry, we will probably be pairing something with Bridgeport tonight =), for those of you who miss it.
Now, I mentioned how Zach and I aren’t into the whole yogurt thing. It’s sad really. I really wish I liked it. Of course, I don’t mind the really bad for you yogurt with the crunchies and chocolate, but there is just something about the texture of your average healthy yogurt that just gives me the heebie jeebies. We had to go with something a little bit different than your everyday tzatziki sauce which is most commonly comprised of yogurt. We decided to whip up a cucumber aioli – filled with cucumber, garlic deliciousness and just a touch of mayo. It’s the perfect substitution, you’ll never know you miss the traditional stuff.
Everything, but the pita, in this dish is homemade. No we didn’t raise the lamb, grow the tomatoes, lettuce and onions ourselves, but you get the point. We took lamb shoulder (bone in) and marinated it in a delicious homemade herby, garlic, lemony marinade. Oh and the lamb was rubbed with 8 cloves of garlic. Did we mention we love garlic? Well we love it almost as much as we love bacon. No, there is no bacon in this dish. The marinade was then followed by a rub of onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, cayenne and more. Grilled to perfection, I could have eaten these steaks right off the bone.
We wrapped these pitas up and to fill them we sauteed some onions, added some tomatoes, lettuce, feta, and aoili. And don’t forget the grilled lamb, cut into strips and garnished with rosemary. If you are like us and aren’t a fan of gyros because of the yogurt thing, give this recipe a try (as long as you like mayo (=).