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Lamb Sandwiches

So I've decided with my 1lb hunk o' lamb (first referenced here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9104...), I'd like to make some sort of gyro-like sandwich. I do have a meat grinder so I can grind up the meat and use Alton Brown's recipe for gyros, but I sort of kind of want to use the hunk whole, and then slice. If I do that, how would you all suggest I marinate/season it prior to roasting (or maybe grilling it).

Any/all suggestions on how to make the best lamb sandwich are appreciated.

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  1. Olive oil, rosemary, garlic, and a little lemon juice.

    1. You said you made kebobs with the first piece, but were they brochettes or kaftas? If the former, you could grind it (I know, you said you preferred whole...) and make lamb kafta, which I did this weekend for a party.The recipe came from this book:


      Called for ground lamb spiced with ground coriander, cumin, cinnamon, and ginger, grilled over blazing coals to char the exterior, medium on the interior, they turned out great.

      One use we thought of for the leftovers was to make sandwiches - pita (or regular rolls) with a yogurty sauce (tzatziki or similar), and with grilled vegetables (we have leftover grilled peppers and zucchini).

      Served cold in the heat we've been having in the midwest, they'd be a good dinner.

      3 Replies
      1. re: foreverhungry

        Brochettes before. I would like to make kafta at some point, but I fear a lot of the spices used would irritate my SO's stomach (he has Crohn's disease).

        1. re: juliejulez

          The spicing was subtle, but I understand the concern. For 2 lbs of lamb, I believe the recipe called for 1/2 teaspoon ground of each, which isn't a huge amount, along with finely diced onion, cilantro, and parsley.

          1. re: foreverhungry

            Usually it has nothing to do w/ the amount... just that it's there at all. Even tiny bits of cilantro really mess him up :(

      2. The only way I make gyros is with thin sliced leg of lamb, not ground. That's how the best Greek places around here do it. Then tzatziki, with some cucumbers and onions mixed in.

        4 Replies
        1. re: coll

          That's what I thought but then when I googled it, all the recipes I found were for ground. How do you prepare the meat?

          1. re: juliejulez

            I marinade it overnight with oil, red vinegar and lemon juice. A couple of chopped garlic cloves, some salt (or olive juice) and pepper, good amount of oregano, some cayenne, mint and cumin. I myself use a bone in leg, it's just what I've always done, but that's just me.

            And I forgot to say, along with the tzatziki on the gyro, sliced tomatoes, onions and lettuce. You just reminded me, I think I have a leg stashed in the freezer from Easter, time to haul that sucker out!

            1. re: coll

              The gyros i have had also include an amazing thinned tahini sauce- i just mixed tahini with some lemon juice

              1. re: Ttrockwood

                I should have wrote out my whole recipe. I didn't mention that I make my own tzatziki, and it includes a Tbsp of either tahini or sesame oil. An important flavor component!

        2. Hi Julie -

          A recipe we learned in Greece, either for roasting or grilling fresh lamb:

          1. Squeeze the juice of a fresh lemon over the lamb meat.
          2. Salt, pepper, rosemary, garlic, olive oil and possibly a little mint and a dash of cinnamon. Let it marinate covered for at least an hour, or best, covered overnight.
          3. Roast first covered, with the last 30 minutes under a broiler.
          4. Better yet, grill using a long branch of rosemary dipped in rosemary, garlic, and oil to baste.the lamb at it cooks.
          5. When done, let it rest and use a long, Granton blade knife to thinly slice.
          6. Pita bread, or the sandwich bread you like the best, with grilled tomatoes, and other condiments you like.

          1. marinate it overnight in garlic, mint, capers, lemon zest and EVOO. Grill it med rare, slice thinly make sandwich with L&T, did this a couple of weeks ago tasted great.

            1 Reply
            1. re: cstr

              Hi cster -

              Mint and capers.

              I'll try that this weekend ( if it doesn't rain ).


            2. Personally, I much prefer lamb that has been seasoned with only salt, or perhaps salt & black pepper. I don't really want to cover up it's taste, unless I am barbecuing mutton. Otherwise, the young lamb we get is rather flavorless and garlic, rosemary, etc. tends to overpower.

              That being said, I wouldn't make gyros for my sandwich. My favorite would be thin slices of cold or room temperature lamb (seasoned as above and either grilled or slow roasted), mayo, lettuce, tomato, and S&P (a slice or two of Swiss cheese can be a welcome addition). I am generally partial to simply using the best bread I can find, but some slices of sourdough are a particular treat.

              If you prefer to add more seasoning, another great lamb sandwich is made by braising the shoulder at a low temp for several hours with cumin, lime, tomato, garlic, onion, chiles, etc. The meat is pulled and then placed on tortillas with cilantro, chopped onion, jalapenos, and a squirt of lime. Tacos are really just like gyros, no?

              2 Replies
                1. re: MGZ

                  Tacos are like gyros? Sacrilege!!

                2. I love lamb sandwich from Nancy Silverton's Sandwich Book. She roast simply flavoured (S&P, paprika and oregano) lamb at 425F and once cold, thinly slices it for sandwich. Slices are gently warmed in good stock, sourdough bread is grilled and rubbed with garlic, arugula is scattered on it, slices of grilled eggplant follow, then warmed lamb slices, mint pesto and crumbled feta. So good!

                  3 Replies
                    1. re: mmequeen

                      It is delicious! Not too difficult to make and definitely company worthy. I made some of her other sandwiches from the book and all are good.

                      1. re: herby

                        I ended up ordering 2 copies - one for me and one for my brother for Christmas.

                  1. gyros, Greek, and gyro substitutes sometimes called gyros or doner or schwarma etc.

                    marinate/season lamb with salt and pepper and fresh squeezed lemon juice. if it is a large "market lamb" and not a "baby" or "spring" lamb, add garlic and rosemary. cumin and/or coriander seed is optional in the east / north eastern part of Greece. cook in oven or on grill/bbq. let rest and slice.

                    Tzatziki, Greek recipe:
                    Sour Cream. OR Sour Cream and Greek yoghurt mixed.
                    Finely grated, never shredded cucumber, strained.
                    finely crushed garlic.
                    fresh squeezed lemon juice.
                    salt and pepper.
                    (if you want herbs, optional: fresh mint leaves OR fresh dill weed)

                    lamb 'gyro' sandwich: wrap lamb tightly in warmed pocketless pita with sliced tomato, sliced onion, chopped parsley and a dollop of tzatziki. garnish with a sprinkle of cayenne.

                    Gringo style gyro: to sliced lamb add LOTS of lettuce and a little chopped up tomato, wrap loosely to make it look like a LARGE sandwich full of lettuce.

                    1. Look into lamb kafka sandwiches dressed in hot sauce with lettuce, tomato, olives and onions.

                      Toasted or panini pressed sub buns or warm pita for bread.

                      5 Replies
                        1. re: The Professor

                          Wouldn't lamb Kafka actually be Czech (but German language speaking, if lambs could talk)? In either case, the lamb Kafka would ask for a good pilsner.

                        2. How I love a good grilled lamburger, with Havarti cheese, Boston lettuce, mint sauce.

                          1. I had gyros like this at a local greek festival - the meat was more like pulled pork, not all ground up and packed into a loaf like the stuff you typically see. It was phenomenal. I would definitely do a low and slow roasted, fall apart tender lamb meat with a nice dark brown crust.

                            Or perhaps reserve a portion of it, and grind it up to make lamb meatballs?

                            1. Most meat can be tenderized and flavour added with a generous sprinkling of Montreal Steak Spice both sides then kept refrigerated for a day or more depending on the cut of the meat and how tender you want it.

                              1. My recipe is more for lamb kebabs, but would work for gyros.
                                Soy sauce, red wine, onions, bell peppers, garlic and oregano. Grew up on that marinade for lamb kebabs. Still
                                love it & have received many compliments over the years.

                                The other recipe that won raves was for a whole piece of lamb: garlic, rosemary, Dijon mustard, cracked black pepper,
                                balsamic vinegar & olive oil. Marinate overnight.

                                Both would be great in sandwiches!!

                                12 Replies
                                1. re: pandamom425

                                  With all the reading and writing about gyros, the natural solution for the home cook is a lamb souvlaki of course!
                                  cube meat, marinate in lemon and olive oil, salt pepper and oregano, garlic optional, and grill.
                                  either way, eat Greek tonight!

                                  1. re: Gastronomos

                                    This thread reminded me that I had a bone in leg of lamb in the freezer, bought on sale at Easter. I've been marinading for about 24 hours. Tomorrow morning I am roasting, slicing and taking to a party I am attending, along with some homemade tzatziki. When I told them what I was bringing, they seemed very happy. And I finally got some room in my freezer again!

                                    1. re: coll

                                      coll, you make my mouth water... :-)

                                      1. re: Gastronomos

                                        If you want to make a trip to Queens later....I'm going down to take it out of the oven in two seconds. The tzatziki is fabulous with all different flavors of mint from the garden. Hoping it will be somewhat of a hit!

                                          1. re: Gastronomos

                                            The tzatziki sauce came out so good. I used the yogurt I had on hand, which was one 6 oz Fage Total, and two 5 oz Chobani low fat. It seemed way too thick to me, but the other guests were raving about it all day, how rich it was. I have made a note on my recipe for next time. Wish you were there!

                                            1. re: coll

                                              I wish I were there! thanks! sounds and looks delish!
                                              now I gotta get me to a Greek restaurant! LOL

                                              1. re: Gastronomos

                                                Sort of sorry I left it all behind, I wouldn't mind another bite or two!

                                                  1. re: Gastronomos

                                                    Well, it's only an hour and a half from here...