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A roundabout way of making a Gyro.

Post by: kasio99

Saturday, 19 April, 2014

My older brother recently turned 40 and against his will we decided to put on a bit of a party/bbq.  The gathering was 2 weeks out, poorly organised and in desperate need of something that would give it the wow factor. There is nothing that has the ability to give a party some wow factor than a Gyro. It provides a conversation point and plenty of delicious meat for everyone to feast on throughout the night.

Let me start by saying that I’m not Greek and I have never tried to do a Gyro before.  My experience was limited to many Christmases & Easters at my mates Yiayia’s house across the road. I never had anything to do with the preparation or cooking of it but I did a damn good job of eating it. I’m known as a bit of a meat lover. Did you hear that? I think it was the sound of all the vegetarians and vegans closing their browsers. Doesn’t matter. Anyway I’m known as a meat eater and on a recent European trip my fiance recalls me eating 5 Gyros in 24 hours.

Now the idea of making a Gyro for the first time was a little scary to everyone and I needed to do some lobbying in order to get certain people on board. There was my mum that was worried that  I would burn the bloody thing and 40 guests we were expecting would leave the party hungry. There was also my fiance who was worried that I was putting more effort into organising the Gyro than organising our own wedding (which isn't true).  With hard work and determination I was able to convince everyone that it was the best thing for the party and our stomachs.

Now that I had everyone on my side it was time to shop around for the best option for meat and hiring of the rotisserie itself. As far as I could tell there were two options. One was to get the meat marinated and mounted onto the spit along with the rotisserie or to marinate the meat myself and  hire the rotisserie. The later ended up being the cheaper option though it was also a lot of work.

I was lucky that Mum wasn’t just on my side, but she also volunteered to go down to the Preston Market and grab the meat for me while I was at work, all 20kgs of both chicken and lamb. I eagerly arrived at Mum's that night to make the marinade.  I used the following recipe:

3 Red Onion
10 garlic cloves
2 cup Rosemary leaves (no stalks)
1 cup Mint Leaves (fresh)
1 cup Oregano (fresh)
0.5 cup Paprika
0.5 cup Sea Salt
4 Lemon Juice & Rind
1.5 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1.5 cup Olive Oil

I placed all the above in the food processor till it was a paste then mixed with all the meat in large containers and let it sit overnight.  I think if you are going to do this properly you need to marinate the meat about 3 days earlier.

The following day my Dad, younger Brother and I went to the local greek butcher, Metaxas Meats, which is a bit of an institution in the Preston area,  to pick up the rotisserie that they hire out for around $80 for the night. This thing had no chance of fitting into the car so it was lucky that my Dad and Brother offered to walk it home. It wasn’t that heavy and we only had to take it two streets away.

Once we had everything at my parents place, it was time to load the bloody thing up with meat. Now I mentioned that I had never done this before though a friends advice was to just chuck the meat on and it would be right. Within about 10min of mashing the blunt end of the spit through the pieces of meat with great difficulty I was over the whole exercise and didn’t want to do it anymore.  With a bit of help from Mum wielding a kitchen knife we were able to fit all the meat onto the spit.

In the background of all this happening my younger brother had already started the fire and heated up the coals so the Gyro was ready to be mounted onto the rotisserie.  Once on, I was relieved and able to crack open the first beer for the day.

So I mentioned in the first paragraph that the Gyro gives a party the wow factor and provides a conversation point.  The wow factor is mainly “Wow, we’re never going to eat all that fucken meat” and the conversation point is mainly “What marinate did you use?” or “Na man that’s nowhere near cooked enough”.  Overall I’m satisfied that I can now tick cooking a gyros off my cooking bucket list.  It did provide heaps of food that everyone loved, so much so that I was giving away plates of meat by the end of the night.

Overall I think that preparing and cooking the Gyro was an awesome experience that you should try if ever given the chance. Saying that maybe next time I will try to buy the while thing prepared.

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