Pockets Full Of Meat

The other night I remembered the venison our neighbor had given us just before Christmas. He’s a bow hunter, and did well this year, so we got two nice bundles of meat. I defrosted one of them, and knew exactly what I wanted to do with it: gyros.

If you’ve read my bread post, you know that pita bread are absurdly easy to make. Because this was to be a same-day operation, with no time for an overnight ferment, I added some dried yeast to the regular recipe and gave it a thorough knead after the 20 minute autolyse. Come dinner time, the dough was pleasantly plump. I punched it down, cut it into eights, formed balls, and rolled them out into circles, letting them rest on the counter while I prepped other things and heated up the iron skillet.

It never ceases to impress: these limp discs of dough go in the skillet on medium heat and within a minute or two they inflate like dirigibles. If you’re not equipped to do my version (yet) try this with whatever bread dough you already make.

A quick flip to brown the other side, and they’re done.

Stack them on a plate as they come off the heat and they stay warm and soft until serving.

The servings in this case–unsexy but oh so very edible–were the imagined gyros: hunks of venison trimmed, browned, and rested (while still very pink in the middle) while I sautéed slivered onion, pak choi, garlic, grape tomatoes and blueberries in the meat pan and then deglazed them with blackcurrant vinegar. The tomatoes and blueberries were from the store, purchased in plastic clamshell containers shipped from afar. I realize that my use of these non-local products is every bit as bad as Dylan plugging in his Strat back at Newport in ’65, but my wife had taken the kid shopping and his curatorial influence was clearly visible within the bags they brought back.

I also made a bastard tzatziki with Greek yogurt, diced celery and scallion, lots of garlic, lemon juice, and a dribble of truffle oil. It didn’t suck. All together, this made for a sumptuous sandwich. And there are plenty of pita left over for grilly, melty goodness in the future.

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6 Comments

  1. Ok, holy fuck.

    One I didn’t realize how EASY it is to make pita

    And two, this looks delicious!! I had never thought to put venison in a gyro before, and now, well, I want it NOW. I’ll be pinning this AND telling everyone and their mom’s to try it.

    Peter, you are a god damn genius.

  2. 1/10/2012
    Reply

    How did you cook the venison! This sounds so delicious.

  3. 1/12/2012
    Reply

    Mmm, I like this homemade pita n meatball idea. I pre-roll my meatballs (from turkey) and freeze them in a giant plastic bag, pulling them out by the handfuls for meals. Once defrosted, I put them in foil cupcake liners and bake in a muffin tin for a half hour or so. I haven’t used them like this yet, however. Would be good Greek-style, with cucumbers, Greek yogurt mixed with dill and cucumber, chunks to tomatoes and red onions. And course a little curry. Hmmm, maybe deviled eggs with curry powder as a side dish. Oh wait, now I’m off on a tangent…

  4. Peter
    1/17/2012
    Reply

    Jessica: Did you try it yet?

    Vince: Looks good.

    Meredith: I browned the hunks in the iron pan before adding all the vegetables.

    DS: I like the way you think.

  5. 2/1/2012
    Reply

    Yum! This looks delicious. I love venison but have never tried it this way.

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