Lamb Pita Sandwiches with Tzatziki Sauce

     Who knew it would be so hard to find ground lamb in my small town?  I love lamb but have never made it myself.  Instead of starting with a rack of lamb I wanted to make a simple lamb patty using ground lamb.  I went to both the Martin’s grocery stores in town and was told that they do sell it but they didn’t have any.  I then went to Wal-Mart where I was told they don’t sell lamb.  I finally went to our other market, Food Lion, where I found they don’t sell it either.

     I was determined to get ground lamb so I asked at Martin’s if they would order me some.  I was assured at the meat counter they would and it would be in on Tuesday.  On Tuesday morning I stopped on my way to work and there was no ground lamb.  This went on for 4 weeks with me asking the meat counter every week to please order me some ground lamb.  

     On the fifth week when I walked into the meat department I asked yet again if they had any ground lamb.  The man looked at me and asked if I was the lady that kept coming in and asking for it.  I told him that I was and he led me over to where there were three package of ground lamb.  He handed me one but I quickly told him I wanted all three since it was so difficult to find it here.  He looked surprised but handed the packages over.

     After the hassle of getting the lamb I was really hoping it would be worth it.  I wanted to try a recip for lamb pitas that I found on Cook’s Illustrated.  As usual they didn’t disappoint.  Both Frank and I thought the lamb pitas were delicious.  The lamb patties were moist and packed with flavor.  The feta cheese added a nice bite to the pitas.  The Tzatziki sauce was cool and flavorful and paired perfectly with the lamb pitas.  This is a recipe I’ll be making again soon.  It would be wonderful for a summer picnic.

Lamb Pita Sandwiches with Tzatziki Sauce (adapted from Cook’s Illustrated)
For Tzatziki Sauce:
1 c. plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
1 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
1 T. lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 t. fresh mint, chopped
1 t. fresh dill, chopped

For the lamb patties:
4 (8 inch) pitas
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 T. lemon juice
1 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
1/2 t. dried oregano
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. ground lamb 

2 c. shredded iceberg lettuce
4 oz. crumbled feta cheese

1.  In a small bowl combine the cucumber, salt, and lemon juice.  Put in a strainer over top of a bowl and let sit for 30 minutes.

2.  Discard the liquid from the cucumbers, then in a small bowl combine the Greek yogurt, cucumber mixture, garlic, black pepper, mint, and dill.  Mix well and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

3.  Cut off the top quarter of each pita.  Tear one of the quarters into 1 inch pieces and place in a food processor.  Add the onion, lemon juice, salt, pepper, oregano, and garlic to the pita in the food processor.  Pule until a smooth paste forms.

4.  Put the onion mixture into a large bowl.  Add the ground lamb and mix until well combined.  Form the ground lamb mixture into 4 or 5 log shaped patties that will fit inside the pitas. 

5.  In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil.  Add in the ground lamb patties and cook for 4-5 minutes per side.  When the patties are cooked through remove from the pan to a paper towel on a plate.

6.  To assemble put 1/4 cup of Tzatziki sauce in each pita followed by a lamb patty.  Top with lettuce and feta cheese.

This post linked to: 
What’s Cooking Wednesday?, Cast Party Wednesday




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