Greek Gyros

A Little Personal History:

I got the “gyros love” while living in downtown Chicago. When out for lunch and the menu has Gyros, more likely than not, I”m ordering 🙂 Yet now, working from home and rarely going out for lunch, what”s a guy to do?

Answer: Come up with a great Gyro one can make in advance, refrigerate or freeze, ready to heat up and enjoy whether for lunch, dinner or late night. Here the results 🙂

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Traditional Gyros: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyro_(food) This recipe varies from traditional both in preparation and ingredients. Traditional gyro meat is ground lamb, sometimes with beef, and seasoning. This version is ground beef, pork sausage, and seasonings. Traditional preparation uses either a rotisserie or casserole dish to make a firm "meatloaf". This version prepares the gyros using small aluminum foil cups for individual servings.
Chef Lars
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 40 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
sandwiches
Ingredients
Meat Mixture
  • 1 pound ground beef 80-90% lean
  • 1 pound pork sausage ground
  • 1 medium onion minced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
Greek Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt kosher, sea or table salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
Tzatziki Sauce
  • 1 medium Cucumber peeled, seeded, squeezed
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill chopped fine
  • 2 cups Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • sea salt to taste
  • Ground black pepper to taste
All the "Fixings"
  • 8 Pita Bread
  • 1 head of lettuce shredded
  • 1 Red onion thin-sliced & halved
  • 2 Tomatoes sliced & halved
  • 1 Cucumber peeled, sliced and quartered
  • Feta Cheese crumbled
  • 16 Pepperoncini peppers
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 40 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
sandwiches
Ingredients
Meat Mixture
  • 1 pound ground beef 80-90% lean
  • 1 pound pork sausage ground
  • 1 medium onion minced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
Greek Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt kosher, sea or table salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
Tzatziki Sauce
  • 1 medium Cucumber peeled, seeded, squeezed
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill chopped fine
  • 2 cups Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • sea salt to taste
  • Ground black pepper to taste
All the "Fixings"
  • 8 Pita Bread
  • 1 head of lettuce shredded
  • 1 Red onion thin-sliced & halved
  • 2 Tomatoes sliced & halved
  • 1 Cucumber peeled, sliced and quartered
  • Feta Cheese crumbled
  • 16 Pepperoncini peppers
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Rate this recipe!
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Instructions
Making Gyros
  1. Prepare onion, garlic and greek seasoning for meat. Add to large mixing bowl.
  2. Add ground meat to large mixing bowl and mix with hands until homogeneous.
  3. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
  4. Transfer cold meat mixture to food processor. Enough meat to fill about half full, any more you might burn out the motor!
  5. Process until smooth puree is formed, about 1 minute total, scraping down sides with spatula as necessary. Transfer to large metal bowl. Repeat processing till all meat is pureed.
  6. With moist hands, form meat mixture into foil cups. Allow to sit at room temperature or cover with foil and refrigerate till ready to bake.
  7. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 300°F.
  8. Bake Gyros foil cups until center of each "mini loaf" reads 155°F on an instant-read thermometer, about 30 minutes. Allow loafs to rest at room temperature for fifteen minutes. Drain grease from each foil cup. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to ensure meat is chilled and firm before slicing.
  9. Remove each gyro from foil cup and slice lengthwise into 1/8th-inch strips. At this point, if you"re not serving today, you can return sliced meat to foil cups, wrap with foil and refrigerate or freeze. Otherwise, move on to the next step.
  10. When ready to heat and serve, adjust broiler rack to highest position and preheat broiler.
  11. Transfer gyro strips to ribbed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and broil until edges are brown and crispy, about 2 minutes. Transfer to plate and cover to keep warm.
  12. Warm pita bread in one of the following ways: 1) My preferred method is flipping pita bread on a hot skillet every 10-15 seconds per side till ready, approx. 1 minute. 2) Heat over gas grill, flipping 10-15 seconds till ready; approx. 1 minute. 3) Zap them in the microwave for 1 minute.
  13. Spread Tzatziki sauce over each piece of bread. Layer meat evenly over pita bread. Top with preferred "fixings" (I gotta have extra sauce on top)
  14. Fold, wrap with foil or not and serve with a couple hot peppers on the side
Tzatziki Sauce
  1. Peel the cucumber, cut it in half lenghtwise, then scoop out the seeds with a small spoon.
  2. Finely chop cucumber and transfer to large sieve or tea towel. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
  3. Mince garlic clove
  4. Chop fresh dill
  5. Transfer drained cucumber, garlic, dill, Greek yogurt, white wine vinegar, olive oil, kosher salt, and black pepper to food processor or blender. Blend to sauce consistency.
  6. Transfer to container, cover & refrigerate for at least 2 hours so the flavors can marry. Can be stored up to 2 weeks.
Recipe Notes

Advanced Preparation

Procedures Section

  • Steps 1-4 can be done in advance and refrigerated 24 hours in advance.
  • Steps 5-7 can be done in advance and refrigerate till ready to pre-cook meat.
  • Steps 8-9 can be done in advance and refrigerate till ready to cook and serve.
  • The meat can be refrigerated up to 1 week or frozen till ready to serve.
  • The sauce can be refrigerated up to 2 weeks.

Tzatziki Sauce Section:

  • Tzatziki Sauce can be prepared in advance and refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Tips, Notes, and Variations:

  • The ratio of meats for this recipe is 1 to 1 e.g. 1 pound beef (80-90% lean) 1 pound sausage. If you decide on less sausage and more beef, say 2-1 beef/sausage, you may also want to consider reducing the lean requirement to 70% ground beef and less sausage. Regardless, play around with the ratios and leanness to please your taste buds.
  • The pureed meat may look questionable before baking yet, trust me, it"s critical for the end result. The meat, before slicing, must be very firm. If you don't puree it will likely crumble while slicing.
  • As mentioned in the "Description" section, this recipe makes individual serving size gyros. If you'd prefer, you can also use a casserole dish to make a firm "meatloaf". Just make sure the dish can hold two pounds of ground meat and when baking, remember the internal temperature needs to be 155°F as mentioned in Step 9.
  • I like doing as few steps as possible when cooking 🙂 My preferred method is to sear the gyro strips on a medium-high heat skillet while flipping pita bread 10-15 seconds till ready, approx. 1 minute. When pita bread is almost ready, top bread with gyro meat and fold in half using spatula. Sear both sides of folded pita bread for about 30 seconds per side. Transfer to serving plates, add sauce and "fixings"

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