The Gyro is one of my favorite hand-held foods. Unlike tacos, gyros are part of the sandwich family due to the thickness of the pita that holds the meat and toppings.
Gyros are typically roasted on a vertical spit. It is usually served in a pita bread with tomato, onion, and tzatziki sauce. To make them, strips of meat are placed on a tall vertical spit, which turns in front of a gas broiler. If the meat is not fatty enough, strips of fat are added so that the roasting meat always remains moist and crisp. The rate of roasting can be adjusted by varying the strength of the heat and the distance between the heat and the meat. The outside of the meat is sliced vertically in thin, crisp shavings.
Since the traditional method doesn’t always work for the home cook, I adapted the original recipe so that you can make gyros at home at any time and with minimal equipment. I basically made a blended “meatloaf” that I thinly slice after it’s cooked, then, I broil the strips of meat before assembling the dish.
I use a 50/50 blend of ground chuck and lamb; for the fat, I use bacon (the best of 3 worlds right there!). If you are not very fond of lamb you can make your meatloaf with 100% ground chuck. I use ground chuck instead of plain ground beef because of the quality of meat you get. An 80/20 meat to fat ratio will work fine, and I wouldn’t go any lower, remember you are adding extra fat by using bacon.
For the toppings, I stick to the basics, red onion, tomato, curly leaf lettuce and tzatziki sauce. We also like to add some heat at home so, occasionally we add jalapeno strips as well.
- 1 lb Ground Chuck
- 1 lb Ground Lamb
- 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
- ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 tablespoons Oregano
- ½ Yellow Onion
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 6 ounces Bacon
- ½ cup Tzatziki Sauce
- ½ Red Onion
- 1 Curly Leaf Lettuce
- 2 Tomatoes
- In a medium bowl, combine both meets, salt, pepper and oregano leaves. Mix until all of the seasonings have been evenly distributed. Cover and refrigerate overnight
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Roughly chop the onion, garlic and bacon and place them with the meat mixture in the bowl of a food processor. Process until a smooth puree is formed, about 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary
- Line a 9 x 13" loaf pan with aluminum foil. Add meat, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35 min or until the internal temperature of the loaf reaches 155 degrees F. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
- Adjust the oven rack to the highest position and preheat broiler
- Slice the loaf of meat crosswise into very thin pieces. Lay the strips on a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and broil until edges are browned and crispy, 2 to 4 minutes
- To serve, warm up the pita bread, spread tzatziki sauce over it and top with gyro meat, chopped tomatoes, sliced onions and shredded lettuce
When broiling, keep an eye on the meet as the broiler works quickly