This is well-known Greek food in the US. It also has its roots in Lebanon.
Essentially, it is a meat loaf thinly sliced, with tzatziki sauce, cucumbers, onions, romaine lettuce, whatever you want wrapped in a pita bread. It is also served on basmati rice, but is not as common, at least in the states.
A kind Egyptian man had a wonderful gyro stand at my university. If you asked nicely, he would put chopped habaneros on your gyro which was eye-watering, nose-running deliciousness.
The secret to being able to slice it thinly without it falling apart is making sure that the meat mixture is compressed tightly before cooking it.
The Tzatziki sauce recipe can be used for other Mediterranean things.
I am not 100% sold on this recipe. I think I might have missed something, or perhaps it needs more of an existing ingredient.
Still, it is pretty good.
I am holding off on posting the pita bread recipe, it seems that it really does need to cook on a baking stone to turn out correctly. I will need to get one of those first.
Recipes are never posted until they get made that week. This is to ensure that they pass my low standards and my terrible cooking skills is enough to succeed.
Gyro Meat1 large red onion, diced
- Place diced onion in a food chopper and chop it as fine as possible.
- Place the onion on a cloth or paper towel.
- Roll it up and squeeze all of the liquid out of it.
1 pound ground lamb
- Mix both ground meats together.
- Add the onion, and mix well.
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoon dried marjoram
2 tablespoon ground dried rosemary
2 teaspoon ground dried thyme
2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
- Place chunks of the meat in a food processor and blend it for about a minute.
- Do this will all of the meat and place it back in the bowl.
- Continue to mix it until it is very well mixed.
- Cover the bowl and put in the refridgerator for 3-24 hours.
- In a bread load pan, tightly pack the meat mixture.
- To make it easier, put in small amounts.
- The goal is to push all air out of the loaf.
- If done right, when it is cooked, it will slice thinly without falling apart.
- Heat oven to 325 F (165 C).
- In a large baking pan, place a damp cloth towel on the bottom.
- Place the bread pan on top of the cloth towel.
- Fill the large pan with water intil it is about halfway up the outside of the bread pan.
- Take care that no water gets in the bread pan.
- Bake until the center is 165 F (75 C).
- Let it cool before slicing it.
If you can’t find ground lamb, pork, chicken, or more beef is an acceptable substitute.
8 Pita bread
Chopped romain lettuce
1 pound shredded or crumbled feta cheese
3 diced habeneros - very optional
- Lightly grill the pita bread to soften it.
- Add the ingredients on top of the pita bread and fold.
If you use pocket bread, cut it in half and fill.
As always, use imported feta if you can get it. Your taste buds will thank you.