Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr
Yes, you can make authentic gyros at home --> the texture and flavor of this meat is as good as you get in a good Greek restaurant, without the traditional rotating spit.. but this is just the recipe and technique for making the meat, for I'm assuming you know the drill on making the classic gyro sandwich - stuff the meat in a grilled pita with sliced tomatoes, onions and tzaziki sauce.. Enjoy!
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground lamb (optional, you can use all ground beef if you're weirded out by lamb) (optional)
- 1⁄2 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 3 teaspoons oregano
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and mix well.
- Knead the mixture on the counter for 10 minutes - just like you're kneading bread. You may want to use a dough-scraper to help keep the counter clean. (I do). Pick that meat up and SLAM it into the counter, continuing to do so for the 10 minutes. This is key to getting the correct texture. I'm no Alton Brown, but I think the thing we're doing here is melting the fat so that we get a nice smooth texture in the end.
- Form into a flat loaf - I like to put the meat onto a piece of wax paper, and flattening it into a 3" high slab rectangle. I cover it with another piece of wax and use a rolling pin to flatten it out, just make sure you straighten out the edges to form a rectangle so that when it comes time to slice, they are nice and even.
- Bake the loaf on a broiler pan (or pan with raised edges, because it will leak grease!) at 350 for about an hour. Alternatively, you can grill it over coals, that's my favorite way, just be sure to turn often so as to distribute the juices.
- Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing thin.
I made this for a potluck. Instead of serving it in the usual pita pocket method, I prepared the meat in the food processor, just added all together and let it run for about 4 minutes scrapping down the bowl three times. What I ended up with was a very smooth textured paste I shapped into the loaf. Then I cooked for an hour as described. After cooling I chopped the loaf into a course cut, and mixed with the tzazki.
It was then spread on flour tortillas, added lettace and tomato and rolled up. Sliced into about 2 inch pinwheels, and chilled for about 4 hours to allow it to seal together. It was a huge hit, and much easier to serve and eat then the pitas when you don't want that much at one time.
I researched the making of Gyros online and found a recipe with more authentic spices and so I made this recipe, but decreasing the oregano to 1 t., and adding 1 t. of Marjoram, and 1 t. of crushed Rosemary. Everything else I kept the same. It was wonderful and tasted just like the real thing! I like the techniques and cooking method suggested in this recipe. It does yield a compact loaf that is easily sliced into thin slices.
I am completely in awe...I never ever thought you can take ground beef and turn it into a gyro! I didn't have the lamb, so I purchased 2 lbs of ground beef and wow.. I had a gyro. I was sooo SCARED at first! I was getting company on a Saturday and wanted to try something different. I truthfully was sweatin' this one out. It came out awesome! I let my meat cool down though for at least 45 min..maybe a bit longer, then I put it on a cutting board. I cut it in half (in the center) then I took each half and cut them into thin strips. I got a lot of meat strips doing it like that to put in the pita's I just wish I was able to find more authentic gyro bread. I used a Greek Yogurt/Cucumber sauce, lettuce, tomatoes and bought a small container of crumbled feta cheese to sprinkle on top... PERFECT! MANY MANY THANKS FOR THIS WONDERFUL RECIPE!!