Gyros On The Grill

Last weekend I finally tackled something that I have long wanted to try -- making my own gyro meat. Of course I had to grill it, and I am very pleased with the results.

You can't have a great gyro without a great tzatziki sauce, so I tackled that as well.

I tried as best I could to keep this recipe as traditional as possible. The only exception is my non-traditional final assembly.

1 lb Ground sirloin (or standard 80/20 ground beef)
1 lb Ground lamb
2 tsp Granulated onion
2 tsp Dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp Granulated garlic
1 tsp Sea salt (or Kosher)
1 tsp Dried marjoram
1 tsp Dried thyme
1 tsp Black pepper, ground fresh
Pita bread
Swiss cheese, sliced
Chopped lettuce
Chopped tomatoes
Chopped red onion

Tzatziki Sauce
1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt, or drained plain yogurt
1/8 cup Honey
1 medium Cucumber
1 tsp Dried dill
1 tsp Sea salt (or Kosher)
1/2 tsp Ground white pepper
1/4 tsp Granulated garlic
1/4 tsp Ground cumin
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Important: Make sure that your dried herbs are fresh. They only last about six months, so if they're old get some new.

Peel the cucumber, slice it in half lengthwise, then use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. This will help keep the sauce from being too watery.

Mince the cucumber, put it on some plastic wrap, and sprinkle with a bit of the salt.

Wrap the cucumber up in the plastic wrap and let sit for about 30 minutes. The salt will help draw some moisture out of the cucumber.

In the mean time, add all of the remaining sauce ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Cover and refrigerate.

When the cucumber has rested for 30 minutes, open one end of the plastic wrap and squeeze out as much water as you can.

Add the cucumber to the sauce, stir to combine, cover and refrigerate.

Combine the beef, lamb, granulated onion, oregano, granulated garlic, sea salt, marjoram, thyme, and black pepper in a large mixing bowl.

Roll up your sleeves and get those freshly-washed hands in that meat! There's simply no dainty way do do this. Mix it evenly so that all of the ingredients are well incorporated. Squishing between your fingers works well.

Form the meat into a loaf and put it in a disposable foil loaf pan. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours.

Gyros On The Grill

Start your grill and prepare for indirect cooking over a medium fire (325-350º).

Grill the loaf indirect for one hour.

Gyros On The Grill

Remove the loaf from the pan and continue grilling indirect for another 45 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 160º.

Gyros On The Grill

Remove the loaf from the grill, tent with foil and let cool for about half an hour.

Once the loaf has rested, slice it thin.

Gyros On The Grill

Add more coals to your grill, if needed (still indirect at about 325º), and cover your grill grate with foil.

Put two slices of Swiss cheese and slices of the loaf on each piece of pita bread.

Put the bread on the grill and cook indirect until the cheese is melted.

Gyros On The Grill

Dress each sandwich as desired with lettuce, tomato, tzatziki sauce, and red onion.

Gyros On The Grill

Serve and enjoy!

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Blogger Basting Away said...
Wow, that looks incredible! How did you get it sliced so thin and perfect?
Blogger Unknown said...
Basting - I just use my wonderful Kiwi knives and a steady hand.
Anonymous Anonymous said...
I've been admiring your recipes via Tasty Kitchen for a while now . . . glad I finally made it over to your blog. I absolutely must try this.
Blogger Unknown said...
Thanks, Jenna. Let me know what you think.
Blogger Chris said...
Really nice job and great photos as always, John. These are one of my favorite Greek foods.

I've made gyros twice and loved them both. Did one loaf pan style like yours and one like a fatty. I've been tempted to try Alton Brown's method with a rotisserie.
Blogger Brett said...
That looks delicious! I have been wanting to find a gyro recipe to do at home and I will be trying these.
Anonymous Anonymous said...
I plan on trying this later on in the week... but since it makes so much meat, after the meat has been cooked, have you had any luck freezing it?
Blogger Unknown said...
rbroach79 - I haven't tried freezing it, but it should be just fine, since it's basically just a dense meatloaf. You might try slicing it and vacuum-packing it, if that's an option for you. -John
Blogger Kitty said...
oh my! I LOVE gyros, looks soooooooooo good!
Anonymous Chris said...
John, I cooked this up to your specs and it was fantastic. Wonderful Tzatziki sauce recipe too. The cumin really added a nice dimension to to the flavor.

Thanks for all the great recipes and the great website.

Blogger Unknown said...
You're certainly welcome, Chris. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I dig happy eaters.
Blogger Unknown said...
Looks great. I will make it.
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Gyros Gyros Gyros love em ever since my days in the middle east. Yours look just as good.
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Ooooh my this looks delicious! Definitely want to try it!

Blogger SushiPhreak said...
I've baked gyro meat before but put a brick on i to "squish" it into a dense loaf. Turns out great.
Anonymous Anonymous said...
This recipe was amazing - I made it for a party and it was a huge hit. Thanks!
Anonymous Mike said...
I made these as meatballs on the Performer the other day, then served them in pitas. The flavor on the meat was fantastic, and the Tzatziki was spot on. Fantastic!

Thanks for the post.
Blogger Unknown said...
Mike - What a great idea! I think I'll have to steal that and come up with a Mediterranean meatball sandwich. I'm really glad that you like the recipe.
Anonymous Travis said...
I love this recipe. Thanks so much. I spent 1 year stationed in Chania, Crete Greece and ate many gyros while there. I would recommend adding french fries to this, as this is how they were served over there. They really add something to it!
Blogger Unknown said...
Travis - Thanks for the kind comment. Adding fries sounds awesome!
Blogger Valerie said...
Just a query --- what's the internal temp on the finished loaf? I'm super excited to give this a go; I made a gyro loaf in the oven before and it was ehh --- this one looks delicious!! Tonight's the night! {grin}
Blogger Unknown said...
Valerie - Cook it to an internal temperature of 160*. I just added that to the recipe. Thanks for the question. Please do stop by and share your thoughts after you try it.
Blogger Valerie said...
Following up --- we loved it! And the leftovers froze well, too. This is a neat technique and the flavor was spot on for our tastes. Thanks for the groundwork!

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