Greek-American style gyros developed in the US during the 1970s. Based on the traditional Turkish doner kebab, meat is cooked on a vertical rotisserie then sliced and served on pita bread with vegetables and sauce. Two Chicago men, engineer Peter Parthenis and Parkview Restaurant owner George Apostolou, both lay claim to developing gyro meat as a mass-produced rotisserie product. Also popularized as a New York City street food, tens of thousands of gyro broilers rotate every day around the US. Gyros are pronounced as, “YEE-ros.”
Recipe Servings: 4
- ½ English cucumber, peeled and finely diced
- 2 cups plain Greek yogurt, cold
- 4 garlic cloves, pressed
- ⅓ cup fresh dill, chopped
- 1 ½ Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ tsp salt, more to taste
- ⅛ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp fresh oregano leaves
- ½ yellow onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 garlic clove, sliced
- 3 oz slab bacon (or 5 slices bacon), cut into ½- inch pieces
- 4 slices of pocketless pita bread
- 1 tomato, coarsely chopped for topping
- 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced for topping
- Squeeze as much water from the diced cucumber as possible using your hands or a cheesecloth.
- Combine the cucumber, Greek yogurt, garlic, dill, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Mix well to combine.
- Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 60 minutes.
- Combine lamb, salt, pepper, and oregano in a medium bowl, mixing thoroughly to combine.
- Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 60 minutes or up to overnight.
- Preheat oven to 300°F and line a baking sheet with foil.
- Combine the lamb mixture, onion, garlic, and bacon in a blender or food processor.
- Process for 30–60 seconds until the consistency is smoothly pureed, scraping the inside of the container as needed.
- Shape the lamb mixture into a loaf about 8 inches long and 5 inches wide.
- Bake for 30–35 minutes, allowing the center of the meat to reach 155°F on a meat thermometer, then remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the broiler and place a rack in the highest position.
- Slice the baked lamb loaf crosswise into pieces about ⅛-inch thick and place on baking sheet.
- Brown for 2–4 minutes, allowing edges to crisp.
- Warm the pita bread in the oven.
- Prepare each gyro by adding ¼ cup tzatziki sauce to each warmed pita then adding gyro meat and topping with chopped tomatoes and sliced onions.
- Wrap with foil and serve hot.
For Tzatziki Sauce:
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