Yum, yum, yum. Honestly, I haven’t met a single person who doesn’t love a good gyro.
A few summers ago, Ben and I were staying with good family friends in Bozeman while I took my first master’s degree classes at MSU. It was our turn to make dinner and since Ben had recently started making his own pita bread (deeee-licious!), we decided to make gyros. I had never made gyro meat before and since I wasn’t about to buy a giant lamb shank to roast on a spit, I had to figure out how to do it at home. I headed to the grocery store for ground lamb and chatted up the butcher. He told me how they do it at home (and in a restaurant he used to work in) and I’ve made it that way ever since. The typical meat mix is half ground beef, half ground lamb which is what we did that day in Bozeman. When we have room in our budget, I’ll spring for ground lamb but I went with just ground turkey for these because that’s what I had on hand! And they’re oh so yummy.
By Rachel @ reprezent98201
Makes 8 servings (served best with a good hand of cribbage – that’s at least 10 points!)
1 pound ground turkey (we buy Foster Farms’ from Costco)
Grandma Edna’s Greek Seasoning from my neck of the woods but available to purchase online (we also use Cavender’s which you can pick up at Safeway)
Feta cheese, crumbled (really well priced at Costco)
2 tomatoes, chopped
Greens (I’ll use whatever is lying around – arugula, spring mix, spinach, lettuce, etc)
Pitas (we use whole wheat pitas but you can use whatever you’d like)
2 cups Greek yogurt
1 cucumber, seeded and diced very small
Minced garlic to taste (~1 T)
A splash of olive oil
Combine the Greek yogurt, cucumber, garlic, and olive oil. Stir well. If it’s too thick, add another splash of olive oil. If you want it really garlic-y, feel free to add more. We also like ours chunky so sometimes I’ll add another half of a cucumber.
Make your tzatziki sauce at least a few hours before eating so the flavors have time to meld. You can also take this opportunity to chop your tomatoes so you don’t have to do any minor prep while you’re making the gyro meat.
Mix the ground meat with Greek seasoning to smell. I like to add it until it smells really fragrant which ends up being a 4-6 tablespoons. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and form the meat into a flat, rectangular loaf. Broil until brown.
Carefully lift the foil and transfer the foil (with the meat loaf on it) to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife – I’ve found my bread knife does the best job – cut the loaf into thin slices.
Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add a splash of olive oil and arrange as many slices in a single layer in the pan as possible. You’ll probably have to do this in 2-3 batches. Cook each piece until browned on both sides and cooked through.
Assemble your gyro however you’d like. Ben starts with the pita, spreads on tzatziki sauce, lays on the meat, then greens and tomatoes, sprinkles it with feta, and uses the hummus as the glue to seal the sides of the pita together after he folds it up. Everybody’s different but it’s all good as long as all the flavors are there. I can’t help myself Opa!