I have always been fascinated with gyros. The combination of the spiced meats, the fresh cucumber sauce all wrapped nicely in pita bread make it the perfect meal, especially at football games and
festivals. But, I had never tried making my own, until now.
Gyros prepared the official way are layers of beef, lamb and sometimes pork, all placed on a rotisserie and slow-roasted for hours.
Practically every spice you have on hand will be used in this dish.
Gyros originated in Greece hundreds of years ago, but are fairly new here in in the states. Best I can tell they
started showing up in Chicago in the mid-1960's. While the meat I use in this recipe is ground, the flavors are all there in full force.
But, in typical “BBQ My Way” fashion, I took it one step further. I prepared them on the grill which gave them the authentic outdoor flavor I was hoping for. If you like gyros, give this recipe a try. This recipe is a double batch. I froze half of it for future use.
• 1 lb. ground lamb
• 1 lb. ground beef
• 1 lb. ground pork
• 1 onion finely chopped
• 1/8 cup chopped garlic
• 1 ½ Tbs. oregano
• 1 ½ Tbs. marjoram
• 1 Tbs. ground cumin
• 1 tsp. ground coriander
• 1 ½ Tbs. rosemary – dried and ground
• 1 ½ Tbs of ground black pepper
• 1 ½ tsp. Kosher salt
Saute' the onion and garlic in a little olive oil to bring out the sweetness. Once the onion mixture is cooled, add all “meat” ingredients in a large bowl. Mix with hands until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
Set aside in the fridge for an hour to let the flavors meld together. Onto the sauce.
• 1 cup sour cream
• 1 cup Greek yogurt
• 1 cup cucumber – peeled, grated and squeezed of its water
• 1 tsp minced garlic
• 1 tsp fresh dill finely chopped
• 1 tsp prepared mustard
• ½ tsp kosher salt
Combine all ingredients and chill.
Grilling the gyro
Set up the grill with indirect heat, which is stacking 20 to 25 briquets on one side of the grill. Once they are 75 percent ashen, sprinkle with a cup or two of hickory ships.
Form the meat into oblong patties, the size that you think would fit perfectly into your pita bread.
Place the patties on the opposite side of the coals and put the lid on, all vents open. Allow to cook indirectly for 20 to 30 minutes. Then, briefly place them directly over the goals to provide some
texture. Be careful, as they will cause flame ups. Bring them in, assemble your authentic gyro with
fresh tomatoes, lettuce and cucumber sauce.
Dave Lobeck is a barbecue chef from Sellersburg, Ind., who writes a column for CNHI News Service. Visit his website at www.BBQMyWay.com.