Timothy Woods
Published by Timothy Woods
Last Updated On: April 28, 2022

I tried gyro once at a Greek restaurant, and it immediately became a favorite. For months after that, I dreamt about having it again. It's not close by, so I decided to try making it at home.

Of course, I took guidance from Greek expert celebrity chefs like Lefteris Lazarou and Akis Petretzikis for the best, most traditional method.

Quick Summary

  • Gyro is from the Greek cuisine, made of lamb, beef, pork, or chicken.
  • The meat is turned into a cone-like shape, seasoned with herbs, and roasted on a skewer vertically for hours until done.
  • Gyro meat is cut into thin slices and served with traditional Greek salad, roasted veggies, hummus, and wraps.

If you want a homemade gyro recipe that is quick and easy to follow but still comes close to the traditional style and taste, you can try my go-to recipe below.

Gyro Meat Recipe

Two Gyro wraps on cutting board

Ingredients:

  • ½ medium onion  
  • 2 garlic cloves  
  • 1 lb. ground beef  
  • 1 lb. ground lamb  
  • ½ tsp salt (adjust to taste)  
  • 1 tsp black pepper (adjust to taste)  
  • 1 tsp cumin powder  
  • 1 tsp oregano  
  • 1 tsp basil  
  • 1 tsp marjoram  
  • 1 tsp rosemary  
  • 1 tsp thyme 

Instructions:

  1. Chop onion and garlic finely (use a food processer if needed).
  2. Press the onion and garlic over a sieve or in a kitchen towel to squeeze out the liquid.
  3. Place the onions into a mixing bowl with the ground meat. Mix it till combined.
  4. Add all the spices and herbs and mix well again until combined.
  5. Cover the bowl with a lid, foil, or plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 1-2 hours to marinate the flavors.
  6. Take the mixture out from the fridge. Preheat your oven to 325°F.
  7. Add the meat mix to your food processor and blend it for about a minute or 2 until it becomes tacky.
  8. Toss the mixture back into the mixing bowl and mix for a further 1-2 minutes. You can use your hands, a wooden spoon, or an electric mixer for this step.
  9. Grease a 7x4 inch loaf pan or any pan of similar dimensions, and press the mixture down into it.
  10. Place the loaf pan into a roasting tray and fill the roasting tray about ¼-½ way up with boiling water.
  11. Bake your gyro in the oven for 45 minutes – 1 hour, until the meat has an internal temperature of 165°F.
  12. If any fat accumulates, pour it out, and turn the meat out onto a heat-safe dish or cutting board.
  13. Let the fresh gyro cool for a few minutes before cutting it into thin slices.
  14.  Serve as desired.

Substitutions & Alternatives

  • Sea salt instead of regular table salt brings out the flavors more, but you can use what is available.
  • Use fresh herbs if you have those, but they might add a hint of color and texture change to the overall meat. You would have to finely chop them before adding them to the mixture and ensure they get blended well and become part of the smooth, tacky batter in the food processor.
  • Use herbs available to you; for example, use Italian herbs if you are missing a couple of them listed in the recipe.
  • You can use any baking pan available to you – it doesn't have to be a loaf shape.
  • Ground pork and chicken also work for gyro meat. Use what is convenient and desirable to you.

How To Serve Gyro Meat

There are several ways you can serve gyro meat and various sides that go well with it. Look at a few options here:

  • Add in a wrap or pita bread with lettuce, tomato, onion, and other additions of your choice.
  • Serve it with hummus and pita bread.
  • Use a tzatziki dip for gyro met or add it to a wrap together.
  • Have it in addition to Greek tomato orzo soup.
  • Make some tasty Briam (Greek roasted vegetables) with it.
  • Serve some Greek lemon potatoes on the side.
  • A traditional, refreshing Greek salad goes perfectly with gyro meat.

However, you decide to serve it, be assured that it will be tasty and enjoyable because it is such a versatile dish. If you give everything you have into making it, you will achieve the best results – as the grandmaster of Greek cuisine, Lefteris Lazarou, says, "Food means giving your soul" [2].

What Meat Is Best For Gyro?

Raw meats close up image

Lamb is mainly used for gyro meat – often the shoulder with fat trimming interspersed into it.

Beef and chicken are most common after lamb cuts, but pork is sometimes used. As long as good quality ground meat is used, your gyro will turn out perfectly.

Typically, lamb and beef are mixed to make gyro, like the above recipe. It works best that way for flavor and texture.

Fattier cuts are recommended to cook the gyro in its grease and help the meat remain juicy and tender.

Conclusion

Cooking gyro meat has never been this easy. With the simple ingredients and easy steps, you can cook up delicious gyro meat in no time.

It can be more convenient for you if you get your meat delivered by ButcherBox. Where all their meat is organic and raised in a stress-free environment.

Don't forget to share this recipe with friends and family!


References:

  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/15/dining/15gyro.html#:~:text=Gyros%20are%20believed%20to%20have,gyro%20magnates%20of%20this%20city.
  2. https://varoulko.gr/our-chef/

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