Succulent meat sliced from the spit and served in pitta bread with onions, tomatoes and tzatziki, a gyro is one of those quintessential Greek street foods that it is hard to recreate at home. However this recipe does recapture the real flavours of Greece and if you have a rotating spit you can even cook it authentically over glowing coals to get that extra char-grilled note. For ease and convenience the gyro meat can be baked in the oven with good results and sliced thinly to create your own gyro sandwiches.
The traditional Greek gyro is usually a mixture of at least half lamb mince with either beef or pork, depending on the area. Don’t choose extra lean mince, as the fat is needed to bind the meat and keep it moist as it cooks. The ground meat needs to rest to allow all the seasonings to penetrate, so allow enough time for this or prepare it the night before you want to eat.
Gyro Meat Recipe
500g / 1lb minced lamb (or half lamb, half beef)
½ onion very finely chopped
2 cloves garlic crushed to a paste
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon dried marjoram
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Mix all the ingredients well and leave to rest for at least 2 hours in the fridge, or overnight.
Before cooking, blitz the meat mixture in the food processor briefly to get a finer texture. One minute should be enough; it doesn’t need to be smooth, just a bit finer, to get the authentic gyro feel.
Form the meat into a loaf shape in a tin if baking in the oven and bake at 160C / 325F for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until cooked through..
If you have a barbeque spit, form the meat into an oblong around the spit, pressing it firmly so that it stays together. Cook slowly over the coals, rotating slowly, for 30-45 minutes.
Slice the meat quite thinly and serve wrapped in pitta bread with dollops of garlicky tzatziki and some tomato and onion slices.
Feel like experiencing the flavours of Greece with plenty of atmosphere? Why not visit one of Derbyshire’s Greek restaurants for some great food and a lively evening out.