I have a mild obsession with gyros. I have no idea why. I have absolutely no Mediterranean bones in my body. I had my first gyro at the Red River Revel, where they are sold as a fundraiser for something, but they are very cost prohibitive. But addictive. They probably use lamb and a rotisserie.
I didn’t. Instead, I used a Crock Pot and modified the recipe from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures. Because you know, I do that. I can’t help it. And I probably committed several forms of gyro sacrelige today. But, this is how my gyro…rolls. I should note that the gyro in totality is NOT Muffin Approved. 😦 He did like the cucumber, the tomato, and the meat, however, so I know I can get away with serving them again because they were definitely Josh Approved. And I have to enjoy Crock Pot recipes that are Josh Approved because, well, there are so few of those.
Did I mention that I think I could have bathed in this tzatziki sauce? That may be the reason I’m obsessed with gyros.
Changes that I plan to make for next time:
1) Add a bit of breadcrumbs and an egg to the mixture (might be committing even more gyro felonies, there).
2) Swap out the ground turkey for ground pork for moisture sake.
3) Make my own Greek seasoning. I used McCormick, and I did not like all the big chunks. And I might add just a bit of honey or sugar to the meat…like 1/2 teaspoon or less.
I read somewhere on the web (several places actually), that to get the authentic flavor and texture, you have to pan fry the slivers of gyro meat for a few seconds. Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures recipe does not mention doing this, but I did it, and I liked what it did to the texture.
I also added a few mint leaves minced to the tzatziki. I think it really made a difference.
I also think next time I will use the onions from the pot and not fresh onions on the gyros. I also think I will try to find flatbreads rather than pocket pitas for the bread.
Here’s what I did this time.
Crock Pot Style Gyros
(Heavily Adapted from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures)
1 pound ground beef (ground from a roast by my mixer is what I used)
1 pound ground turkey (I will use ground pork next time)
1 onion sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Greek seasoning
salt and pepper, to taste
Place onion and garlic in the crock pot. Mix together meat and Greek seasoning. Form into two small loaves and place on top of onions and garlic. Cook on low for 4-5 hours. Remove the meat from the crock pot. Rest/cool for thirty minutes. Using your sharpest knife, thinly carve strips of meat off of the loaves. Just before serving, spray a not-nonstick pan with nonstick cooking spray or pour in a thin layer of oil. Heat over medium-high heat. Position slices of meat one layer thick on the pan. By the time you finish placing them in the pan, it will be time to begin turning them over. It’s okay of the strips break; it actually makes it easier to build the gyro. Evacuate the pieces to a serving dish. Repeat as necessary for dinner service (I made two batches and saved the rest to “brown” later).
Spray pan again with nonstick cooking spray. Warm first one side, then the other, of enough pita breads for dinner. Evacuate to a plate to keep warm.
Build your gyro by spreading tzatziki sauce (recipe below) down the middle of a pita or flatbread. I used copious amounts because I love the stuff. Layer the desired amount of gyro meat, followed by tomato, onion, lettuce, cucumber, and more tzatziki sauce as desired (although I would recommend that you learn from my mistake and not put it on the top). Sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese. Use your hands and patience to mold the gyro into a roll (if you are like me and you put too much stuff in, this will be a challenge). Wrap your gyro in foil in such a way that you can peel back layers to eat your gyro. The reason for not putting your tzatziki as your top layer is that it tends to stick to the foil and you have to show poor manners and lick the tzatziki off of the foil greedily.
Not that I’m speaking from personal experience or anything. (Innocent whistles)
I guess I better share the tzatziki sauce with you. So that you can make some of your own and not judge when I wake up in the middle of the night to eat the rest of it and lick the bowl it’s in. Erm. Not that I’m planning on doing that or anything. I promise.
(Again, Heavily Adapted from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures)
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped, and then rechopped into a mince
8 ounces of plain Greek yogurt (I used Fage, but I’m not brand dependent)
1/2 teaspoon Greek seasoning (Again, I want to find my own recipe)
1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4-5 mint leaves (peppermint), minced finely
Mix together and refrigerate until you are ready to serve. But, before you put it in the fridge, you need to sample it. Take a big spoonful and place it in your mouth. Swallow. Realize you really gobbled that first spoonful, so you didn’t really get a taste. Take another “taste.” Repeat as necessary.
I like how this is generally a healthy recipe. Just as with tacos, we tend to use very little meat and pile high with other toppings, including lots of veggies. The only processed item in this meal was the pita breads (and I have thought about learning to make my own). I guess the Greek seasoning is processed, as well (and something I want to make my own).
Are you as obsessed by gyros as I am?