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Greek Recipes

Meat Main Dishes

Gyros

Traditionally, Gyro is made from Pork slices that are cooked on a vertical spit. 

It is grilled slowly with aromatic herbs and spices and then sliced thinly into a pita. 

Seeing that some restaurants have adapted the recipe to include ground pork and lamb, I thought that I should include it here.

 

 
Gyro from Pork (ground version) Gyro from Lamb
2 lbs. ground pork with fat 1 lb. ground Lamb
½ onion, minced 1 lb. ground beef
3 tbs. Ground cumin 1/8 cup oregano
1 crushed garlic clove 2 tbsp. minced onion
salt & pepper 1 garlic clove, crushed
  ½ tbsp. Ground pepper
  1 tsp. Thyme
  1 tsp. Salt
   
   

Choose the Pork or Lamb recipe as to your preference. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Form the meat into thin, oblong patties. You can fry, bake or charcoal grill them, depending on your taste preference.

Sandwich Ingredients

cooked pork or lamb meat

Fried Greek Pita Bread

Tzatziki

sliced onions

sliced tomatoes

sliced tomatoes

To assemble the sandwich:

Fry a pita in a hot skillet with a dash of olive oil, just until golden on each side. Take the pita and add your meat to the center. Top it with tzatziki, sliced tomato, onions and a sprinkle of parsley. Roll the pita up, and you have Gyro!!

These are messy sandwiches, so if you’d like to keep it neat, wrap a piece of waxed paper over the bottom half of the sandwich to keep the juices from running down your hands.

Traditional Spit Gyro From Pork

Boneless pork with fat

Salt & pepper

Ground cumin

Granulated garlic or crushed fresh garlic

Oregano – optional

 

Vertical Rotating Spit

 

I’ll leave the quantity up to you, but you should have enough meat to stack up at least 10 inches. We use pork shoulder that has been cut into steak like slices, not thicker than ½ inch and about 8-10 inches in diameter. For home use, I recommend a smaller cut, maybe 4-6 inches in diameter so it cooks quicker.

Arrange the pork slices on a cutting board. Generously sprinkle with all the spices on both sides. Skewer the slices onto your spit, packing them very tightly against each other. You want it to resemble a roast. Gyro is cooked vertically, on a rotating electric spit. Though I’ve never tried a horizontal spit, I would think that you would lose too much juice that way and you would have a dry gyro. Vertically, it sort of bastes itself.

Begin by rotating your Gyro on medium heat setting for about 1 hour. You do not have to wait for it to cook completely through in order to serve. You slice the crisp outer layer of Gyro as it gets done and let it continue to rotate and cook, slice again, cook again, etc. To serve, use a very sharp knife and run it down the length of the Gyro as it rotates, slicing off the cooked layer. You want the slices to be thin and bite sized.

If you are entertaining and want the entire Gyro to be eatable rather quickly, there is a short cut. You can arrange your pork slices into a roast and tie it together with butcher’s cord. Bake it in the oven for an hour or 2, depending on its size. Then skewer the whole thing and set it in the spit to grill and crisp the outer layers. You won’t have to wait as long in between slicing for the pork to cook.

Pork Gyro is one of the easiest recipes that I know. The trick is in the meat cuts and the equipment that you use to cook it. The higher the fat content, the crispier and juicier your gyro will turn out.

 

Gyro as a Dinner Entree

Gyro can be served as a main entree for dinner. Platters of meat should be accompanied by dishes of Tzatziki, fried potatoes, Greek Salad, and of course Greek Pita Bread.

 

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