Monday, October 13, 2014

Beef Pita Gyros
serves 4 to 6
Why pay $6 or $7 for a Gyros in a restaurant or from a street vendor when you can easily make them at  home for about $1 and no, you don't need a fancy vertical broiler . . .  here's how. 

                                                                                        Prep time:   1 hour
                                                                                       Cook time:  54 minutes
                                                                                       Total time:  1 hour 54 minutes  
Gyros meat:

1 pound ground beef
2 teaspoons Kosher or sea salt
½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dry oregano
½ yellow onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 clove garlic, peeled
5 slices of sliced bacon, cut into 1/2 –inch pieces

Tzatziki sauce:

1 large cucumber (about 1 ½ cups of chopped cucumber)
1 ½ cups yogurt*
½ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Kosher salt, to taste


1 large tomato, thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced
2 cucumbers, peeled and medium diced

4 to 6 pieces of pita bread

create the Tzatziki sauce:

1.  Trim the ends off the cucumber and with a vegetable peeler remove and discard the skin. Cut the cucumber lengthwise in half; scoop out seeds.
2.  Finely chop the cucumber and transfer it to a medium bowl. Stir in the yogurt, mint, oil, and garlic, and season with salt. Cover the sauce with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use*.

 *The sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 1 week in a lidded container.

create the Gyro meat: 

1.  Combine the ground beef, salt, pepper and oregano in a large bowl using your hands to evenly distribute the spices. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
2.  After the meat and spice mixture has rested, transfer the mixture from the bowl to the bowl of a food processor, add the onion, garlic and bacon and process until a smooth puree is formed, about 30 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
first bake of the Gyro meat:

1.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil to make cleanup easy and, with moist hands, shape the meat mixture into a rectangular loaf about 8 inches long and 5 inches wide.
2.  Bake the meat loaf in the oven until the center of the loaf reaches 155° F, about 30 to 35 minutes.
3.  Remove the baked meatloaf from the oven and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes.

second bake of the Gyro meat:

1.   Adjust the rack of your oven to its highest position and turn on the broiler.  Prepare a rimmed baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil.
2.  Slice the rested and cooled meatloaf crosswise into very thin pieces, approximately 1/8-inch thick. Lay the strips on on the prepared baking sheet and broil the slices until edges are browned and crispy, about 2 to 4 minutes.  Monitor the browning of the slices closely as the broiler browns the meat rapidly. 


To serve the Gyros place a platter with the gyros meat on a service table accompanied by warm warm pita, the Tzatziki sauce, sliced tomatoes, sliced onions, and diced cucumbers and allow the diners to construct their own Pita Gyro. 

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