How to Make an Authentic Greek Gyro

Gyros are a popular dish in Greece. They consist of meat (usually beef), onion, tomato, and tzatziki sauce wrapped into a pita with sliced cucumber on top. Making your own authentic gyro can be difficult but rewarding if you take the time to perfect it!

The “traditional greek gyros” are a type of food that is often made with lamb, beef, or pork. They are typically served in pita bread with tzatziki sauce, tomatoes and onions.

“What would you eat for the rest of your life if you could only eat one sort of cuisine (Mexican, Italian, Japanese, etc.)?”

If you and I ever go on a road trip together, that’ll be just one of the many inquisitive, or as my wife refers to it, obnoxious, questions I’ll ask.

It’s a no-brainer for me: I’d go Greek.

I’d be able to have my fill of pasta, pizza, fish, feta cheese, olives, pig, steak, lamb, chicken, and pretty much anything else. But, most significantly, I’d be able to indulge in one of my guilty loves – gyros — for the rest of my life.

Gyro poster kronos gyros.

I’m certain that most Americans are aware of this Greek delicacy, having Chicago-based Kronos to thank for popularizing the “Greek taco” via the use of attractive models. I’ve always enjoyed a good gyro, whether it’s from a mall food court, a street vendor, or a fine dining establishment – it’s one of those foods that calls to me.

So it wasn’t the history, beaches, gorgeous sky, or famed sunsets that motivated me to surprise my wife with a vacation to Greece last month. No, I needed to get my gyro fix, which meant driving a four-wheeler around the Greek islands and devouring a gyro every two hours or so.

I became so used to eating them that I wanted to find out a method to manufacture them at home. After doing some investigation, I discovered that the issue had previously been thoroughly addressed by a well-known chef and a well-respected website.

But here’s the deal: gyro, whether lamb, beef, or a mix of the two, as we know it in the United States, is seldom, if ever, encountered in Greece. Though I was first upset that those meats were not available on a rotisserie, my gaze was quickly drawn to the “genuine” gyro meat, which is the meat of the gods: hog.

I’m never going back after my sixth pork gyro. The pork is well seasoned, tender, and juicy, with a nice sear. Piggy, piggy, piggy, piggy, piggy, piggy, piggy,

Fried potatoes put straight inside the gyro is another unusual innovation made by the Greeks. With this addition, it’s definitely a heartier sandwich, thus I like it and felt it was worth discussing here.

Because most of us don’t have a rotisserie to gently roast and carve a huge piece of meat, I had to devise my own method to get a comparable outcome for the home chef. After considerable trial and error, I decided to cook the meat on a kebab. I was able to get a lot of char on the surface while keeping the interior wet and soft. It’s also simple to make: all you need is a grill (or even a broiler) and some skewers.

 

Multiple pieces of pig are traditionally skewered together and slow-cooked before being roasted on the rotisserie. I went back and forth trying to locate the appropriate cut of pork to put on a skewer to obtain the similar texture and feel, ultimately settled on pork tenderloin. Despite being the most costly pig cut, it responds well to the marinade and produces soft, tasty meat.

Sliced and packed into a warmed pita with homemade tzatziki and other fixings, I guarantee you’ll be uncomfortably full in the greatest manner imaginable in no time.

Marinade + Pork

Grilling pork tenderloin on skewers.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 8-ounce pork tenderloin, skinned and sliced into 1.5-inch slices
  • 1 tbsp. salt (kosher)
  • 12 tbsp. pepper, freshly cracked
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 14 cup Greek yogurt, plain
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 12 oz. lemon juice
  • 12 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 14 teaspoon rosemary (dry)
  • 14 teaspoon thyme (dry)
  • 14 teaspoon marjoram (dry)
  • skewers made of wood

Directions

  1. In a ziplock bag, combine all ingredients (excluding the skewers, of course), close, and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Heat the grill to medium-high. Skewer the pork slices together in the meanwhile. If the skewers are overcrowded, the meat will steam rather than brown. To ensure that each piece absorbs the most flavor during the grilling process, leave some space between them.
  3. Cook the skewers for 4 minutes on each side on the grill. Remove off the grill and cover with foil to rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the meat off the skewers and thinly slice it for assembly.

The acidity of the yogurt and lemon juice enhances the tenderness of a sensitive cut like pork tenderloin. This meat will take on all of the usual tastes that you’ve grown to love from a regular gyro with the addition of some herbs and the overnight marinate.

Tzatziki Sauce is a Greek yogurt-based sauce.

Without a superb tzatziki, a gyro isn’t a gyro. This yogurt sauce is loaded with garlic and cucumber, and it’s not only delicious, but it’s also good for you. It’s great as a vegetable dip, over a baked potato, or on just about any grilled protein cut. I’ve kept my recipe simple, but if you choose, you can easily add fresh chopped mint to boost the taste of this sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt, plain
  • 1 garlic clove, coarsely minced
  • 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 14 cup cucumber, finely chopped
  • 1 kosher salt pinch
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin)

Directions

In a mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and toss until they are uniformly distributed. Serve immediately or chill until ready to use. In the refrigerator, it will last for 1-2 days. (If you’re not serving right away, add the garlic at the last minute.)

Authentic greek gyro.

Warm up some pita bread and pour lots of meat on top when it’s time to assemble this masterpiece. Toppings like shredded lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and fries are all delicious; end with a dollop of tzatziki and a cool drink or three.

Warm up some pita bread and pour lots of meat on top when it’s time to assemble this masterpiece. Toppings like shredded lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and fries are all delicious; end with a dollop of tzatziki and a cool drink or three.

Matt Moore is the author of A Southern Gentleman’s Kitchen and a frequent contributor to the Art of Manliness.

 

 

 

Watch This Video-

Gyros are a popular dish in Greece. This recipe is for the authentic Greek gyro. The bread is made with flour, water, yeast, salt, and olive oil. Reference: gyro bread.

Frequently Asked Questions

How traditional Greek gyros are made?

A: Traditional gyros are first wrapped in a sheet of dough, topped with sliced meat, onion and tomato. Then the traditional Greek way is to seal it all up in pita bread.

What is a traditional gyro made of?

A: A gyro is a device that uses an imbalance in the orientation of two or more spinning objects to generate torque. The angular momentum of the system will cause one side, called the rotor blade, to rotate while its opposite side remains stationary.

Are gyros Real Greek?

A: Gyros are not Real Greek, but they can be found in many countries outside of Greece.

Related Tags

  • gyro toppings
  • traditional gyro toppings
  • popular gyro toppings
  • gyro meat
  • lamb gyros marinade