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Gyro Recipes?

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 
Hola! We now use Kronos or some other pre-cooked, sliced beef gyro, and its not bad after all. But want to make it "homemade".

Can y'a'' offer some really authentic recipes?

post #2 of 55
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post #3 of 55
OK, I'm trying again!
post #4 of 55
Hmmmmm, now it seams to be working...
Here it goes again then.
For authentic gyro use pork shoulder, sliced about steak size. Season each slice on both side with salt, pepper, garlic(powder), cumin, oregano. Pack them tightly on a VERTICAL spit.
When cooked, slice vertically around the edges, you will end up with kinda shredded meat.
pack these in a briefly toasted pita bread with tzaziki, tomato and onion slices.
post #5 of 55
Thread Starter 
Tks for effort mitmondol! Methinks it's missing some spices, I can´t "see" that special taste in your ingredients.

I read a recipe including the spice FENUGREEK. No way I can get that here, can anyone suggest the closest substitute? Fennel? Celery seeds?

post #6 of 55
Hi Gpaul,

I found one here, hope its to your liking :)

Greek Gyro Sandwiches...beef or Chicken Recipe | Recipezaar
post #7 of 55
Well, you wanted authentic.
Fenugreek would not be that. Like Recipezaar's recipe would not be that either...
That special taste comes from the method of cooking and the combination of the meat and the tzaziki.
But hey, it's your dish, you can make it however you want to!
I was just trying to give you the authentic stuff.
Check with Greek people and you'll see.
post #8 of 55
I'd certainly agree that the cooking method is of great importance. I seem to recall that lamb is also used quite a bit. Frankly, it surprises me that someone is selling gyro sandwiches where the meat is not cooked on a Gyro.

I'll have to check my Greek recipes to see if lamb is used.

Time passes: I checked, and was confusing shawarma with the gyro. Authentic, as best as I can determine, is pork, and defintely served with tzaziki. That Recipezaar recipe is far from authentic ...

BTW, there are a number of taquerias here that cook some of their pork on a device like a Gyro. I say "like a Gyro" because I've not compared the various taqueria spits to a more common Gyro. But, in any case, it's Good Eats!

post #9 of 55
Hi Gpaul,

(I am not Greek so take my advice lightly)

Mitmondol's recipe seems quite authentic. I would rub fresh minced garlic instead of garlic powder.
I never really tasted cumin in gyros before but I rub a smidgen of crush anise seeds and also rub some lemon juice on my meat. I occasionally use pork but more often a deboned lamb leg which I rub the day before (with some salt and brown sugar as well) and let it marinate in a sealed bag overnight in the fridge.

Although fenugreek has the word Greek in it and also means grass from Greece it is rarely used in Greek cuisine. Oriental and Indian cuisine use it extensively. You can find that spice in these types of grocery stores for sure.

Luc H.
post #10 of 55
A Salaam Allah Qim!

I don't know about authentic Greek Gyros, but most of the Greeks I have known over the years prefer the spice blend of Schwarma. Schwarma is traditionally lamb meat. However, the "cones" in most Middle Eastern restaurants are made from beef with leftover lamb fat added for flavor. I know, because the owner of Holyland has their own butchery inside the store, and he told me they pack up their own selected meats, and send them along with their own spice blend to Chicago to have the cones processed(compressed).

They also now use only halal meat. And the taste is outstanding. I plainly don't care for tzaziki sauce (cucumber/yogourt sauce) as much as tahini sauce accented with authentic hot sauce, which the Holyland makes from scratch also.

post #11 of 55

Tzaziki Sauce

Here is a recipe I use for tzaziki sauce. Hope this helps

1 pint plain yogurt
1 large cucumber (English type if possible), peeled and seeded
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Drain the yogurt overnight in the refrigerator in a strainer that has been lined with cheesecloth. Chop cucumber finely and let drain on paper towels. To drained yogurt, add cucumber, garlic, oil and vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate at least 1 hour to allow flavors to blend. Use as a topping over meat filling as in a ""gyro"". Also a good dip with raw vegetables or crackers. (I find this tart enough without the vinegar. May also add finely chopped onion, green onion or chives. Also good with toasted pita bread.

I also use this sauce for "speedies" (its a NY thing) When I see folks dipping pita chips, veggies etc in the sauce that tells me its a keeper! Best of luck on your quest for fresh made flavors.
Scott B

As far as the Kitchen goes, it is a long, long day that is never really over, you just go home at some point
Scott B

As far as the Kitchen goes, it is a long, long day that is never really over, you just go home at some point
post #12 of 55
FrayedKnot, you really need more garlic in that. Mmmmmm. And I recommend lemon juice instead of the vinegar.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
post #13 of 55
Frayed that recipe looks like mine!!!

My tzaziki is very similar except for:

Lemon juice instead of vinegar (as per Phatch)
some dried basil
some peppermint (fresh if possible)
I deseed and grate the cucumber then salt with Kosher salt to extract water. stand 1 hour, squeeze the water out before adding.

This is good info Gpaul!!

Luc H
post #14 of 55
Phatch, Luc...

Thanks for the tips. I will take the notes and add them to my recipe for the next time to try it. I bet the peppermint makes the sauce POP.. got some in my garden.

Luc, so what you saying ...great minds think alike. :smoking: (jus kiddin..your knowledge is remarkable)
Scott B

As far as the Kitchen goes, it is a long, long day that is never really over, you just go home at some point
Scott B

As far as the Kitchen goes, it is a long, long day that is never really over, you just go home at some point
post #15 of 55
How do you cook it then Luc? Do you have a gyro spit?
A love lamb and gyro made with lamb, but the question was about authentic.

A good friend makes a living with these in Greece, so I'm assuming what I learned from him could be called authentic.
post #16 of 55
Hi mitmondol,

I think pork is indeed more authentic but like you, I like lamb gyros (here in Montréal sometimes spelled Yéro)
(I'll be honest here... I have been trying to duplicate a gyros in a local Greek restaurant and this is close but better)

I debone the lamb leg. Trim excess fat and tendons. Open it butterfly. rub it using:
8 minced garlic cloves
3 Tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp rubbed dry oregano
2 tsp ground white pepper
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp of ground caraway (aka persian cumin this is where some confusion comes in with cumin... I forgot to mention that before)
1 tsp of ground anise (aka aniseed)

Rub and massage. place in sealed bag overnight.

Next day: reform the leg and tie tightly. I use my BBQ grill spit. Cook until well done (caramelized crust). Take off the spit and slice then chop in small pieces. (sometimes tossing in a skillet with olive oil to caramelize the lamb pieces more is very good but time consuming)
Serve in a pita with tzaziki sauce, diced tomatoes, cucumbers, sliced red onions, and feta chunks.

(I do a minced meat gyros but since I don't have a vertical spit I make very thin patties between the sheet of a folded wax paper that I freeze. When unexpected visitors come I slap these frozen patties directly on the BBQ grill) (same meat but ground, same spices and ingredients except I add 2 eggs for binding and 3 tbsp of wheat germ for added nutrition and binding)


Luc H (and give comments if you try it)
post #17 of 55
Hi Luc,
I will try yours.
I do rotisserie on the grill, the only "problem" with that is, the horizontal cooking gives a different result. Lot of the self-basting gets lost.

But I don't have gyro either (the cheapest one is like 500.- and am not even sure it would be good, the others are in the 1000's, so I don't think I will have one any time soon..)

Not that it has anything to do with gyro, but one of my favorite ways for leg of lamb it to marinate it in brandy with lots of fresh herbs and garlic. After cooking I like to flambe it too.

Anyway, I have one in the fridge, might just grill it your way soon.
Will let you know.
post #18 of 55
You got that right Mitmondol!

Since I have a horizontal burner on my grill for spit cooking. I thought of placing a drip pan below to catch those juices. After I cut the lamb, I will add them to the pan juices for extra flavour. That will be my next trial.

(only recently I switched from the minced meat version to the rotisserie so I am still experimenting with the best method... the last time I made the rotisserie version my little dripping can place under the BBQ overflowed to the delight of my dog! that's when the drip pan idea came from... must not loose precious flavours ... mmmmm)

Luc H
post #19 of 55
Oh man you two! Can you hurry and "perfect" this dish so I can make it! :D hahahaha (sorry being lazy!) This sounds like an awesome idea btw about adding the grill juices back to the meat mixture.
post #20 of 55
Stop it!!!! You making me drool here hehe. I can't buy a decent yiros where I live now...where I grew up they were readily available from the local Greek shops and they were sooo good. Wrapped up in hot Phonecian bread with Tzatziki and ripe tomato and onions and lettuce - they wrapped them in a sheet of paper so you could take it away but which was no help to stop all the juices escaping down to your elbows. That brings back many happy memories :)
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

post #21 of 55
(in a deep and sombre voice) You cannot rush perfection! (wink!)

drool away!!!!!!!

Luc H.
post #22 of 55
Luc the neighbors chihuaha (sp?) that was in my flower bed today looked a leetle bit nervous at me as I gave it the "stink eye" to quit pee-in on my petunias or else!!!!

You reckon "Mexican" gyros would taste good! I think I could fit him on my spit! :D ;)
post #23 of 55
Mexicain gyros....Let me think about that one (grin)
(I think Korean cuisine has recipes for canines!!)

Just don't let the dog lick all the fat and juices falling under you BBQ....

post #24 of 55
I picked up my July & August 2007 copy of Cook's Illustrated last night page 12 and 13 has a discussion, recipe, and reccomended substitutions on Gyros.

I'm on my way to home depot this morning, and after all this discussion I will just have to stop and have one for lunch.
post #25 of 55
Thread Starter 
I can't get that magazine in my country, could you find the time to post the recipe? Much obliged!
post #26 of 55
Thread Starter 
How do these "feel"?:

1 tsp. fennel seeds
2 Tbs. boiling water
1 Tbs chopped (very fresh) garlic
2 onions, finely chopped
½ cup dry whole wheat bread crumbs
2 eggs
¼ tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried sweet marjoram
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. cumin powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 ½ lbs. ground lamb, at least 1/6 fat by weight
½ lb. ground beef
½ cup minced parsley
¼ lb. fresh pork fat
pita bread

Slightly crush the fennel seeds and soak in the boiling water for 15 minutes.

Process the garlic and onions together in a food processor or blender. Add the bread crumbs and eggs and mix until just combined. Add the fennel seeds and water, thyme, marjoram, cinnamon, cumin and cayenne and blend for 1 minute.

Combine the garlic mixture with the lamb, beef and parsley. Mix until thoroughly combined but do not overmix. Fry a small amount to check the seasonings and add more if necessary.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Thinly slice the pork fat and place a single layer on the bottom of a 9 X 5 inch loaf pan. Spoon in the meat mixture and top with another layer of pork fat. Cover the pan with foil. Crimp it near the top, or water could seep into the loaf.

Place the loaf pan in a roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan to halfway up the sides of the loaf pan. Do not let the loaf pan float. You might need to put a custard cup weighted with dry beans on top if it floats. Bake for 1 ½ to 1 ¾ hours, until cooked through but not dry.

Remove the pork slices on top. Do not drain the fat that forms around the loaf, as it helps to preserve the meat. Replace the foil and set another loaf pan, right side up, on top of the loaf, Weight it by putting several cans, or a large peanut butter jar filled with water in the empty loaf pan. Weight the loaf for 2 to 3 hours, then remove the weights.

Refrigerate, then unmold when chilled. Wrap in plastic wrap, then foil, and store in the refrigerator.

To serve, thinly slice the meat and grill or broil until the edges are slightly crispy. Some of the fat will melt out. Stuff into pita bread and serve with the usual accompaniments, like garlic yogurt sauce.

Gyro loaf will keep in refrigerator for up to 1 week if tightly wrapped or frozen up to 3 months.


Seasoning mix:
>>> 1 T Greek oregano

>>> 1 loose TB rubbed sage
>>> 2 ts Marjoram
>>> 2 ts Granulated garlic
>>> 1/4 ts Whole fenugreek
>>> 1/4 ts Whole cumin
>>> 1/8 ts Whole black pepper
>> This is interesting. I use marjoram, onion, fresh garlic, rosemary, salt
>> and
>> pepper. And I think that's it as far as flavorings. No bread crumbs or
>> egg.
> I think the oregano, sage, and especially a small amount of cumin
> is essential. I'm not sure how much the fenugreek added, but it
> didn't hurt it at all.
> Also, for texture's sake, I didn't add any fresh
> herbs/garlic/onion to the meat mixture. I wanted to keep it as
> dense as possible. While still not as dense as Kronos, it was
> certainly an improvement over my last attempts where I did use
> fresh (and where I didn't use cumin or fenugreek).
> [Note that I added sage to the list above, for those who didn't
> see my first followup correction.

As far as texture, mine comes out just about the same as the gyros I remember in Chicago, and that's all I have to go by. I think the key to the recipe I use is that rather than mixing it up like a meatloaf, you grind the meat in a food processor until you have a meat paste. Then that's formed and refrigerated over night before it's cooked.
post #27 of 55
Hi Gpaul,

(I am commenting but not trying to change your mind)

Yes making a paste is the way to go for <fast food> type of Gyros. I heard that to make the <loaf> for those gyros vertical spits is by packing the raw paste in pails with a stick in it to make the center hole. The whole thing is frozen and sold that way. While still frozen, it is place on the spit and immediately cooked. The raw meat inside stays in place by the cooked layer outside... I cannot confirm this though.

Your recipe looks very flavourful.

Fenugreek will give you sweetness (maybe I should try it)
beef, lamb, pork is a good combo (I think most foodservice Gyros do not contain lamb)
I have some doubts on the cumin. (because I never tasted in the stuff around here)

If you think you could require more binding, think of using ground (powdered) tapioca. It works well in paste meats.

Just my take!

Luc H.
post #28 of 55
I am exhausted tonight, but try this: Cook's Illustrated-Recipe Resource

and if you can't find it on the website, let me know and I'll post.
post #29 of 55
post #30 of 55
The ground meat variations are called Keftedes not gyros, as far as know.
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