Professionals make classic Greek gyro sandwiches on an upright rotisserie. That's terrific but hardly practical for the home cook. Fortunately, you can reproduce this delicious Greek meal-in-a-pita at home with very similar results. This version uses the same meat (pork) and seasonings but has been adapted to home cooking. Other popular versions of Greek gyro are made with beef, lamb, or chicken.
- For Pork Filling
- 2 1/2 pounds of boneless pork loin, shoulder, or fresh ham
- For Seasoning
- 3 tablespoons of sea salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of sweet paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
- For Pita Wrap and Condiments
- 6-8 pieces of thin pita bread (not pocket pita)
- 1/2 cup of tzatziki (see below)
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 2 tomatoes, sliced
- french fries (optional)
- olive oil
In a small bowl combine paprika, salt, pepper, and oregano.
Make the Gyro Meat:
Slice the meat against the grain as thinly as possible and pound with a meat mallet to less than 1/4-inch thick. In a flat-bottomed container, arrange one layer of slices, sprinkle liberally with seasoning mixture, then with a little vinegar. Spread the vinegar over the meat so that all pieces are moistened. Add layers, spices, and vinegar until all the meat has been marinated.
Cover and refrigerate for 1/2 hour to 2 hours.
Note: If there's any seasoning mix left over, store in an airtight jar and use again for gyro or as a rub for pork souvlaki.
Remove meat from the refrigerator and slice into strips about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch wide and 2 to 2 1/2 inches long. Dry fry (without any oil) in a non-stick frying pan until well browned and slightly crisp.
- Alternate cooking methods: Do not cut the meat into strips before cooking. Cook thinly pounded pieces on the grill (or in a roasting pan in the oven) until the edges of the meat begin to crisp, then slice and serve.
To Make the Gyro Pita Wrap Sandwich: See photos
Brush the pita bread with olive oil and fry in a dry frying pan or grill for a few minutes until warmed and softened, not crisp.
In the center of each pita:
- spread 1 heaping tablespoon of tzatziki
- add 2-3 slices of tomato
- add sliced onion to taste
- add gyro meat
- sprinkle with sea salt (to taste) and more sweet paprika
- top with french fries (optional)
Twist the gyro sandwich in butcher's paper, parchment paper, or wax paper and serve.
To Make a Gyro Dinner:
Serve the gyro meat with french fries, tomato and onion slices, and pita wedges or crusty Greek bread on the side.
Note: This type of gyro can also be made with beef, lamb, or chicken.