One of my favorite things about Mediterranean cooking is the incredibly wide range of flavors. And I don’t think that is better demonstrated than in the classic Gyro: the meat blend has a complex palette of spices and herbs that develops over time in your mouth; the tzatziki melds the creaminess of yogurt, the cooling nature of cucumber, and the sharp taste of raw garlic; and the pita wraps it all up in a warm, yeasty bread. It’s just a top notch combination of complimentary flavors, textures, and temperatures that all comes together for a fantastic meal. The best part about this is that the gyro meat and tzatziki just get better the longer they can chill in the fridge, so feel free to prep those a day or two in advance, and serve them when your pitas are ready.
Gyro Pita Wraps
For the Gyro Meat:
1 lb Ground Lamb
1 lb Ground Beef (preferably 80-85% fat)
6 cloves Garlic, pressed
1/2 small Yellow Onion, diced
2 Tbsp Breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp Fresh or Dried Rosemary
1 Tbsp Dried Oregano
2 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Paprika
Pinch Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Cayenne
Salt and Pepper to taste (I go 2 tsp each)
For the Tzatziki:
1 cup Whole Fat Greek Yogurt
1/2 English Cucumber
4 cloves Garlic, grated
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1 tsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Fresh or Freeze-dried Dill
Salt and Pepper to taste
For the Pitas:
3 cups AP Flour
2 tsp Instant Yeast
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Table Salt
1 cup Lukewarm Water
2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
Chopped romaine lettuce, Sliced tomatoes and cucumber, Thinly sliced red onion to serve
- For the Gyro Meat: Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray.
- Combine meats, garlic, onion, breadcrumbs, spices, herbs, salt, and pepper in bowl. Mix with your hands until ingredients are fully incorporated. Don’t worry about overmixing.
- Pack into dish, and bake for 40-45 minutes until browned.
- Place in refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours, or until ready to serve.
- When ready to serve, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Slice gyro loaf into 1/4 inch thin strips and fry for 1-2 minutes on each side.
- For the Tzatziki: Grate cucumber on box grater and place in strainer with 1 tsp of salt. Allow to sit for 15 minutes.
- Place cucumber in dishtowel and squeeze to expunge all water.
- Place dried cucumber in bowl with all other ingredients. Whisk to combine and place in fridge until ready to serve (the longer the better!)
- For the Pitas: Begin by combining all ingredients in the bowl of the stand mixer. Dough should be shaggy. Knead on low speed with the dough hook for 5-8 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.
- Allow dough to rest for 60-90 minutes in a greased and covered bowl.
- Split dough into 8 pieces, roll into balls, and place under damp dish towel for 15 minutes
- Meanwhile heat oven to 500F, with baking sheets on the lowest rack in the oven.
- Roll dough balls into 6 inch rounds. Place on baking sheets and cook for 4 minutes. Flip and cook for 2 minutes more. Pita should be puffed up and browned in spots. Keep warm by wrapping in hand towel.