A classic Greek sandwich of soft, pillowy pita bread stuffed with slices of garlicky, savory meat, fresh tomatoes, crunch onion and cool, creamy Tzatziki sauce. This better than take-out recipe is sure to become a family favorite.
For the gyro meat:
- ½ large onion, cut into chunks
- 1 ½ pounds ground lamb
- ½ pound ground beef
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
For the Tzatziki Sauce:
- 1 pint plain Greek yogurt
- 1 english cucumber
- 1 tablespoon plus ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup full fat sour cream
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic
- ¾ teaspoon dried dill
- Pinch black pepper
For the sandwich:
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 pita bread or naan bread
- 8 slices fresh tomato
- 2 slices yellow onion, separated into rings
- Place the onion in a food processor and pulse until they’re finely chopped.
- Scoop the onions onto a towel. Wring the towel to squeeze out excess moisture. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, place the lamb, beef, garlic, oregano, cumin, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, and pepper. Shake the onions out of the towel & into the bowl.
- Using your hands, mix the ingredients until they are very well combined. Cover the bowl tightly & chill for at least 3 hours.
- Meanwhile, start the Tzatziki sauce. Place the yogurt in a paper towel-lined sieve set over another bowl. Place in the refrigerator to drain.
- Grate the cucumber and toss with 1 tablespoon salt. Place in another paper towel-lined sieve and place in another bowl. Place this in the refrigerator as well.
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.
- Take the meat out of the refrigerator. Add the ½ teaspoon of salt and the bacon at this time and mix lightly. In batches, place the meat back into the food processor. Pulse until it is very finely minced & it feels tacky when touched. Repeat until all the meat has been chopped for a second time.
- Using your hands, pack the meat into a rectangle shape that is about 1 ½-inches high. Use your hands to press it tightly & make sure there are no air pockets. Place the meatloaf onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake until the meat is no longer pink and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees – about 45 minutes to an hour.
- Allow the meat to rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing.
- Finish the Tzatziki sauce. Transfer the thickened yogurt into a large bowl. Discard any liquid that has accumulated in the “catch” bowl.
- Next, take the cucumbers out of the refrigerator and squeeze as much liquid as possible. Add to the yogurt.
- Using a spoon or spatula, mix in the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, sour cream, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, dill, and pepper. Mix well. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes.
- To assemble the sandwiches: Slice the meat into ¼-inch slices.
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place ½ of the slices of meat into the hot skillet. Cook just until the edges start to brown and get slightly crispy, about 3 minutes. Turn the slices and cook another minute longer. Remove the meat from the pan and repeat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and slices of meat. If you are cooking all of the meat slices at one time, you may want to use additional butter for additional batches.
- Meanwhile, warm the pitas or naan bread in the hot oven for a minute or two.
- Line the pita with 2 slices of tomato. Nestle the warm meat over the tomato. Add onion and sauce.
Leftover meat slices can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Try the slices in a Greek salad for another delicious treat.
- Serving Size: 1