My first experience with this delicious sandwich was many years ago, when I lived in Iowa. I had a couple of food memories created in those years…the most amazing fried Pork Tenderloin sandwich, that I used to get from my local Hy-Vee deli counter…that sucker came on a standard hamburger bun, slathered with mayo, and layered with lettuce and pickles. The Pork patty itself was so big, it sometimes would stick outside of the styrofoam container they packed it in for me. God I loved that thing…please tell me I can get that somewhere today?!
The Gyro sandwich however, was a late-night, after-the-bars-closed, 10-cent-beer-night induced decision. One that I made from that night on, as often as I could! I remember the feel of the foil, wrapped around the soft pillowy pita…which held meat 😂 that was salty & hot…topped with cold, creamy sauce…raw onions, tomatoes and might have had chunks of cucumbers. It was the perfect thing to tuck me into bed after a night of dancing & drinking, as the kids did back then.
Part of the reason I started this food blog, was to have a place to share my food memories…favorites dishes…food adventures and so on. This dish is one of those memories I want to live on in my family. Maybe more for me, than anyone else! 🙌🏻
Okay, so let’s talk about what you need to buy for this recipe:
- Ground Lamb
- Fresh Dill, washed, then sliced thin
- Plain, Greek Yogurt (you can get away with a couple small single serving containers)
- Feta cheese (at least 8oz. & I buy the block and crumble it myself)
- Cucumber, peeled and grated
- Lemon, freshly squeezed
- Garlic cloves, 3+/-, minced
- Olive Oil…2-3 tablespoons
- Fresh or dried Oregano
- Tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes and sliced them)
- Lettuce (I used a mix I have been loving from Aldi with baby Spinach & Arugula)
- Pita Bread (my favorite is Papa Pita brand, which I usually find at my local Cub Foods)
Okay, so I am not the best with measurements…I usually have to refresh my memory on what goes in the sauce, but then I usually add stuff until I think it tastes good. I will do my best to explain everything here….
First thing you should do, is grate your Cucumber…after washing and peeling it. Use the small grate on your box grater and if you have one, place the grated cuc into a wire mesh strainer, over a bowl. I like to add a bit of salt at this point, stir the grated cucumber up and then let it sit in the fridge for a few hours or the day before, to release as much water as possible.
Then, a few hours before you are going to eat, make the Tzatziki sauce. Combine a cup to a cup and half of the Greek Yogurt, with a tablespoon or so of fresh squeezed lemon, one-two cloves of garlic, that you have grated or minced, a couple tablespoons of olive oil, a crack of pepper and some salt. Now, some people say NOT to add the dill at this point, but I like it enough that I DO add it now. Put this mixture into the fridge until it’s time to eat.
Once it’s dinner time, heat up a pan with a touch of olive oil and add in one clove of minced garlic and the onion and Oregano. Saute that only until you start to smell it all and then add in the Lamb meat, breaking that up as much as possible, as you cook it. I kinda like a hard cook on my lamb meat…if you understand that, but it’s just important you cook the meat through.
My husband likes to “toast” the pita bread over one of the gas burners on our stove…so either way, grab a big plate, a slice of pita and start putting together your Gyro! I am not going to tell you how to do that…because every time I make one, I do it differently, lol! I like the sauce on the Pita…I like the meat next to the Feta…and from there out, it’s all your choice!
If you have any leftovers, the next morning, and feel like it, scramble an egg into the lamb meat! 😍🙌🏻I hope you make this and if you do, please share your thoughts with me!! ~Shawn