I can still remember my first gyro a delightful dish of slowed cooked meat served with tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, and sliced onions on a warm pita. Not having any Greek restaurants close to me I wanted to come up with a dish that shared the same flavors and could be easily made at home.
For me, there is really no home substitute for the spooled meatloaf sliced fresh off the roll dripping in grease and flavor so I used ground meats and made a gyro burger instead. For an authentic taste, and the version I made for this post, use a blend of ground lamb and ground beef topped with a tzatziki sauce and a fresh dill salad served on a buttered and toasted brioche roll. I personally am not a fan of lamb so I normally use a blend of ground pork and ground beef.
The cucumber needs to be drained overnight to remove excess liquid so keep that in mind before making. Grate half of a cucumber, skin and all, and place in a fine mesh sieve. Place a bowl under the sieve to catch the liquid.
Combine a cup and a half of plain Greek yogurt, 5 cloves of minced garlic, a tablespoon of olive oil, a tablespoon of rice vinegar, half a tablespoon of coarse salt, and a tablespoon of fresh minced dill in a large bowl. You can use white wine or regular white vinegar if you like. I use rice because I prefer the smoother taste of it.
Cover and refrigerate both overnight. Next day combined the yogurt mixture with the cucumbers stirring until blended. Set aside until ready to use.
Make the dill salad next so the flavors can marry while the burgers cook. In a medium bowl gently mix one diced and seeded cucumber, with one diced tomato and a fourth a cup of diced red onion.
Set aside. In a small bowl add two tablespoons of fresh chopped dill, a tablespoon rice vinegar, one or two tablespoons of olive oil and the juice of half a lime. Stir until well blended. Pour over cucumbers. Toss in feta cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside until ready to use. This salad is delicious and can be used as its own dish.
Finally, the burgers! Make the burger seasoning by mixing a half a teaspoon each of the following: oregano, cumin, marjoram, rosemary, and thyme.
In a large mixing bowl combine the one small finely chopped onion with a half a pound each of ground lamb and ground beef. Shape into patties. Make a shallow depression in the center of each burger to prevent shrinking. Salt and pepper the patties and then sprinkle with the seasoning mix.
Place the burgers in a nonstick skillet. Cook over a medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes. Flip the burger. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes or until reached desired doneness.
Butter four brioche rolls and place in a 400°F oven until toasted a golden brown.
Place a patty on the bottom half of each roll. Top the burger with tzatziki sauce and dill salads. Place top roll on each of the patties. Serve with the extra dill salad on the side. So Good! – Ella
• 1/2 a large cucumber, unpeeled
• 1 1/2 cups 2% plain Greek yogurt
• 5 garlic cloves, finely minced
• 1Tablespoons olive oil
• 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
• 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, kosher or sea
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
• 1 cucumbers, seeded and chopped
• 1 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
• 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
• 2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
• 1 tablespoons rice vinegar
• 1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1/2 lime, juiced
• 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
• salt and pepper, to taste
• 1 small onion, finely chopped
• 1/2 pound ground lamb (or ground pork)
• 1/2 pound ground beef
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
• 1/2 teaspoon ground dried rosemary
• 1/2 teaspoon ground dried thyme
• Salt and pepper, to taste
- Tzatziki Sauce:
- Grate the cucumber and place in a fine mesh sieve positioned over a bowl.
- Combine the yogurt, garlic, oil, vinegar, salt, and dill in a large bowl.
- Cover and refrigerate the cucumber and yogurt dressing overnight.
- Next day combined the yogurt mixture with the cucumbers. Stir to combine.
- Set aside until ready to use. Dill Salad:
- In a medium bowl gently mix the cucumber, tomato, and onion.
- In a small bowl make the dressing. Add the dill, vinegar, olive oil and lime juice. Stir until well blended.
- Pour over the cucumber mixture.
- Add feta cheese and salt and pepper, to taste. Gently toss together. Gyro Burger:
- Mix oregano, cumin, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the onions, lamb, and beef.
- Shape into 4 patties. Using your thumb, make a shallow depression in the center of each burger to prevent shrinking.
- Season both sides with the seasoning mix.
- Place the burgers in a nonstick skillet. Cook over a medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes. Flip the burger. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes or until reached desired doneness.