Make your favorite American-style Greek gyros at home! This gyro meat recipe combines ground beef and lamb to get that distinctive flavor you find at Greek restaurants. The texture is meatloaf-style rather than restaurant-style, but the flavors are on point. Doing it this way saves tons of time. Top with Tzatziki Sauce, tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers!
Start by making the Tzatziki Sauce. It needs time to marinate, so get it done first so it can sit in the fridge while you make the rest.
Make the gyro meat. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Or line with foil and spray with nonstick spray.
If you have a food processor, use it to finely chop the onion and garlic. If not, use a knife to chop finely.
In a large bowl, add all gyro meat ingredients: 1 pound ground beef, 1 pound ground lamb, 2 tablespoons butter OR bacon grease,* 2 eggs, 1/2 cup milk, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 cup Panko crumbs, chopped onion, minced garlic, 4 teaspoons kosher salt (see note), 2 teaspoons black pepper, 2 teaspoons oregano, 1/2 teaspoon rosemary, 1 teaspoon thyme, 2 teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon marjoram. (It's ok if you don't have the marjoram.)
Combine the meat using your hands. I like to wear disposable gloves when I do this. Using your hands feels a little weird, but it mixes the meat so much faster and more evenly than using a spoon, resulting in nice tender meat (as opposed to being overworked.)
Shape the meat into about 10 oval patties. See photos. Line them up on the pan making sure they are not touching each other.
Bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reaches 160 degrees F. Remove from the oven and keep warm.
Meanwhile, prepare the gyro toppings: Thinly slice a red onion. Slice the tomatoes. Slice the cucumbers. Warm the pita bread either in the microwave or in the still-warm oven. Chop extra fresh dill, if you want.
How to construct your gyro: Add a layer of Tzatziki Sauce to a warm pita. Slice a gyro patty in half lengthwise for easier eating, and place on top of Tzatziki. Garnish with red onion, tomatoes, cucumbers, and fresh dill. Devour!
*I tried this recipe once with butter and once with bacon grease. I added it because lamb is very lean and tends to dry out when baked. You can probably skip it if you have high-fat ground beef. **If you are using table salt, add 3 teaspoons salt.