Sometimes during the summer, you want to just chill in your backyard and grill up some mighty fine food. Burgers, dogs and steaks are all great, but on occasion, you want something a little different. I decided to search around a bit and I realized that we hadn't made homemade gyros in ages. They really do make a pretty awesome meal and they are fairly simple to put together. Not to mention that they are served with lots of refreshing sides that compliment the main course perfectly.
Now, I've used this recipe before with ground beef (and in the oven, not on the grill), so I knew that it was a great starting point. But, I must say that after making a few other dishes with the Cluck 'n Moo Ground, that the flavor is a little different than ground beef alone (or turkey/chicken.) So, I modified my seasoning and cooking times to accommodate the natural taste of the mix. My taste testers were blown away! They thought that the gyro meat tasted just like lamb. And that's what I was going for, so...success!
I kept things really simple and bought my tzatziki sauce, pita bread and other toppings (you could always make your own sauce and bread.) I served the gyros with a traditional Greek green bean recipe and also with a Mediterranean cold salad of cucumber, onion, tomato and seasoning. I do think that it is wise to use a disposable loaf pan to bake or smoke this recipe in, as it will make clean-up much easier. But, that's up to you. We mainly fire up the grill on the weekends (usually with company around), and I like to keep my workload to a minimum. Here's to good friends, good times, and good food!
Grilled Cluck N Moo Gyros...A Simple Summer Treat!
Adapted from "Ground Beef Gyros" on Food.com
2 pounds Cluck 'n Moo Ground
1 Tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon onion powder
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon marjoram
3 Tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
1 Tablespoon minced garlic, jarred
Disposable loaf pan (optional)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 Tablespoon butter
12-15 split pita breads or flat breads, your choice
Tzatziki (store bought or make your own)
Shredded lettuce (iceberg)
Sliced tomato (I used 2 romas)
Sliced red onion (I used about 1/2 of one large)
Feta cheese to taste, crumbled
Place the Cluck 'n Moo Ground, oregano, granulated garlic, onion powder, marjoram, rosemary, salt, pepper, paprika and minced garlic in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (you could do this by hand, but if you happen to have the mixer, it is much easier.) Mix at the lowest speed for about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl down once or twice. You want the meat to be very smooth in texture, almost a “paste”. It doesn't take very long with the stand mixer - two or three minutes, maximum. The meat will end up sticking to the paddle...you just have to scrape it all off and form a loaf, placing it into your loaf pan (disposable, if you choose - no need to oil.) Either bake in a preheated oven set to 350°F, or grill over indirect heat outdoors (if you want to do your prep work before, you can stop at this step and cover the mixture to place in the fridge for awhile, even overnight. If you do refrigerate the mixture, be sure to let it sit out for about 30 minutes before cooking it.) It will probably be ready in about 35-45 minutes. Do please check the internal temperature, as there is chicken and beef involved. This is definitely not something that you want to under-cook (meat should heat to 165°F)! Once the meat mixture is cooked through, let it rest and cool for about 15-20 minutes or more. When meat is cool to the touch, remove the entire block from the pan onto a cutting board. Cut the loaf into 3 “short” loaves, then cut each third sideways to form thin strips (again, this is a good stopping point if you need to prep ahead of time or want to just enjoy time with your friends or family.) Cover the slices, pop them in the fridge, and they will be ready when you are!
To serve, heat the olive oil and butter in a large cast iron skillet. I have found that heating over medium heat works best. Reduce heat to medium-low and gently sear the slices of meat for about 2 minutes, flip with tongs and sear the other side for another 1-2 minutes, until heated through. Set meat strips on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Assemble the gyros by placing the meat strips inside of the sliced pita bread along with the toppings of your choice (the ones I suggested are just that...a suggestion. You could definitely add olives, peppers, or anything else that your crowd likes.) We really enjoyed this recipe using the Cluck N Moo Ground. It made a ton (3 meals for at least 4 adults), and it also seemed to get even better after a day in the fridge. It is really versatile, so give it a shot. We will definitely be making it again!