Gyros has always been one of my favourite Greek snacks. For just a couple of euros you can enjoy a soft warm pitta bread filled with either chicken or pork gyros meat with salad, tzatziki a few chips and some extra seasoning. I’v enjoyed this go to snack in Rhodes, Corfu, Athens, Crete and Mykonos and never paid more than 2.50 euros. One of my favourites is PitaFan in Rhodes old town. As they’re so cheap this means that after a few Mythos you can have a gyros for the walk home and then another for when you get back. Bonus!
Ok thats enough reminiscing of drinking beer and chomping down on gyros in the Greek sunshine!
I’v made Gyros a few times on the BBQ. A couple of times it was pre Weber rotisserie so involved manual turning. Thats dedication for you! I’v also made it just using chicken and another time just using pork. For this recipe I brought the two together which I think complimented to the texture and flavour of the end result. Having an abundance of spices at my fingertips, I made up a custom blend to season the meat.
For the Seasoning
2 tsp Maldon Salt
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Coriander
1 tsp Chilli flakes
1 tsp Lemon Pepper
2 tsp Portuguese Oregano
1 tsp Greek Oregano
1 tsp Tomato Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Dried Mint
You can make your own blends to suit your taste or whatever you have in the cupboard. I always just make sure I use plenty of oregano. I’v made it simply using our Piri Piri BBQ Rub before and it works great!
Once served you can also use a little extra of the seasoning to dust over the meat and salad for extra flavouring. I didn’t keep any behind so dusted over our Piri Piri Salt. It goes great on chips too. Similar to the seasoning you find a the famous Portuguese chicken restaurant.
The Weber Rotisserie is a great investment and one that you won’t regret. It comes with forks that only have two prongs, which secure the meat in place. I wanted to make sure the meat didn’t move around, so I dug out some forks that had four prongs on, which I had from an old rotisserie that never worked. I also made a metal base out of a lid from a large can of tin tomatoes which I had drilled holes in to fit over the prongs. I then wrapped the metal plate in tin foil before threading on the meat. This helped massively and kept the meat in place during construction. I still needed a spare pair of hands (Mrs Smokey) to hold the spit whilst I threaded over the meat.
For the Meat
2kg Pork Shoulder
1.2kg Chicken Thighs (Skinless and Boneless)
1 Large Onion
Juice of 1 Lemon
Glug of Olive Oil
Pork shoulder works great as it has a nice fat content to keep the meat moist. Ours was in the freezer so I took it out and left to thaw for around 1-2 hours. It was still fairly solid which was perfect for slicing super thin slices of around 2-3mm. If you have bought fresh, freeze it for a few hours, you want it to be semi frozen. Place the thinly sliced pork shoulder in a bowl. Slice the onion as thin as possible and add this to the bowl also. Take the boneless, skinless chicken thighs and bash them out using a rolling pin and some cling film. Add this to the pork shoulder along with the lemon juice, gyros seasoning and olive oil. Mix thoroughly and leave in the fridge overnight for best results. We gave ours just over 48 hours.
Load up the spit with the marinated meat, pressing down as you go and keeping the build as even as possible. Layer the onionss in with the meat too. Get your Weber up to temperature and cook on the rotisserie. This gyros was 3.5kg and took just over 1 hour. There were a few straggly bits of onion so these burnt on the outside, but they easily came off and fell into the fire. After carving off some of the meat you can put it back on the rotisserie to crisp up the meat underneath. Look at the joy on my face!
The meat was tasty and moist and as I mentioned earlier we all had a dusting of Piri Piri Salt over the top to add a final seasoning at the table. Served with lots of other tasty dishes including moussaka, halloumi, stuffed vine leaves, Greek salad, hummus, olives and warn flat breads. Tzatziki is also a must (recipe below)! I could have gone the extra mile and do as the Greeks do and have a few chips in their gyros, but I think we had enough food to feed an army. Any left over meat can easily be frozen for a later date and reheated in a frying pan.
Grate half a cucumber, squeeze out as much water as possible using muslin fabric. Add the shreds of cucumber to a bowl with a pot of full fat Greek yogurt. Season with salt, pepper a splash of olive oil and the juice of a lemon. Crush in two cloves of garlic. Finally chop some fresh dill and mint and mix all the ingredients together. I like to make this the day before to allow the flavours to develop.