Gyros: one of Greece's most inspired exports. Not to be confused with any old kebab - as the Americans tend to call most spit roast meat and pita combos 'GIRO' (it's 'gearOSS'), this is essentially a pita of grilled skewered meat, chips and salad with a garlic yoghurt dressing - they're on every street corner in Greece and the islands and I simply cannot resist its call. On a recent Friday night in I'd been planning a big old cote de beouf, but realised I didn't want it; I wanted a gyros. The cote de boeuf went in the freezer and I went in search of ingredients.
Firstly, the pita. The standard Arabian style pita breads you can buy in most shops aren't going to cut it for this one; they're completely the wrong texture and consistency. I eventually found the perfect pita from Mr Baker in Hendon (amazing baked goods), but as a back up I'd bought some of those Warburton's Square Wraps which would actually have worked well too. Instead I used them for this breakfast dish of goose eggs.
Now, the meat. I always always opt for the pork gyros on holiday, it's my fave, so I wanted to replicate that but you could just as well use lamb or chicken. Ordinarily I'd probably choose a fattier cut of meat for flavour, but I'm on a holiday diet so I used some pork tenderloin which is super low fat. Whichever meat you go for, marinate it for a good few hours in oregano, fresh thyme, very good olive oil, garlic and - secret ingredient - honey. I was lucky enough to have some of this amazing Odysea Thyme Honey in my cupboard, which fit the bill perfectly:
As odd as it sounds, the chips are really a vital component of the gyros. I made some healthyish ones using one medium sized potato between two, cutting into chips, parboiling then sprizting with low fat cooking oil and baking in a hot oven for about 15-20 mins. I burnt the ends of mine as I'm still getting to grips with my new range cooker, but they still tasted good.
Salad wise, of course you need to go Greek. There's a recipe for Greek salad I've made recently here, but I actually switched the red wine vinegar for this snazzy Sauternes Vinegar, which has a far superior sweetness and richness to usual white wine vinegar, rendering it completely fine for this recipe.
You'll also need to make a Tzatziki-like sauce of yoghurt, cucumber, mint and garlic.
Once the meat has been left to marinate for as long as possible, remove any twiggy bits of herb and grill hot and fast. Leave to rest briefly whilst you prep the pita. Brush lightly with oil, salt and oregano, then toast in a dry pan or grill. That's it.
Assemble using plenty of Cos lettuce, tomato, sliced red onion and enjoy!
If you've been cautious portions and oils and naughty bits and pieces, the whole gyros will come in at around 500 calories.