Grilled Gyros

Grilled Gyros

By John Carruthers (Recipe via Shawn Jennings)

Photo by Clayton Hauck

At some point — no one can decide when — we became far less horrible cooks than the guys burning burgers at ManBQue’s inception. And while it was a gradual transformation, this recipe was one of the big signposts on the way there.
These gyros offer the same taste as a classic storefront Greek joint, without the
need to purchase an industrial vertical rotisserie. We checked, by the way. They’re $1,100. So make your rich Greek friends jealous with the juicy, perfectly spiced lamb gyro.

This recipe is straight from our book ManBQue: Meat. Beer. Rock n’ Roll. – 120 Essential Recipes for the Modern Man. So if you like this, there are probably 119 other recipes you’d really like for easy purchase in this fine summer grilling season.

The Setup

1 pound ground lamb
1⁄2 cup white onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄2 teaspoon ground marjoram
1⁄2 teaspoon ground rosemary
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 pocketless pitas, to serve
1⁄2 pound crumbled feta cheese, to serve
2 heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges, to serve
1 white onion, thinly sliced, to serve

Cucumber Tzatziki

1 seedless cucumber, peeled and grated
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
8 ounces Greek yogurt
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice, plus more to taste


1. Make the Cucumber Tzatziki: Toss the grated cucumber with the salt and place in a colander over the sink or a bowl. Weigh down the cucumber with a heavy plate or bowl. Let sit 30 minutes.

2. Remove the bowl and squeeze any remaining water out of the cucumber. Place the cucumber in a food processor or blender along with the yogurt, garlic, and the lemon juice. Process until smooth. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and additional lemon juice.

3. Make the Gyro meat: Place the lamb in the bowl of a food processor with the onion, garlic, salt, marjoram, rosemary, and black pepper.

4. Pulse for 1 minute, stopping to scrape down the sides if the meat or spices climb above the blade’s reach.

5. Oil a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan or line with plastic wrap. Press the lamb mixture firmly into the pan, spreading evenly with an offset spatula or wet hands.

6. Refrigerate the lamb for at least 1 hour.

7. Preheat the grill to medium for direct heat. Clean and oil the grate.

8. Invert the loaf pan and carefully remove the lamb. Place on the grate.

9. Grill for 10 minutes per side, flipping carefully with a spatula halfway through.

10. Remove and let rest at least 10 minutes.

11. Make the Gyros: Warm the pitas 30 seconds per side on the grill while the meat rests, and wrap in a kitchen towel to keep warm.

12. Slice the lamb thin and serve on pitas with feta, tomato wedges, onion, and