Gyro Burgers with Tzatziki Sauce

In Burgers on July 25, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Greek Gyro Burger that will satisfy your 'Gyro Tooth'

When I was fifteen I got my first job in the now defunct Summit Place mall in Pontiac, Michigan. Kirby’s Koney Island is one of many hot-dog chains in the Flint/Detroit area with a Greek twist. Where else can you get a coney dog, gyros (pronounced Yeer-dos) and omlettes in one location? Detroit, that’s where.

In the South finding a decent gyro is a lesson in patience and futility. You really can’t get one without loads of grease and salt. They pretty much all suck. There are a couple that I like okay. The best one is probably House of Kebab on Thompson Lane. They have an amazing shirazi salad too. It is a mix of cucumber, tomato, fresh parsley and a lemon juice and olive oil. Divine with fresh pita and feta cheese.

I was inspired by my quest for the ultimate gyro to give it a go myself. While I don’t have one of those big rotating meat spinners I do have a decent butcher that carries locally raised, grass-fed lamb. Does it make you sad to eat a sweet, innocent cute animal? Me too. Know this: a lamb is a sheep less than a year old. It doesn’t look like a baby it looks like a sheep. Does that help at all? If not feel free to use beef in place or if you’re feeling fancy go for buffalo. It won’t taste exactly the same but it will still be great.

One more thing. Get your grass-fed beef or lamb from the butcher. Whole Foods has a good one. It is the one I use. I made what should have been a kick-ass taco salad just last night and used a pre-packaged organic grass-fed package of beef. Yuck. It was tough, stringy and tasteless. This is NOT SO when you get it fresh. It is beyond delicious. I digress. Here are the recipes for both the burger and Tzatziki Sauce. You know, that creamy cucumber sauce that really makes a gyro. Enjoy!

Tzatziki Sauce (Make this as early as possible. It’s better when it mellows out)

1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
1 Cucumber deseeded and grated
2 TBS Kosher salt
2 cloves garlic smashed
Salt and Pepper to taste

Place the shredded cucumber in a strainer and sprinkle the kosher salt over it. Let it rest for about 45 minutes suspended over a bowl. This will get much of the water out of the cucumber so it doesn’t make the sauce watery. After it drains rinse the cucumber and squeeze out the excess water. Mix the cucumber with the rest of the ingredients and put in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.

Gyro Burgers

Serves 4 Adults

1 1/2 Lbs ground lamb
2 Tbs Greek Seasoning (I use Cavender’s)
Feta Cheese
Boston Bibb or Red Leaf lettuce
Tomato, sliced
Red onion sliced thin. You should be able to see through it!
Fresh Mint leaves
Buns or mini pita bread


Place the meat in a big bowl and season the hell out of it. I said two tablespoons but to be honest I just dump it in until it looks good. Crack some pepper in it and pull up your sleeves. Mix the seasoning into the meat until mixed but don’t over-do it because it will be unappetizing and chew like a hockey-puck. Once the meat is mixed with the seasoning make like Rachel Ray and pre-divide the meat into four with the side of your hand. This works! Then you have four even-sized burgers.

Heat a grill or grill-pan to medium-high and cook the burgers about four minutes each side until they are done to your preference.

Serve on the toasted bread and top with the Tzatziki Sauce, feta, mint, lettuce and tomato. I also made tabouli. It was great. Maybe you want the recipe for that too…I used this one except I used whole wheat cous cous because I couldn’t find the cracked wheat at Publix.

Happy eating!

  1. Mmm, greek burger, my favorite! My local cafe has a pretty decent greek burger, but this one looks even better. I’m totally stealing this recipe!

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