Grilled Beef Gyros
Today I am posting about beef (specifically, grilled beef gyros). After all, it’s what’s for dinner. I know, I know. I’ve been going on and on about how much I am loving our vegetable-based diet. Still totally true. In fact, as I was slicing the beef for this recipe, my four year-old asked, “What is that?” Yes, it’s been awhile since meat has hit our dinner table.
Have no fear, though! We are still getting plenty of protein, complete and otherwise. Actually, if you are curious about eating less meat while still getting enough protein, check out this article from Tuesday’s FoodDay section.
And for you meat lovers out there, check out Lynn Curry’s new cookbook, Pure Beef: An Essential Guide to Artisan Meat with Recipes for Every Cut. It is organized by cut, with techniques and recipes for each one. Brilliant! I just got my hands on a friend’s copy, and it is an excellent resource.
Back to beef! This grilled beef gyro recipe is perfect for summertime. Pita bread stuffed with flavorful beef and thinly sliced vegetables, then drizzled with cucumber sauce. Yum. Both the marinade and the sauce ingredients are whirred together in a blender or food processor. Simple!
The meat marinates and the sauce chill in the refrigerator while you kick back on the deck with a cold drink. Or get distracted by all the weeds in your flower beds.
The only extra step I took was making the pita bread from scratch. I used the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day recipe and followed the mixing and rising directions as written. Instead of shaping it into loaves, I just stretched and rolled baseball-sized dough balls into flat 6-8″ rounds and baked them at 400 degrees for 5-8 minutes. Some pitas puffed; some didn’t (just call those ones flatbread). All were delicious.
My actual hands-on time was pretty minimal, with a timeline that went something like this:
3pm: stir together bread dough, slice meat, mix marinade & make sauce (put both in refrigerator)
5pm: start forming and baking pita bread, slice vegetables & cook meat while bread bakes
5:30-6pm: dinner is served!
This is a great recipe for summer grilling season, even if the forecast isn’t so hot. I actually don’t even make this on our outdoor grill. I use my inexpensive IKEA stovetop grill pan. A wok or other pan would work fine, too.
Two keys for a nice brown sear are to drain the marinade and spread the meat out so it actually hits the hot pan instead of just simmering in the sauce. I grill the meat for this recipe in 3-4 batches.
The end result is a low-key, delicious, (mostly) make-ahead summertime meal. Perfect for your next weekend BBQ!
Grilled Beef Gyros with Cucumber Sauce (Tzatziki)
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home
Yield: 6-8 servings
1 medium onion, cut into chunks
2 garlic cloves
2 T. brown sugar
1 T. ground mustard
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
1/2 c. reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 c. water
3 pounds beef sirloin
Cucumber Sauce (recipe below)
pita bread, warmed and halved
thinly sliced onion, cucumber, and/or tomato
- In a blender or food processor, combine the onion, garlic, sugar, mustard, ginger, and cayenne pepper; cover and process until onion is finely chopped. Add soy sauce and water; process until blended.
- Place the beef in a large resealable plastic bag. Add marinade. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 1-3 hours.
- Drain and discard marinade. Grill beef, over medium-high heat until meat reaches desired doneness. Place beef in pita halves. Top with cucumber sauce and sliced vegetables.
Cucumber Sauce (Tzatziki)
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
2 garlic cloves
1/4 t. salt
2-3 T. cider vinegar
3 T. olive oil
1 c. sour cream or plain yogurt
- In a blender of food processor, combine the cucumber, garlic and salt; cover and process until cucumber is chopped. Add vinegar and oil; process until blended.
- Transfer to a large bowl; stir in sour cream. Refrigerate until serving.
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