Beef Gyros with Cucumber-Dill Sauce

Beef Gyros with Cucumber-Dill Sauce | Culinary Hill

My recipe for Beef Gyros with Cucumber-Dill Sauce was born out of a basic survival need after I learned there were no good gyro restaurants in my area of Los Angeles.  The closest approximation is a “healthy twist on a Greek classic” (Daphne’s), but a gyro is one place where I’m not interested in a healthy twist!  Let’s be honest, if I’m looking for a gyro, I am not expecting diet food.

As it turns out, this recipe is based on lean ground beef, fresh herbs, and a cucumber-dill sauce made with nonfat Greek yogurt.  Not too unhealthy after all!  Use whole wheat pitas for extra fiber.  It’s also pretty inexpensive to make when you consider that all of the ingredients listed here can probably be bought for the price of one of Daphne’s gyros.  Substitute lamb if you are interested.  Pass on the cucumber-dill sauce to keep this recipe dairy-free.

Offer a Mediterranean Chopped Salad on the side to complete your Greek feast, or even Baked French Fries. I guess sometimes a healthy twist isn’t the worst thing, after all.

Beef Gyros with Cucumber-Dill Sauce | Culinary Hill

Beef Gyros with Cucumber-Dill Sauce
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 c. plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 2 T. fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon), divided
  • 1 T. fresh dill, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 – 6” pita breads
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 2 T. fresh oregano leaves, chopped
  • 1 lb. lean (90/10) ground beef
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • Optional garnishes such as tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet onion, and feta cheese
Instructions
  1. Combine yogurt, cucumber, 1 T. lemon juice, dill, 1 garlic clove, and ½ tsp. salt in a small bowl to make the dill sauce. Chill at least 30 minutes to blend flavors.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut the top quarter of each pita and tear these into pieces and set aside. Wrap pitas in a stack in foil. Place the pitas wrapped in foil in the oven and heat for 10 – 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine torn pita pieces, onion, remaining 1 T. lemon juice, ½ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. pepper, oregano, and remaining garlic in a food processor. Process until a smooth paste forms, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Add beef to the paste and mix until thoroughly combined with hands or a spatula.
  5. Turn beef mixture out on to a cutting board. Form into a uniform loaf and cut into 12 sections.
  6. Roll each section into a ball and flatten into a patty about ½” thick. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties and cook until well-browned and a dark crust forms on one side, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the patties and cook until the second side is also well-browned. Drain on paper towels.
  7. Serve with warmed pitas, dill sauce, and optional toppings if desired such as shredded lettuce, sliced cucumbers, sliced tomatoes, sliced sweet onion, Kalamata olives, or feta cheese.

  • http://www.lucismorsels.com Luci {Luci’s Morsels}

    I love gyros. I’m more of a falafel girl though. And so annoying not to have good greek nearby. In Oakland, we had a go to place that we aren’t frequently. It’s probably one of the things I miss most!

    Luci’s Morsels – fashion. food. frivolity.

    • http://www.culinaryhill.com Meggan

      Falafel huh? I’ve never made it, but maybe I’ll try! More importantly, there is a FANTASTIC diner in the Los Feliz area that has this amazing salad with falafel balls and some sort of tahini-cilantro-lime salad dressing… the whole thing is vegan and divine. We should meet there for a lunch date sometime! http://fred62.com/

  • http://peanutbutterandpeppers.com Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers

    Gosh I haven’t had a gyro in forever! Yours looks just out of this world and yup it’s pretty healthy, hearty and I bet it tastes out of this world!!

    • http://www.culinaryhill.com Meggan

      Thank you Jennifer! I am a huge fan of my gyros, with all due humility. :) I think the cucumber-dill sauce makes it. Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope you get to enjoy a gyro soon, mine or otherwise!

  • http://www.runwaychef.com Alyssa // Runway Chef

    Oh my these look yummy! I LOVE Greek food, especially gyros! That’s a bummer that you don’t have any good Greek restaurants in your area, but at least you know how to make a tasty looking gyro!

    Runway Chef

    • http://www.culinaryhill.com Meggan

      Thank you Alyssa, I appreciate you stopping by! Isn’t Greek food just the best? I feel like Mediterranean-style anything is amazing. There is something so great about taking a huge bite into flatbread-anything.

  • http://www.applesandsparkle.com/ Crystal S. | Apples & Sparkle

    I know I would LOVE this recipe!

    • http://www.culinaryhill.com Meggan

      Thank you, Crystal! It really was tasty. I’ve made these before and every time I do, it makes my whole household happy. Enjoy! :)

  • Hannah S

    Hi! I read this recipe and it sounds amazing!! I will be trying it tonight. But unfortunately I wasn’t able to buy Pita bread on short notice. I know that tortilla wraps are quite different, but would they work as a substitute for the pita bread?

    • http://www.culinaryhill.com Meggan

      Hi Hannah, thank you for stopping by! In terms of eating the gyros, there is no problem with you piling your beef patties and toppings onto a tortilla, I bet that will taste great! However, I don’t think you should use tortilla pieces in the meat mixture itself. I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure whether it would be disastrous, but I feel like tortillas have a very different texture (gluier?) and wouldn’t work as a binder for the meat. So, I’d say substitute any other kind of bread or rolls you have on hand for putting in the meat mixture (about 1 slice of regular-sized sandwich bread should work). If you don’t have anything like that, I think you are better off just leaving it out of the recipe entirely rather than using tortillas in the meat mixture. I hope this is helpful! Please let me know if you have any other questions, thank you!

      • Hannah S

        Hey Meggan thanks for getting back to me so quickly! I ended up doing a test with a small amount of the meat and paste mixture with the tortillas and you are correct the tortillas didn’t really blend well (or at all). I also thought of using bread, but the only one I had on hand was very seedy, so I just went with out. But it didn’t seem to matter, it tasted great and I have very satisfied guests now. :)

        Thanks for the recipe!

        • http://www.culinaryhill.com Meggan

          I am so glad it worked out, Hannah! I meant to tell you the meat might have fallen apart a little more (without a binder) but at the end of the day, full stomachs is what really matters! I’m glad everyone liked it. Thanks again for trying my recipe!! :) I appreciate your support.

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