Ok, so these are traditional, but just easier.
And with a few minor tweaks here and there.
Traditionally the pork is thinly sliced and then roasted in a rotisserie oven, but I personally do not have a rotisserie oven and I am guessing most of you do not either. So I went the much easier route and seared the heck out of my pork and then threw it in the crockpot. Done and done.
Maybe not as awesome as if you where to get them in Greece, but still pretty freaking good.
Currently I am wishing I was in Greece. Preferably, near the Mediterranean with the hot sun beating down on me.
Oh my gosh, does that not sound awesome?? It has been snowing here for days. Days and days of snow and the temperatures have been pretty cold too, so I am just craving warmth. Pretty sure you guys are too…..unless you live in a warm state in which case you may be craving cold snow. Dunno.
We can all just pretend right?
It seems my craving for warmer climates is causing me to think on a tropical level. At the moment, I am only interested in shooting foods with lots of color and want nothing to do with anything dull and boring. Maybe my grandpa is right, man was not meant to live above 10,000 feet!
But one bite into these colorful delicious gyros takes me to a seaside table with the beautiful blue Mediterranean surrounded by freshly painted white villas. Ahhh…
Unless you are planning a trip to Greece within the next week (and if you are, lucky you!) than you need to make these. You also needs to make these pitas because nothing will ever top a homemade pita and they are so easy. Like easier than driving to the store!
Perfect for a fun meal any night of the week if you ask me!
Easy Traditional Greek Gyros.
- Serving Size: 4-6 GENEROUSLY
- Preparation time: 15 minutes
- Cook time: 8 hours
- Total time: 8 hours 15 minutes
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 - (2-3) pound boneless pork shoulder roast (or butt)
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried dill
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 lemons, juiced
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons greek yogurt
- 4-8 [homemade | http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/traditional-greek-pita-bread/] or store bought pitas
- 1/2 cup fresh cherry tomatoes, halved, for serving
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced, for serving
- 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese, for serving
- 1 cup plain greek yogurt (I used full fat)
- 1/4 hothouse cucumber, peeled and seeded and diced small
- 1 large clove garlic, grated (or finely minced)
- 1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon, dried dill
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon, juiced
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Tapenade (optional)
- 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
- 1/4 cup pitted green olives
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 1 pepperoncini, diced (optional)
Spray a crockpot with cooking spray. Add the onions and garlic.
In a small bowl combine the oregano, dill, paprika, cayenne, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper. Sprinkle the pork with half of the spice mixture.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Once hot, add the pork and sear on all sides until golden brown (about 2 minutes per side). Try and get a really good caramelization on the meat.
Add pork to the prepared crockpot and sprinkle with the remaining seasonings and any drippings from the pan. To the crockpot add the 1/3 cup olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, greek yogurt and 3/4 cup of water. Cover and cook on low, 8 hours. or high for 4-6 hours. If possible check the pork a few times during cooking. If needed add some water to keep the meat moist.
To prepare the tzatziki pour any liquid off the surface of the greek yogurt. (I find it is best to use full fat greek yogurt for this, but 2% works ok as well. You want the yogurt to be thick, so if your greek yogurt seems thin strain it through a fine mesh strainer). Mix together the greek yogurt, diced cucumber, garlic, white wine vinegar, dill, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, and lemon juice. Drizzle with olive oil. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.
If making the tapenade, dice the olives and mix in a small bowl with the garlic, pepperoncini and parsley. Set aside in the fridge until read to serve.
After 8 hours (or 4-6 on high) remove the pork and set aside to cool slightly. Once cool enough to touch shred the pork with two forks, it should fall apart easily. Return the pork to the crockpot and toss with the onions. Crank the heat to high. Allow the pork to get warm for five minutes.
Heat pitas (I just popped them in the microwave for a few seconds). Top with chicken, tzatziki sauce, sliced tomatoes, red onion, feta cheese and tapenade if using. Serve immediately.
*Adapted from my [chicken gyros | http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/saucy-chicken-gyros/]
Oh and I know the feta is not traditional, but it is a must in my book. Seriously, do not skimp on the feta!