Pork Gyro

Pork Gyro
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I’m a mom on a budget so when I find a recipe that my family loves that uses inexpensive cuts of meat I rejoice.  This pork gyro fits the bill.  Pork tends to be one of the less expensive options at my supermarket most days and, when cooked right, it delivers on flavor big time.  I also love that for my family of four I can cut the pork roast in half and freeze half for another meal like Carnitas.

To make this recipe I like to use a pork butt roast (or Boston butt roast) because it holds together better and can be sliced into the thin slices associated with a gyro.  A picnic roast (wrapped in netting or string) will fall apart.  The flavor will still be there, but it will be more like a pulled pork than a traditional gyro.

The flavor in this recipe comes from an overnight marinade.  The roast is cut into steaks and then marinaded overnight in olive oil and seasonings giving it plenty of time to absorb the delicious flavors.  After that, it cooks for about an hour (the last 20-25 minutes uncovered).  You are guaranteed a happy family if you serve it with traditional pork gyro fixings, like tzatziki, cucumbers, tomatoes, and pita bread  (this homemade pita bread recipe from Fox and Briar is amazing if you want to go all out).

Gyro Sandwich

Pork Gyro

I'm a mom on a budget so when I find a recipe that my family loves that uses inexpensive cuts of meat I rejoice.  This pork gyro fits the bill. 

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Marinade 1 day
Total Time 1 day 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8 sandwiches
Calories 601kcal
Author While It's Cooking

Equipment

  • Meat Thermometer

Ingredients

  • 4 lb boneless pork butt roast trimmed

Marinade

Serve With

  • 8 pita bread
  • 1 romaine lettuce heart sliced thin
  • 1 cucumber sliced thin
  • 2 roma tomatoes sliced thin
  • 1 small red onion halved and sliced thin
  • 1 lemon sliced into wedges
  • tzatziki sauce

Instructions

Marinade

  • Slice steaks lengthwise into 1-inch steaks (you will probably end up with 4-5 steaks). Place in 1 gallon ziplock bag.
  • In a small bowl, mix olive oil, garlic cloves, dried oregano, kosher salt, coriander, paprika, and pepper. Pour over pork in ziplock bag.
  • Seal bag and massage marinade into steak. Refrigerate for 8-24 hours (I like to flip the bag a couple times while it is marinading to make sure all the meat is getting its time soaking in the marinade).

Cooking

  • Set your rack to the second slot (about 6 inches below heating element) and preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Layout enough aluminum foil on baking sheet to be able to wrap the pork in an aluminum foil pouch to cook.
  • Transfer pork to aluminum foil (discard marinade) and wrap both ends and top so that pouch is sealed.
  • Cook for 40 minutes.
  • Remove sheet from oven and unwrap pouch (be careful not to let the escaping steam burn you).
  • Leave pork sitting on top of the aluminum foil and insert meat thermometer.
  • Return pan to oven and cook until temperature registers 160°F (approximately 20-25 minutes).
  • Remove from oven, and let rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing into thin strips and serving.

Notes

If you plan to split the pork roast and freeze half for another time, I prefer to do it before starting the recipe.  The marinaded meat will freeze, but I don't like it as much as when the marinade is fresh on the defrosted meat.

Nutrition

Calories: 601kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 57g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 1724mg | Potassium: 1106mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 908IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 3mg

Photography by jeffreyw [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

While It’s Cooking

The name gyro (pronounced yee-roh), probably originated in New York sometime in the 1970s, but the food itself has origins going back to the time of Alexander the Great.  His soldiers would skewer meat with their swords and turn it over fires to cook it.  It turns out that the rotisserie style of cooking worked well and adaptations started showing up throughout Greece (Gyro), Turkey Doner Kebab), and the Middle East (Shawarma).  Well seasoned meat is cooked, while turning it like a gyroscope, on a vertical spit or vertical grill.  Then pieces are then sliced and served on a flat bread with lettuce, tomatoes, and sauce.  This type of sandwich became popular throughout Greece, Turkey, and the rest of the Middle East and has been sold on the streets for hundreds of years.

For more information about gyro, check out What’s Cooking America’s Gryo Sandwich History.

 

Make It a Meal

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While It's Cooking

I love cooking. Always have. As a busy mother of two young kids, oftentimes the best time I have to pick up a cookbook or explore a new idea is while food is cooking. Sometimes I use that time to explore more about the meal I am preparing - the food, the traditions, the culture. Sometimes I use that time to figure out what I'm going to cook next and delve deeper into ingredients and techniques to experiment with. Usually while I'm cooking my family leaves me alone in the kitchen and I can enjoy a rare moment to myself. One of my favorite times of the day is "While It's Cooking."

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