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).
- Meat Thermometer
- 4 lb boneless pork butt roast trimmed
- 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
- 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).
- 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.
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