Gyros..... er, sausage

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Discombobulated BBQ'r
Sep 24, 2012
ok, your probably thinking, wth does a Gyro have to do with Sausage?

I'll tell ya.
I love Gyros. Use to eat 'em all the time while living in Washington State (strange state for Gyro's but there they where) move to Kansas and damned if I can find 'em.
ok, found one in a gas station and where pretty ok but watching the staff's obvious confusion working behind the display of candy bars and "for tobacco use only" selection of glass and wooden objects. I haven't been back so I decided to try and make something close myself.

I've tried several recipes and while some border of disgusting I have managed to come really close in flavor but the cooking process devoids the meat of fat and flavor leaving a dry and cardboard texture.

Then it dawned on me to treat this meat substance like sausage. Thinking, and processing, the meat this way i'm hoping I can retain the fat and achieve the texture if a Gyro.

The meat is mashed to a consistency of mush, formed, then placed in the fridge overnight to firm up. then cooked at 250 to 350 until done. While it looks mea-utiful all drippy and sizzley it comes out very dry leaving all the fat and flavor in a pan under the Gyro meat.

My next attempt will be to add Prague #1 and cook at 160 - 180 to an internal temp of 152-155.
I'll add the recipe I use below. maybe between all of us we can come up with a very usable recipe and process to produce a close approximation to a Gyro.

I use all beef since the wife and kids flat refuse to eat any kind of lamb. with that said let's start.

most of the Gyro's appeal is within the crispy crust on the edges of the sliced meat. Cooking at a much lower temp i'm thinking this can be achieved frying or broiling or grilling the slices before they are assembled into the flat bread.

Gimpy's Gyro experiment


    4 teaspoon salt
    4 teaspoon ground oregano
    4 teaspoon all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
    2 teaspoon garlic powder
    2 teaspoon onion powder
    1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    4 pound ground beef (at least 80/20. I'll also be trying the 73/27 available now that GB is so darned expensive)
    Cure #1 or Prague powder (not sure how much yet)

   soft, hand-pulled-style flat bread (not pocket pita)
   Chopped fresh tomato
   Finely sliced onion
   Cubed peeled seeded cucumber

In a small bowl, mix together the cure, salt, oregano, flour, black pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper.

place the ground beef in a large bowl and mix the spices in with the meat. Once thoroughly mixed spin up one pound chunks in a food processor until homogeneous and sticky. Mix all together when finished, cover and let rest in the fridge overnight.

Form the meat into a rectangular loaf approx. 1 1/2 inches thick, 5-6 inches long by however wide as you have meat. 
Maybe more than one loaf would help since it wouldn't have to be cooked as long to reach internal temps.

The cooking instructions is where I plan on experimenting. I'm also open to ideas on processing.

slice 1/8 to 1/4 inches thick. each slice should be 5-6 inches long. Fry, grill or broil until crispy (or maybe not, I haven't got this far yet - lol) add tomatoes, onion, lettuce, cukes and sauce and fold into flat bread. Wrap (and this is very important to complete the Gyro experience) 3/4 of the Gyro in foil and fold the bottom over to catch the goodness that will drip from the bottom of the Gyro.

I have two recipes for sauce:

Doniar sauce: (haven't tried yet)
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
 3/4 cup white sugar
 2 teaspoons garlic powder
 4 teaspoons white vinegar, or as needed

mix together the evaporated milk, sugar and garlic powder in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in the white vinegar, adding 1 teaspoon at a time, until thickened to your desired consistency.

Yogurt sauce (tried, didn't like) Alton Browns recipe
16 ounces plain yogurt
    1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
    Pinch kosher salt
    4 cloves garlic, finely minced
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
    5 to 6 mint leaves, finely minced

Place the yogurt in a tea towel, gather up the edges, suspend over a bowl, and drain for 2 hours in the refrigerator.

Place the chopped cucumber in a tea towel and squeeze to remove the liquid; discard liquid. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the drained yogurt, cucumber, salt, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and mint. Serve as a sauce for gyros

I tried this one and just didn't remind me of Gyro sauce. It tasted to.... plain yogurt-y.

If your up to teaming together to come up with a good recipe for Gyro "sausage" i'd love to hear your ideas and or results. Maybe we can come up with something interesting.

This is incomplete as it's written.

If you want to help bring this together experiment and reply with your ideas and results.

I'll be updating as I try new things.

ya know, even a cased Gyro sausage might even be an excellent idea.


Discombobulated BBQ'r
Sep 24, 2012
yea, there in lies the problem. The heat renders the fat out, hence the treating it like sausage.

trust me, I've scanned and or tried all the decent looking recipes on the Internet. Including Altons recipe. It's where the sauce recipe came from ;)
I've even looked at the one here and the process of cooking isn't any different so I can't imagine the results would be.

The experiment is to process like Sausage and cook at very low temps to try and get the flavor and consistency closer to what you expect from a real Greek joint.

If I'm the only one excited about it that's ok. I'll plug along and post my findings.
I think I'm also going to try casing a batch, that should be interesting.


Executive Chef
Oct 7, 2009
San Diego CA
I have made the Alton Brown recipe and it tastes real close to the Gyros around here and the Tzatziki sauce was spot on. The only change to the recipe I made was to do a 50/50 mix of ground beef and lamb.

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