Speak Like a Greek. Cook Like a Greek Restaurant

There are a few Greek words familiar to the Western eye, but which are also confounding when they have to be pronounced. Retsina, tzatziki and gyro. A few Greek recipes are confounding also. In this post, I'll show you how to pronounce and prepare a Greek festival- or restaurant-worthy gyro sandwich and the garlicky sauce to top it with, tzatziki. If you want to drink Retsina...even better! Speak like a Greek. Cook like a Greek restaurant! Opa! In a hurry for the recipe? Click here.

Was gyro a Turkish invention? Sort of. During the time that Greece was under Ottoman rule, Greeks became fond of Donner Kebab, which has inspired Shawarma and even the Mexican Al Pastor tacos. When the Greeks regained control of their country, along with the Ottomans, the Donner Kebab was lost. The innovative Greeks who had grown fond of the meat roasted on a spit, created their own version, naming it gyro (round/around in Greek). Traditionally made with marinated pork slices threaded onto a skewer and roasted slowly, the meat is shaved off as the outer parts cook. Typically, this means that almost every gyro sandwich will have a few crispy bits of meat.
Ready to pop into a super hot oven.

How to do this at home? We improvise. There are many wonderful recipes all over the internet for a meatloaf-like gyro packed into a loaf pan and cooked in the oven. This recipe is a miniature reproduction of what you'll find at a Greek restaurant. It roasts on its side and requires that you turn it once during cooking, but it's much smaller and is ready to slice much, much sooner than the restaurant version. For a printable recipe with detailed instructions and tips, click here. Want to SPEAK LIKE A GREEK? Scroll to the bottom of this post.


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