If you make gyro meat, what is your best "go-to" recipe for it?

Well, the “lamb spam” seems to be ubiquitous. But that’s okay because we (my family and I) like it.

I’d like to try some stacked stuff that tastes like gyro meat but would also be suspicious that I’d only like it (or not) based on whether it tastes like the “lamb spam” we’re used to!


All I said was crisped like carnitas. If you have a braised lamb shoulder you could get your meltingly soft center.

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In Greece and in some restaurants in Mtl and TO, a few fries are wrapped into the pita, with the souvlaki, gyro meat or biftekia.
Like this. Not too common in most parts of North America.


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To be honest, I’ve only found one or 2 stacked gyro meat spots that are good in Canada.

The shawarma and Turkish doner have a lot more herbs and spices than most stacked Greek gyros.

The pork stacked Greek gyros is too greasy for me. I usually get chicken if it’s stacked Greek gyros. If I’m at a Greek restaurant and I want a meat-filled pita, I tend to get pork or lamb souvlaki in a pita, or biftekia, occasionally chicken gyro. I eat a lot more shish tawook , chicken shawarma and beef shawarma, relative to commercial gyro. ( I do like the occasional processed gyro and Halifax donair)

I haven’t seen stacked Greek beef gyros or stacked Greek lamb gyros in Canada. Ontario Lamb would be too expensive to keep the gyros in a pita around the $5- $ 10 range, so restaurants would be using frozen Australian or NZ lamb, which I dislike in Canada.

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I love “lamb spam” - it’s the whole reason to eat gyros, IMO! If I want stacked meat I’ll go get shawarma (extra toum please!).


Yes, I was so disappointed when I saw “gyros” in the US & found it to be the paste one (not to say there aren’t plenty of Turkish places in Berlin that do the same to döner, but I’m with @BKeats and others, and much prefer the sliced meat. I could see slicing lamb shoulder (or veal, which is often used) into very thin slices with an electric knife, then seasoning it.

But I think you already got some fine advice for the spiced sausage version, which you seem to prefer anyway :wink:

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I love both the paste and stack. But, honestly, when I buy stacked, it’s usually al pastor. The sausage version is just what most grow up with here.


It’s usually shwarma or gyros here in Germany. Mexican food is practically non-existent. Which reminds me - Ima hafta get a few more döners/shwarmas/gyros sammiches before I leave :sob:

Maybe even tonight’s the night :slight_smile:

When you out of there? Berlin is the coolest town. I’ve heard doners are wild popular there, for good reason.

I’ve been here since early May, and sadly am returning to the US early August. Apart from the last two years I’m here every summer for at least two months, as I used to live here.

It’s a fabulous city with an amazing array of all sorts of cuisines I have zero access to back at home in the middle of podunk PA.

So… I’m def not ready to leave, but we ate well & will continue to do so until the very last minute :wink:

Only one döner so far, though (I think I mentioned in another thread that I kinda think of döner as ‘drunk, late night food.’ )

Tonight may just be the night for a second one. I heard of a great place in Wedding that also sells adana kebab. I shall report in my Berlin Eatz thread over in “The Rest of the World.”

What’s in a name? You are getting caught up in the nomenclature. It’s all the same. There is no difference between a gyro and shawarma and doner. In Athens there will be no variety in the toppings, but the meat is the same. If they call it a gyro, it is stacked meat on a vertical spit. Cubes of meat, grilled? They call it souvlaki. Kabobs to everyone else.

I am not saying all cultures make them taste the same or that it doesn’t matter where you get them. Some examples are better than others, and a few are WAY better than others. Once I find a place like that, I ignore the rest.

Well, for those of us who are accustomed to the Greek-style of gyro, it sure is a huge letdown when one expects slices of meat, and instead gets meat paste. Then it’s certainly not just about nomenclature.


Actually, no, I’m not. I understand the origins of the words/the cooking technique/the similarities and differences. I was supporting the OPs point that in many places in the U.S., there are two distinct styles, “lamb spam” and stacked meat style. In my area, Greek places usually serve lamb spam while Middle Eastern places serve stacked meat. I like both, but if I have a hankering for one or the other then I need to choose my restaurant accordingly because they are different eating experiences available at different places.


I’ve thought a bit more and I guess it’s more of a “devil you know” situation, as Greg mentions. I’d be interested in having sliced-n-stacked but I don’t think I have the necessary equipment. OTOH, I found the Sam Sifton article and recipe that @BKeats mentions above (this is sliced pork shoulder) and simply cooking it flat in the oven seems to work well.

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I’ve ordered the stacked Greek gyro maybe 3 dozen times over the last 20 years. I grew up with the lamb spam-type.

The stacked Greek gyro in Toronto doesn’t taste much like shawarma or doner in Toronto because it tends to lack the spices used in Israeli and Middle Eastern restaurants in Toronto. Turkish and Berlin doner in Toronto have been disappointing to me.

Same concept, very different taste.

I’ve also become fussier about the shawarma and falafel I like.

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Döner (the layered, not the meat paste kind)

at one of the best places for it, apparently. Great quality meat (veal).


Doner on, linguafood! I’m envious but I’m diggin’ podunk, WI, too. Hard to eat out too often here, so I like to make my own food. I never thought I’d learn to really enjoy boredom. I do. This is why I make my own civaps. Great ingredients (I buy lamb from kids I work with.) I love knowing exactly where my goods are coming from.

Well, I hope you enjoy some time. I sure can see why you’d miss Berlin. Sounds heavenly.

I’m going up north for a week. My Berlin. JK…podunker.

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Follow up on this.

I mostly followed this recipe (yes, “spam”) as to spice, except I used 2 lb beef and 1 each of lamb and pork (essentially doubling the mass of this recipe with doubled herb/spice amounts, unless otherwise stated). I used about 1/2 of the stated amount of rosemary just due to prior family likes/dislikes.

Where I did not follow it was (a) salt ratio and (b) method. In both of these I followed Kenji’s suggestions here. Although I cut Kenji’s suggested salt ratio from 2% to 1.8%. Just personal preference. But everything else he wrote about keeping the fat contained made sense, so I did it.

I read 10 pita recipes before I finally got it through my head that Med pocket pitas are NOT the same as Greek fold pitas. That said, this was my fold pita recipe. You have to scroll forever the hell to get to the actual Pita recipe, but it’s there. And it’s flawed. Obvs she’s not measuring cups of flour well - I had to add at least another 60 grams of flour to get the right consistency.

But once I did - Wow. These were much better than restaurant wrap pitas!


Just read through - all solid conclusions based on what I know about sausage-making and have observed in the finished products of my own experiments with sausages, meatballs, meatloaves and other ground meat concoctions. Glad the method worked for you! How did you like the spicing/seasoning in the Wholesome Yum recipe?


I think the texture of the pocket is very different from the fold. Love the fold, especially when they dip it in the gyro fat and flattop it for a sec. Not a pocket guy.