How To Make Gyros From Scratch

I feel dirty.

I made gyros with fresh lamb tenderloins instead of processed mechanically separated and formed meat product. They’re probably more like the traditional Greek version, instead of the Americanized fast-food version I’m used to. No, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Problem is, while I was eating them I couldn’t help thinking, “Boy, I’ll bet this would be good if I processed it into that lamb loaf stuff.” If you needed a license to call yourself a foodie, mine would be revoked for admitting that.

No use fighting it. I’m going to have to bust out the meat grinder and do some processing.


1/2 medium onion
1 pound lamb tenderloin
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons dried marjoram
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper


Before I get started I’ll just point out that this is the exact same recipe you’d use to make the processed version. I’ll describe how to do that near the end.

Dice the onion very fine. Check out the pico de gallo recipe for some tips on doing the onions.

Strip the rosemary leaves from the stems and chop them very fine.

Peel the garlic and mince it — that means dice very fine.

Slice the tenderloins across the grain in thin slices and add salt and pepper.

Combine the onion, herbs and garlic.

Add the lamb and mix.

Heat a few tablespoons of oil (I’m using olive pomace oil) over high heat.

Add the lamb mixture and stir or toss until the meat is browned

Serve in a pita pocket with tzatziki sauce, onions, tomato and feta cheese.

And that’s it.

I promised I’d tell you how to do the processed lamb, didn’t I? Okay, after mixing the meat into the onion and herbs, put it all in a food processor. Keep pulsing it until you have a smooth (but not too smooth) paste. Transfer the paste to a loaf pan and bake at 350° until it reaches an internal temperature of 150°.

Then — now this will sound strange, but go with it — wrap a brick with aluminum foil. Put the brick on top of the meat to press it down and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove the meat from the pan, allow to rest for 5 minutes, then slice.