Gyros Burgers with Oven-Roasted Lemon Potatoes

Hiver 2010
food and drink

BY: Marilyn Bentz-Crowley

Gyros is usually an upright cylinder of spiced meat rotating in front of flames or glowing electric bars. As it sizzles and browns, the meat is sliced off into a warm pita. In the absence of such equipment, these appetizing burgers are the next best thing.

2 to 3 large plum tomatoes
½ small English cucumber
¼ cup (50 mL) minced sweet onion
1 tbsp (15 mL) red wine vinegar
2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil
½ tsp (2 mL) dried leaf oregano
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
Several grindings of black pepper

3 lbs (1.5 kg) potatoes, white or yellow-fleshed (not baking)
⅓ cup (75 mL) olive oil
Juice of 1 large lemon
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp (5 mL) dried leaf oregano
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
¼ tsp (1 mL) freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (250 mL) chicken broth
2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh parsley


1 egg
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
1 tsp (5 mL) dried leaf oregano
2 tbsp (25 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
½ tsp (2 mL) freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (250 mL) fresh bread crumbs
½ cup (125 mL) minced sweet onion
1½ lbs (750 g) lean ground lamb or pork or a mixture of both
2 tbsp (25 mL) butter
2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil
6 pita, preferably Greek style
1 to 2 containers (250 mL each) purchased tzatziki, or equivalent of homemade

1. Seed and dice tomatoes and cucumber; turn into mixing bowl. Stir in onion. Whisk vinegar with oil, oregano, salt and pepper. Pour over tomato mixture; stir well. Let sit at room temperature, stirring occasionally, for at least30 minutes to meld flavours. (Or cover and refrigerate for up to a day; stir before serving.)

2. Adjust oven rack above centre; preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

3. Peel and cut potatoes in half or quarters if large; pieces should be chunky. Add potatoes in a single layer to a 9 x 13-inch (3-L) baking dish. Stir olive oil with lemon, garlic and oregano. Pour over potatoes; season with salt and pepper. Pour over chicken broth. Bake, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 1 hour or until tender. For golden brown tops, broil for an additional 5 minutes, stirring 2 or 3 times; keep warm. Sprinkle with parsley.

4. To make burgers, mix egg in a large mixing bowl with garlic, parsley, cumin, oregano, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir in breadcrumbs and onion. Crumble meat over top. Using hands, knead until uniformly mixed. Form mixture into 12 oblong patties about ¾ inch (2 cm) thick. Cover and refrigerate until ready to fry, up to a day.

5. Fry burgers in batches or in 2 pans, adding more butter and oil as needed. Heat ½ tbsp (7 mL) each of butter and olive oil in a large frying pan over medium to medium-low heat. Add burgers without crowding. Fry for 8 to10 minutes on first side. Turn; fry for another 8 to 10 minutes or until crusty.

6. Warm pita in oven or toaster oven; place 2 burgers in each on warmed serving plates. Top with a spoonful of relish and tzatziki; fold. Serve with potatoes; pass remaining relish and tzatziki.

Makes 6 servings

What to Serve

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