These Homemade Pork Gyros are the closest that you will get to authentic gyros. Perfectly seasoned and cooked pork wrapped in soft pita bread is just the start. The real game changers in the gyro are the tzatziki sauce and french fries.
Yes, when you order a gyro in Greece, most restaurants will serve their gyro with french fries inside of the pita and I think it's the best thing ever. Along with the French fries, the other staple ingredients are sliced tomatoes and onions. However, you can customize your gyro as you would like.
The most common misconception is that gyros are made of a mixture of beef and lamb. Maybe that depends on the region in Greece, however, I have only had pork gyros in Greece and that is what inspired this recipe.
What ingredients are needed for Homemade Pork Gyros?
Below are ingredients that are most commonly used in traditional Greek gyros so I used them in this recipe. However, don't be afraid to play around with toppings. There is no right or wrong and it always comes down to personal preference. To me, a gyro is not a gyro without the tzatziki and I believe that's the most important ingredient you can after after the pork.
- Pork (pork loin or pork shoulder)
- Marinade-sunflower oil (or any flavorless oil such as vegetable or canola) garlic, paprika, oregano, salt, black pepper
- Pita bread
- Tzatziki-I have a great recipe here or you can use store bought
- French fries-Homemade or use pre-cut frozen
- Freshly sliced tomatoes and onions.
What kind of meat is used in these Homemade Pork Gyros?
All of the gyros I have tried in different cities in Greece were made of only pork. That is the reason I use pork when I make homemade gyros. Traditionally, pork pieces are seasoned and then layered on a rotisserie. The pork cooks on the rotisserie and just before it goes in the gyro, the pork meat is shaved off of the rotisserie. Since it is shaved, the pork meat is very thin.
Preparing the pork.
Since pork is shaved for a traditional gyro, I make the gyro as close to authentic as possible and the meat has a lot to do with that. To be able to slice the pork thinly, I find it helpful if the meat is slightly frozen. When the meat is firm, you can get thiner slices much easier.
If your pork is frozen, slice it before defrosting. If it is not frozen, place it in the freezer for about 1-2 hours or until it is relatively firm.
Once it is sliced, place the pork in marinade one hour prior to cooking or make it one day ahead and leave it in the marinade and refrigerated overnight.
Making the Homemade Gyro.
- Make the tzatziki if you are not using store bought. I have a great tzatziki recipe here, or you can purchase it already made. If you are making the tzatziki, I recommend making it first so it has time to cool in the refrigerator or you can make it one day ahead. The recipe will be more than you need for 4 gyros, however it makes a great dipping sauce for almost any vegetable.
- Prepare the pork. Slice it thin, sprinkle seasonings, garlic, and oil over it. Mix and let it marinade in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight if making ahead.
- Make the french fires. I like to make them from scratch using butter potatoes but you can also make them using pre cut french fries. To get closest to an authentic gyro, I fry my french fries. However, you can use an air fryer as well as an oven to bake them.
- Cook the meat. Since I recommend cutting the pork as thin as possible, it will cook relatively quickly which is why I recommend making the French fries before the meat. That way your French fries are still warm when you assemble the homemade pork gyros.
- Lightly toast pita. This is optional but it does make a difference. When warm, the pita is easier to fold without it cracking in half. I like to toast the pita in the same pan that I used to cook the pork in. Place pita in pan, about 30 seconds on each side, on low heat.
- Assemble the gyros. First add the tzatziki, followed by cooked pork, tomatoes, onions, and french fries.