Slow Cooker Beef Gyros

 

It’s hot hot hot, outside and inside, so no roasting or baking right now for this gal.  I’m even avoiding the toaster oven on these hot, humid July evenings.

I just found a great make-ahead gyro recipe on a site called tastesbetterfromscratch.  I made a few tweaks and am super happy with the results 🙂

No oven and no lamb with this recipe, just lean beef and yummy summery yogurt sauce.  Make ahead in the cool of the morning, set your slow cooker on low, and then kick back with a lemonade for the rest of the day (or go to work, if you have to :/  ).  When dinner time arrives you are good to go, just assemble and eat.

I am not a super big cucumber fan, so I left it out of the yogurt sauce, but if you like lots of cucumber there is an option to add some in.

INGREDIENTS

Beef:
1 1/2 – 2 lbs beef chuck roast, sliced into thin quarter-inch strips
Sea salt
Fresh cracked pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Yogurt Sauce:
1 cup plain Greek yogurt 2% fat (I like Fage)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tblsp fresh dill weed, chopped
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Optional: 1/4 cup finely chopped cucumber

For serving:
4-6 soft pitas
4-6 leaves any lettuce, torn into pieces
6-8 oz cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced and separated into thin rings
1 small cucumber, sliced in half lengthwise and then cut into thin half-moons
1 lime or lemon, cut into quarters

IMG_4918

DIRECTIONS

Yogurt Sauce:

Combine all ingredients and stir well. Refrigerate in a covered container until ready to serve.

Beef:

Cut out any large pieces of fat from the roast and then slice the meat into thin, 1/4 inch strips.

Season beef strips on both sides with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper (the salt and pepper should lightly cover both sides of the beef, like in this picture).

IMG_4910

Place the beef in the bottom of the slow cooker.

In a small bowl combine the olive oil, garlic powder, oregano, lemon juice, and  salt and pepper to taste. Spread evenly over meat.

IMG_4913

Cover and cook on LOW for 6-7 hours or HIGH for 3 – 4 hours, or until beef is very tender and crisp around the edges.  If possible, flip the meat over at the halfway point.  In the last hour of cooking, stir the beef a few times to ensure both sides get crispy.  (Note:  Slow cookers vary.  A larger slow cooker (like you see here) will cook this amount of beef thoroughly in much less time than a small slow cooker; if your slow cooker is small, and therefore your beef strips are piled up on top of each other rather than in a single layer like mine, you will need to stir and flip the meat often as it needs contact with the slow cooker to cook down and brown like you see below).

IMG_4919

Taste when done and if needed, add small amounts of garlic powder, salt and/or pepper.

Gyro Assembly:

Warm the pitas in the oven (or not!) or in the microwave.

Spread a small amount of yogurt sauce on each pita, and top with lettuce, onion, and meat. Add cucumber slices, sprinkle with tomatoes, and dollop sauce over everything.

Plate with a wedge of lime or lemon to drizzle over your gyro.  Bon Appetit!

 

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