Flank Steak Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce is a crowd pleaser and so easy to throw together with minimal prep. Delicious flank steak and sauteed onions, sliced tomato and cucumber, crumbled feta cheese and a flavorful Tzatziki sauce on pita or Naan bread make an easy weeknight meal you can hold in your hand.
How do you Pronounce “Gyro”?
Now truthfully, knowing how to pronounce this Greek word is not going to make it taste any better, but knowing the pronunciation will make the experience more authentic not to mention make you sound a little more intelligent than most Americans: The best way to say “gyro” is “YEER-oh,” without the hard “g.” Don’t forget to give the tongue a little twist on the “oh”.
Lamb is traditionally served in a Gyro, but I always have flank steak on hand, so it tends to be my go-to meat for this recipe. Either one is delicious. Truthfully, the Tzatziki sauce makes the meal for me because I am a sauce girl. Sauce is the real star of the show; just like in Eggs Benedict. We don’t ask for another poached egg. We ask for extra sauce, right?
With a warm pita pocket (especially homemade), sautéed onions and marinated flank steak, crumbled Feta cheese, loaded with crisp cucumbers and juicy tomatoes, and drenched with a delicious Tzatziki sauce, you have a winner in your hand for any occasion…maybe not a first date. They are pretty messy. Just have extra napkins on hand.
Tzatziki sauce can be made with either dill or mint but I typically use dill because it is my husband’s favorite herb. I also realize that I have cucumbers in the Tzatziki sauce as well as sliced to add to your gyros. The tzatziki sauce is usually made with cucumbers and can be used on anything from grilled meat and vegetables, a sauce for veggie wraps, topped on curry, or used as a dip for pita chips or vegetable crudités. Feel free to omit the sliced cucumbers or even the cucumber from the sauce. Actually, we love cucumber with its hydrating crunch so the more the merrier in our home. It’s totally up to you.
Just a side note, but I have it on good authority that Tzatziki sauce freezes beautifully if you don’t add the cucumber. Maybe freeze it in ice cube trays for individual servings and store them in a freezer bag to be popped out onto your favorite dish.
An optional ingredient in your Tzatziki sauce is preserved lemon. If you have not tried my Preserved Lemon recipe you MUST! It truly is my favorite condiment. Preserved Lemons are so easy to prepare, a fun seasonal preserving tradition, and you can practically add them to everything from soups and stews, to sauces, and salad dressings. They add a salty tartness to all your savory dishes.
Going the Extra Mile and Baking Your Own Pita Bread
I have made Gyros for years and I have to say my least favorite part is the pita bread. Not only is store-bought pita bread dry, but aren’t these things supposed to have a pocket? We end up just folding them in half or switching to Naan bread for a softer dough. But… I recently discovered homemade pita pockets that actually have a pocket and are super soft. Now they do take some extra work and planning but they are so fun to make and incredibly therapeutic if you are a tactile person. Check out this recipe from Cooks Country Americas Test Kitchen.
Now that we’ve got the pronunciation down and we can authentically tell everyone what we are eating for dinner without prefacing it with three or four pronunciations followed by…” or whatever it’s called,” let’s dive into the recipe.
- 1 1/2 lbs flank steak
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 large sweet yellow onion like a Vidalia, sliced
- For the Tzatziki Sauce:
- 1 cup grated and squeezed organic cucumber (from about 1 medium-sized English cucumber). No need to peel or seed the cucumber first but you will need to squeeze your grated cucumber in a paper towel over the sink to remove any extra liquid before adding it to the rest of your sauce.
- 1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt
- 3 T fresh dill, chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh garlic
- 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 T fresh squeezed lemon juice (2 T if using preserved lemon peel)
- 1/4 minced preserved lemon peel (optional)
- sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
- 6 pita pockets
- 2 tomatoes, sliced
- 1 English Cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup fresh Feta cheese, crumbled (purchase the feta in brine not the feta already crumbled and dry)
- Thinly slice flank steak against the grain when it is slightly frozen to get an easy cut
- Place sliced steak in a freezer ziplock bag and add olive oil, salt, pepper, and oregano
- Massage to thoroughly integrate marinade and place in the refrigerator for at least two hours or overnight
- Prepare the Tzatziki sauce by mixing prepared shredded cucumber, yogurt, dill, lemon juice, minced preserved lemon (if using), garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl
- Spritz the pitas or Naan bread with a little water, wrap in foil, and warm in a 350° oven for 6-10 minutes
- Slice the tomato, onion, and cucumber and crumble the feta cheese
- Heat 1 T olive oil in a cast iron pan over medium heat and add the marinated meat into the pan. Cook until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
- Add an additional 1 T olive oil and add the sliced onion. Saute until translucent and golden brown.
- Return the meat and any juices back into the pan and stir until heated through
- Arrange the pitas or Naan bread on a plate and top with meat and onion mixture. Add the sliced cucumber and tomato and crumpled feta cheese. Top with Tzatziki sauce and fold in half to serve
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In everything you do -eat, play, and, love- may it always be Seasoned with Joy!