Make your own homemade, traditional Greek pork gyros (yiros) wrapped in a pita bread – souvlaki ( skewers / suvlaki / suflaki ) style with this easy to follow souvlaki recipe! Souvlaki is one of the most popular street foods in Greece and for good reason. Its stuffed with well cooked and seasoned meat, garnished with a cooling tzatziki sauce, wrapped in a delicious crispy pita and best of all? It tastes like heaven! Souvlaki stands for “meat-on-a-skewer”, however the majority of Greeks and especially those from Athens call any type of pita wrapped meat a souvlaki, specifying the type of meat and method of roasting separately.
This souvlaki recipe can actually be a very healthy dish if prepared the right way. By using good quality pork for your pork gyros, low fat yogurt for the tzatziki and avoiding dipping the pita in oil and frying but opting for a healthier baked version instead you can have the full-blown souvlaki with pork gyros experience in less than 270 calories – yes that is less than your average sandwich! That being said, if you feel a little naughty add some extra virgin olive oil to your souvlaki with pork gyros and enjoy a more street-food like experience.
Preparing the pork gyros
The most important step in making the perfect, traditional Greek pork gyros souvlaki is nothing else but the pork! Select good quality pork meat, preferably slices of tenderloin and season with a selection of Greek spices like oregano, thyme, garlic and onion. The secret ingredient in this traditional Greek pork gyros recipe is adding a tiny bit of honey and vinegar to the marinade to break the intense pork meat texture. Marinading your pork gyros in the fridge for at least a couple of hours will allow the spices to infuse the gyros and give it the desired aromas.
Preparing your traditional Greek souvlaki
The best way to serve your traditional Greek souvlaki with pork gyros is nothing other than wrapped in a delicious traditional Greek pita. Finding the original Greek pita can be quite challenging as most supermarkets stock only the arabian style ones but you can most likely find them at your local Greek deli or amazon! Of course tzatziki is the preferred sauce to garnish with. Don’t forget to garnish with some salt and paprika, sweet or spicy if you like an extra kick. Most Greeks enjoy their traditional Greek souvlaki with some potato chips stuffed in the pita so feel free to try adding some as well.
For the pork gyros
1 pork tenderloin, cut into strips
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1/2 red onion, sliced
3-4 tbsps of olive oil
1-2 tbsps red wine vinegar
1 tbsp oregano
1/2 tbsp of honey
For the tzatziki sauce
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 of a cup extra virgin olive oil
500g of yogurt (18 ounces)
1-2 tbsps of red wine vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 pita breads
1 red onion, sliced
1 tomato, sliced
fried potatoes (optional)
To prepare this souvlaki recipe start by preparing the pork gyros. Mix into a large bowl the tenderloin (cut into strips), the garlic, the red onion, 3-4 tbsp of olive oil, 1-2 tbsp of red wine vinegar, some thyme, some rosemary, and mix with your hands. Squeeze the ingredients together, so that all the flavours blend and add 1/2 tbsp of honey. Wrap the bowl and put it into the fridge. Leave the marinade in the fridge for at least 2 hours, before using it (ideally leave it over night).
In a (very hot) large non-sticking pan, add the tenderloin along with the ingredients of the marinade, and sauté for 1 minute on each side, without stirring, until the meat is nicely coloured, crispy and tender inside.
To prepare the tzatziki sauce for the pork gyros, pour in a food processor the olive oil and garlic and blend until the garlic is diluted (don’t leave any large pieces of garlic). Into a large bowl, grate the cucumber, season with salt and pepper and leave it aside for 10 minutes. Wrap the grated cucumber into a towel and squeeze, in order to get rid of most of the water. Into a bowl, add the cucumber, the blended garlic and oil, the yogurt, 1-2 of red wine vinegar, salt and pepper and mix. (This recipe is for 5-6 servings. Store in the fridge and always serve cold.)
Use a cooking brush to oil the pita breads on both sides and season with salt, pepper and oregano. Place a large pan (upside down) at the bottom of the oven, place the pita breads on top, and bake in preheated oven at 250C for about 1 minute.
Pork gyros is usually served wrapped, like a sandwich. To serve, spread some tzatziki sauce on the pita breads and top with the pork gyros, some slices of red onion, some sliced tomato and wrap.
For an easier version, you can substitute the tzatziki sauce with some fresh yogurt or some mustard and mayonnaise sauce.