Mini Grilled Gyro Burgers With Tzatziki and Pickled Peperoncini

A gryo-spiced meat mixture is formed into little patties, grilled, and topped with tzatziki and pickled peperoncini to make one tasty small sandwich. [Photographs: Joshua Bousel]

A gryo-spiced beef-and-lamb mixture is formed into little patties, grilled, and topped with tzatziki and pickled peperoncini for one tasty sandwich.

Why this recipe works:

  • A 50/50 mix of ground beef and lamb strikes a nice balance between the flavor of a burger and a gyro.
  • Adding additional fat or bacon into the meat mixture ensures a juicy patty.
  • Puréeing the meat mixture in a food processor results in a fine texture that's reminiscent of a standard gryo-loaf.
  • Tzatziki adds a cooling touch, while pickled peperoncini add heat and tang.

Mini Grilled Gyro Burgers With Tzatziki and Pickled Peperoncini

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About This Recipe

Yield:Serves 3-4
Active time:30 minutes
Total time:1 hour
Special equipment:Food processor, Grill
This recipe appears in: The Key to Turning Gyros Into Burgers: Defy Burger Orthodoxy

Ingredients

  • For the Tzatziki:
  • 2 cups Greek yogurt
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and grated
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 3 medium cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely minced fresh dill
  • Kosher salt
  • For the Burgers:
  • 1/2 pound freshly ground lamb, well chilled
  • 1/2 pound freshly ground beef chuck, well chilled
  • 3 ounces pork fatback or bacon, diced and well chilled
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 1 medium clove)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup finely minced red onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Greek
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 9 slider-size potato rolls, split
  • Pickled peperoncini, for topping
  • Type of fire: Direct
  • Grill heat: medium-high

Procedures

  1. 1

    For the Tzatziki: Mix together yogurt, cucumber, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and dill in a medium bowl. Season with salt. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using.

  2. 2

    For the Burgers: Place lamb, beef, fatback or bacon, garlic, salt, onion, oregano, and black pepper in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process until smooth puree is formed, about 1 minute total, scraping down side of bowl with rubber spatula as necessary. Form meat mixture into 9 equal-sized patties.

  3. 3

    Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over entire surface of coal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place buns on grill, cut side down, and grill until lightly toasted. Set aside.

  4. 4

    Place gyro patties on grill and cook until well seared on both sides and just cooked through, 2-3 minutes per side.

  5. 5

    Transfer patties to toasted buns, top with a spoonful of tzatziki and a few slices of peperoncini. Serve immediately.

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