Grilled Venison Gyros

By Marissa Saviano

Backstrap is preferred for this recipe, but really, any prime cut will do. The meat gets a bath in a Greek-style marinade, then hits the hot grill for a fast sear to get it medium-rare. Thinly sliced and piled high on a grilled piece of pita or naan bread and topped with your favorite Gyro accoutrements it makes for a hearty and flavorful sandwich.

Ingredients

1-2 lb backstrap from any big game animal

Salt and Pepper

Marinade:

2 Tbsp Olive oil
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Garlic Clove
1/4 tsp Onion Powder
1/4 tsp Rosemary (fresh or dried)
1/4 tsp Thyme (fresh or dried)

1/4 tsp Dill Weed

Tzatziki Sauce:

8oz Plain GreekYogurt (2% or higher fat)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 1/2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1/2 Cucumber (peeled and diced small)
1 Garlic Clove
1/2 Tbsp Fresh Mint (chopped)
1/2 Tbsp Dill Weed

Salt and Pepper to taste

For Serving:

Pita or Naan Bread
Diced Cucumbers
Diced Tomatoes
Sliced Red Onion (raw or pickled)
Fresh Lettuce or Baby greens

Crumbled Feta Cheese

Directions

Start by making the marinade. Combine all ingredients except the garlic. Take the clove of garlic and either press through a garlic press or grate on a microplane into the marinade. Whisk vigorously to combine. Pour the marinade over venison making sure all sides are thoroughly coated and let it sit for 1-2 hours.

While the meat is marinating, make the Tzatziki sauce. Combine yogurt, Olive oil and lemon juice, stir to combine. Once again press the garlic clove through a garlic press or grate on a microplane and add to yogurt. Gently stir in the remaining ingredients until combined and salt and pepper to taste. Chill the sauce until you're ready to serve.

Make sure to pull your meat from the fridge approximately 1 hour prior to cooking and let come to room temperature before grilling. Get your grill nice and hot and cook the meat on the grill to medium rare (time will depend on size and thickness of your meat). Baste the meat with any remaining marinade while it cooks for extra flavor. Pull the meat when it reaches medium rare and let it rest. A good rule of thumb is to let the meat rest for the same amount of time that you cooked each side, so if you cooked it for 5 minutes a side, let your meat rest for 5 minutes total before cutting it. While the meat is resting throw your pita or naan bread on the grill to heat  for just about 1-2 minutes each side.

Thinly slice the meat (I prefer about an 1/8th inch thick), assemble your Gyros with the Tzatziki sauce and your favorite toppings, and enjoy!