When seeking out a new recipe, I am always searching for a creation that explodes with flavor. A good friend of mine recently asked if I would like to try his take on a cucumber Tzatziki sauce to try with one of my recipes. Of course, I said yes, then my mind immediately went to a traditional Greek Gyro, one of my favorite meals that include Tzatziki sauce and a ton of flavor.
When trying to create a good dish that would pair with the homemade Tzatziki sauce, I wanted to add two of my favorite things to create a personal touch. Those two things being wild game and an excellent wood-fired smoke flavor.
To achieve the two goals of wild game and wood-fired smoke flavor, I decided to take two of the 8 oz elk medallions from the GameKeeper Butchery and smoke them on my Traeger Grill to create Smoked Elk Gyros.
2- 8 oz. Elk Medallions
1- Large Cucumber
8- Cherry Tomatoes
1- Red Onion
Round Soft Pita Bread
Tzatziki Sauce Ingredients:
16 oz. Greek Yogurt
2 ½ Teaspoons of Dill
2 to 3 Garlic Cloves
3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
½ Lemon, squeezed
Mix Tzatziki Sauce:
Grate 2 cucumbers, then drain and squeeze out the juice.
Mix grated cucumber with 16 ounces of Greek yogurt, 2 ½ teaspoons of dill, 3 cloves of garlic crushed, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, take ½ of a lemon and squeeze out as much juice as possible. Mix all ingredients and salt to taste.
After Tzatziki sauce is made and refrigerated for a couple of hours, it is time to smoke elk meat on the Traeger Grills pellet smoker. During the cooking of the smoked elk gyros, I used the Traeger Pro 780 smoker.
Pre Heat smoker to 300 degrees using Traeger Signature Blend pellets. The Signature blend consists of Hickory, Maple, and Cherry pellets.
After the grill has reached desired heat, place Elk Medallions directly onto grill grates.
Let them cook until the internal temperature has reached 135 degrees.
While the elk is cooking, slice the cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and red onion toppings for the Gyros.
Once Elk has reached 135 degrees, remove them from the smoker and immediately slice them into ¼” or more petite strips.
For each Gyro, use one piece of Pita bread.
You can serve them at room temperature or do as I do and put them on the smoker for 2 to 3 minutes to warm.
Lay 3 to 4 slices of smoked elk onto the Pita.
Top with 4 to 5 pieces of red onion, 3 to 4 slices of cherry tomatoes, and 4 to 5 slices of half-moon-shaped cucumber.
Garnish with 2 large teaspoons of Tzatziki sauce, fold and serve.