Saturday, October 10, 2015

I've Always Wondered How They Do This

I love a good gyro. I craved gyros a lot during this last pregnancy. As I have mentioned before, I have a number of great Greek restaurants nearby...but I've always wondered how gyros were made. Now I know! This recipe is spot on. I think there is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to packing the meat tightly, slicing it just right, and frying it so that it is crisp, but not too crisp, but I think practice will make perfect and I look forward to making these again and again until I am a pro. However, this recipe is also very forgiving, and even though some of my slices weren't perfect and I fried a few of them too crispy, it was still absolutely delicious.

I love how the author of this recipe stated that she slices the leftover meat in individual portions and freezes it for any time she craves a gyro. What a great idea!

Favorite Meat Loaf Gyros


1 egg, lightly beaten
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 pound ground lamb
1 pound ground beef

Tzatziki Sauce:

1 cup (8 ounces) plain yogurt
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper


8 whole pita breads
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
16 slices tomato
8 slices red or sweet onion, halved


In a large bowl, combine the egg, garlic, oregano, kosher salt, and pepper. Crumble lamb and beef over mixture; mix well.

Pat into an ungreased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 60-70 minutes or until no pink remains and a thermometer reads 160 degrees F. Cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

For sauce, in a small bowl, combine the yogurt, cucumber, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Brush pita breads with 1 tablespoon oil; heat on a lightly greased griddle for 1 minute on each side. Keep warm. Cut meat loaf into very thin slices. In a large skillet, fry meatloaf in remaining oil in batches until crisp.

On each pita bread, layer the tomato, onion, and meatloaf slices; top with some tzatziki sauce. Carefully fold pitas in half. Serve with remaining sauce.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Taste of Home October/November 2006. You can find it here.

Notes: I used bottled minced garlic instead of fresh garlic (the bottle will tell you the equivalent of how much minced garlic you need to equal one garlic clove). I know it sounds like a lot of garlic and oregano, but honestly, the proportions are perfect to give you the flavor of a gyro that you would buy in a restaurant.

The meatloaf renders a lot of grease. I would suggest draining it before placing it in the refrigerator to chill for 1-2 hours.

The tricky part for me, as I mentioned above, was packing the meat into the loaf pan. I had a few air pockets, so when I was trying to slice my meatloaf thinly, it didn't work out as well as I had hoped. Instead of equal sized slices, some of my slices were different shapes. Also, you can't slice the meat too thinly because then the slices are prone to crumbling even if you packed the meat well. This is where the practice makes perfect part comes into play. I just need to try it a few more times before I get it right. At any rate, even if your slices aren't exactly the same and you end up with air pockets, it will still taste great (though it might not be as pretty as you expected).

Above: I took pictures with the pretty slices of meatloaf. Not all of the slices looked this good! Ha ha!

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