This incarnation is the best. Very good, in fact. Cooking the meat the second time makes the texture very close to the gyros we get from our favorite, local, Middle Eastern restaurant, Falafel King. You can make the loaf a day or two ahead and just brown the slices when you are ready to use them. When making this recipe you can change the ratio of lamb to beef, if you want. You can also skip the mint. However, I have made and remade this and you should try it my way first.
I remember the first gyro I ever ate. When I was in high school, I was in all advanced classes and made VERY good grades, but school was boring and if I didn’t feel the need to be there I would, upon occasion, take my education into my own hands. I would ride the school bus into town, ditch class, and then catch the city bus for my own adventure. I visited museums or went to the movies. Sometimes, I went to the local record store and had music appreciation day. I think these excursions were as educational as the stuff I learned in school. Often on these outings, I ate at a little, family-owned, Greek restaurant that was close to the record store. It was there that I had my first gyro, spanakopita (spinach pie), and baklava. The couple that owned the place were friendly and often talked to me about their children or the food I was eating or what it was like in Cyprus, the island they were from. A Taco Bell now stands where Little Athens used to be. I’m glad I have an adventurous soul. I feel sorry for the kids who ditch class and go to Taco Bell.
Servings: 6 gyrosHardware: Cutting board and knives, food processor, measuring spoons, baking sheet, foil, a skillet, a spatula
Time: Prep: 10 minutes Cooking: 1 hour
- ¾ pound ground beef
- ½ pound ground lamb
- 1 medium onion (½ cup)
- 3 cloves garlic
- Fresh parsley (about 2 tablespoons chopped)
- ½ tablespoon ground marjoram
- ½ tablespoon dried rosemary
- 6 mint leaves
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 6 flat breads (I like naan) or pitas
- 2 Tomatoes
- 1 Onion
- 2 Cucumbers
- 1 cup Tzatziki sauce
- Preheat the oven to 350˚.
- Peel and quarter the onion. Peel the garlic. Place them in the food processor. Pulverize until they are almost a liquid. Drain the liquid from the hopper.
- Roughly chop the parsley and mint. Add the herbs and salt to the food processor and pulse a few times just to mix.
- Add the meat to the food processor and grind until it is very fine, almost a paste.
- Line the baking sheet with foil. Shape the meat into a loaf about 3 inches by 8 inches. Bake for 45 minutes.
- While the meat is baking, slice and seed the tomatoes, peel and slice the cucumbers and onions. Set aside.
- Remove the meat from the oven and allow to rest until it is cool enough to handle.
- Heat the olive oil on high heat in the skillet. Slice the meatloaf into thin pieces. Make the slices as thin as you can without the meat falling apart. Brown the slices on both sides. Remember the meat is already cooked, you are just crisping the outside.
- To build the gyro, warm the bread, add a little Tzatziki sauce, add the meat, then the veggies, and then more sauce.