Homemade Gyro Meat and Gyros
Garlicky, oniony, herbed beef and lamb meatloaf crisping in brown butter? Your house will smell like a Mediterranean eatery!
For the Gyro Meat:
- 2 pounds ground beef between 80/20 and 90/10
- 2 pounds ground lamb
- 1 large onion peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
For the Gyros:
- Gyro meat fully cooled
- ghee or extra virgin olive oil
- flatbread pitas
- mixed salad greens
- cucumber yogurt sauce
- halved cherry tomatoes or chopped large tomatoes
- thinly sliced sweet onions
- crumbled Feta cheese
- Optional but tasty: Greek dressing and chopped or smashed Greek olives
To Make the Gyro Meat:
Place the onion chunks in the food processor and blitz them until they are super finely chopped. Scrape into the center of a clean tea or flour sack towel, twist and squeeze it over the sink to remove any extra moisture. Use your hands to combine them with the remaining gyro meat ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and let the mixture rest for at least 1 hour but up to overnight in the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 325°F and bring a pot of water to a boil.
Working in batches, pulse the meat mixture for a minute, or until it is a tacky, thick paste. Press it a little at a time into the loaf pans, taking care to eliminate any air pockets. You should have enough meat to fill 2 standard bread loaf pans. Press down firmly on the surface of the meat to even it out. Place a wet kitchen towel on the bottom of a large roasting pan and position the loaf pans on top of it. Pour the boiling water into the roasting pan. It should be 2/3 of the way up the outsides of the loaf pans. Carefully transfer the roasting pan into the oven and bake for 50-70 minutes, or until the meat measures 165°F on an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf.
Carefully remove the loaf pans from the roasting pan and pour off any fat that accumulated. Put the loaf pan on a heat-proof surface (a cooling rack or a pan on top of the oven) and place a foil wrapped brick directly on the surface of the meat. Let the meat rest like this for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the brick, run a knife around the edge of the loaves, then gently turn the loaves out. Wrap them tightly with plastic wrap and chill for several hours or overnight to allow them to chill and firm for easier slicing.
To Make the Gyros:
Unwrap the gyro loaf and use a sharp knife to cut long strips no thicker than 1/4-inch. Melt at least 2 teaspoons of ghee or olive oil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed frying pan. Lay the strips down into the ghee or olive oil and fry for at least 1 1/2 minutes on each side, using tongs or a small flexible spatula to flip them, or until they are crisped and browned to your liking. Gently transfer them to a plate to cool briefly, then assemble in your preferred order with the remaining gyro ingredients on a gently warmed flat-bread pita. Fold, wrap in foil to help hold it together, and dig in!
Calories: 495kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 735mg | Potassium: 396mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 105IU | Vitamin C: 3.1mg | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 3.5mg