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Easy Homemade Gyro Meat


  • Author: Glenda Embree
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 50 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
Scale

Ingredients

 

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 medium onion peeled and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Place all the ingredients into your food processor.
  3. Pulse until things start coming together and then you can switch to high.
  4. I know it seems counter-intuitive, but you want everything incorporated and the proteins in the meat to be broken down.  When it is finished the meat should look more like a paste, than ground meat.
  5. Press the meat mixture into a loaf pan.  I used an 8"x4" size, but you can use what you have on hand.  Just keep in mind that you may need to adjust the cooking time.  My pan was full to the top.  If yours is less full, you may want to start testing the meat's doneness earlier.
  6. Really press the meat tightly into the pan.  You want to create a dense finished product without many air pockets.
  7. Bake at 350° for 45 - 60 minutes.  Start testing at the 45 minute mark.  Pull it out when a meat thermometer inserted into the center hits 160°.  Set the pan on a cooling rack and allow it to rest for 15 or 20 minutes.
  8. There will be a lot of drippings in the pan.  I usually discard them, but some people save them to add to the meat when they warm the thin slices.
  9. About slicing the gyro meat.  One of the most notable things about gyro meat is that it is sliced very thinly.  This is much more easily accomplished once the meat is cool.  If you want to serve it right away, then you can definitely slice it warm.  However, the process is simpler after the meat has cooled.  If cooling the meat first, remove the loaf of gyro meat from the pan and set it on the cooling rack to come to room temperature. Slice it at that point or wrap the loaf whole and refrigerate and slice it when you are ready to serve it.  Make the slices very thin.  You're shooting for 1/8" or thinner.
  10. To use the thinly sliced gyro meat for gyro sandwiches, I like to put about 1 teaspoon of oil or butter into the bottom of a cast iron skillet and heat it on medium-high heat.  Add thin slices of gyro meat to the hot skillet to warm them through and get that signature caramelization that makes these sandwiches so delicious.  It should only take about 30 seconds per side, since the meat is sliced so thinly.
  11. Assemble the sandwiches:  Arrange warm meat slices, slivered raw onion, sliced tomatoes, lettuce and tzatziki sauce on warm pita flatbread.  Fold in half (like a taco) and enjoy.  I have also successfully made gyros inside pocket pita bread.  Use the one you can easily find in your area.

Notes

Homemade Tzatziki Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 English cucumber, peeled or unpeeled
  • 1/4 English cucumber, peeled and minced fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups plain Greek yogurt (For dairy-free try coconut yogurt.  It just needs to be thick.)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon avocado oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a food processor or high-speed blender, puree 1 whole English cucumber and the 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  I leave the peel on my cucumber, but you can peel it if that’s your preference.  (My food processor has smoothie cup attachments that I like to use for this recipe.  My food processor is large, so I feel like it can’t puree the small amount as well as the smoothie cup does.  If you don’t have a food processor, you can finely grate the cucumber, but the texture of the tzatziki won’t be quite as smooth and creamy.)
  2. Pour the pureed cucumber into a fine mesh strainer and let it stand over a bowl for at least 15 minutes.  There will be a LOT of liquid that drains off from just that one cucumber.
  3. Mince up the the 1/4 English cucumber and prep your other ingredients while you wait for the puree to drain.
  4. Stir together the yogurt, drained cucumber puree and all the other ingredients.
  5. Place the tzatziki in a covered container in the fridge to allow the flavors to meld.  It should rest at least one hour and ideally overnight.
  • Category: Meat, Beef, Lamb, Main Dish
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean American