Ahhh, Gyros - one of my favorite meat dishes! I was pretty much raised on Greek food and I love it so!
Don’t you just love the type of gyros you get at the restaurant, with the ridiculously crunchy edges, shaved fresh off the huge loaf of meat rotating away on that spit! The fine mingling of flavors, the unique texture of the “meat loaf” - so yummy!
Well, here’s the spit-less (that doesn’t sound quite right!) way of doing it at home! And the flavor and texture are SO CLOSE, that I tend to prefer making it at home these days.
The “secret” is not so much in the ingredients, they are pretty much standard fare, it is in the method of preparation.
There are two ways to go, the high-tech/electric way or the low-tech/get-rid-of-your-pent-up-anger way!
I will share both with you and you decide which way you want to go!
1 lb. of ground lamb
1 lb. of ground beef
1/2 cup of Italian bread crumbs (or it can be regular bread crumbs, or gluten-free, or low-carb bread crumbs - it all works)
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp dried oregano - if you use plain bread crumbs, use 3 tsp
1 tsp garlic powder - or 2 fresh cloves
1 1/2 tsp salt - if you use plain bread crumbs, use 2 tsp
1 tsp pepper
Place everything in the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. Start it off slowly, to mix the ingredients together for about 1 minute. After that, turn it up as high as it will go without your meat flying out everywhere. The paddle will “slap” the meat against the sides of the bowl. Let it go for 3-5 minutes until your meat looks quite emulsified and even.
Turn it out onto the counter, knead it through like a loaf of bread for one round in order to get everything into a uniform loaf. Form a rectangle about an inch or so high.
Then proceed as described below.
Low-tech way (personally I think this works best: )
Mix all the above in a bowl, really getting your hands in there and mixing it thoroughly.
Then take the loaf of meat and SLAM it down on your counter top. I mean really slam it. With some force! Scrape it up, knead it like you would a bread dough, then slam it again. Keep doing that for about 10 minutes. We are trying to emulsify the fats here and it’s crucial to the texture we are trying to achieve. And it’s a good work out too!
You can use a dough scraper to scrape up the fat/meat that sticks to your counter as you go. Put it back in the loaf and carryon.
Once you did this for 10 minutes, form a flat rectangle loaf, about an inch high.
Please note that I’m using a half sheet.
Place on a non-stick jelly roll sheet and bake at 350 F for about 45-50 minutes.
Make sure you place it on something that has raised edges because there will be a fair bit of fat and juices dripping out.
Let it sit for 10-15 minutes before you slice it. If you have an electric knife or deli slicer, I highly recommend you use that and slice everything as thin as possible. Think shaving kind of thin thin!
I usually cut the whole loaf and store it in a container. Then before serving, I heat a non-stick pan really hot, drop the gyros slices in just to randomly crisp up some edge. Stir the strips around for about 1-2 minutes, letting it crisp and brown, then serve on Greek Pita with Tzatziki, onion, lettuce and tomato!
Or serve it my favorite way, just wrapped in butter lettuce leaves with Greek cabbage salad on the side! YUM!
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