If you can make meatloaf, you can make my better than take-out gyros! Growing up near Greektown on Toronto’s east side is no doubt why Greek cuisine is one of my first loves. The flavours are fresh, earthy and satisfying. When you buy one of these bad boys in Greektown they often come with a handful of fries stuffed into the wrap. While my boys totally go for that option, I tend to stick to the classic tzatziki, freshly chopped cucumber and tomato. I like to use lean lamb in my recipe, but you can just as easily use a combination of either beef/lamb or beef/pork.
Makes 8 gyros
1/2 cooking onion, peeled
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 1/2 lbs lean ground lamb
2 tsp dried oregano leaves
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/4 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add the onion and garlic into a food processor and pulse a few times until the onion and garlic are minced.
Break up the ground lamb and add it to the food processor along with oregano, cumin, salt, pepper and ground nutmeg. Pulse in 30 second intervals, scrapping down the sides of the processor as needed until all the ingredients are combined and the meat has a paste like consistency.
Scoop the lamb mixture on to the prepared baking sheet and use damp hands to shape the meat into a rectangle approximately 8″ long by 4″ wide and 2″ tall.
Place the meatloaf into the preheated oven and cook for 50 min.
Remove from oven. At this point you can either proceed to making the Gyro or allow the lamb to cool, wrap in foil and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Making the gyro
Cut the meatloaf into thin slices, you will need about 5-7 slices per wrap.
Place a non-stick pan over medium high heat and add a tsp of canola oil. Once the oil is heated add the slices of meatloaf in a single layer and cook for about 2 min per side. You are looking not only to heat the meat but for the meat to caramelize on the edges slightly.
Remove the lamb to a plate and place a pita in the pan to warm, about 1 min per side.
Place the pita on a work surface and spread with about 2 tbsp of tzatziki (store bought is fine), top with the browned meat, shredded iceberg lettuce, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and red onion.
Alternatively you can go pita-less and enjoy the slices of browned meat on a crisp salad dressed with tzatziki.
Optional: Garnish pita with mint or parsley.
TIP: If you want to cook more than 5-7 slices of meat at a time, preheat your broiler and place the sliced lamb on a baking sheet. Place the cookie sheet in the oven on the top rack and cook for 2 min, turn the meat and cook the other side. Watch closely so the lamb doesn’t brown too quickly.
Download a printable version of this recipe here.