Note from Laura: I asked my friend Bethany to share this. I’ve never attempted it – but she has mastered it! So now we can all learn how to make a gyro!
I was pregnant, and I wanted a gyro.
Needed a gyro. Couldn’t think of anything BUT a gyro. And so I began my search.
We live in a small town, and the closest restaurant with gyros was over an hour away. I knew I didn’t want to drive that far with a toddler in tow to buy one, so I took myself to our local Arby’s, and ordered a sandwich on their menu that included the word “gyro” in its description. A few minutes later I was sadly eating a subpar, roast beef sandwich. Strike out number one.
Next, I scoured Wal-Mart, and found a kit in the frozen food section for gyro sandwiches. I’m not usually one to frequent the fast food drive thru OR frozen food aisle, but–pregnancy craving–so I bought it, made it, and regretted it. Those “gyros” were even more pitiful than the Arby’s version. Strike out number two.
I searched the second grocery store in town for anything even vaguely resembling a gyro, but to no avail. Strike out number three.
Completely out of options, I opened my laptop, and researched how to make gyro meat. Then I got to work in the kitchen. I used ground beef, added tons of spices, blended the meat, baked it, sliced it, and served it in homemade pita bread with lots of toppings.
It wasn’t until my husband was eating a gyro, and asked me where I had found gyro meat, that I knew it tasted authentic! Yay!
And now, I am sharing the recipe with you, sweet readers!
Be Mindful of Your Blender
When I was making this recipe, I was blending the meat in the blender, and thinking wistfully about how both Laura and Tasha own and love their Blendtec blenders. I was wondering, as I merrily blended away, if/when my own generic blender of five years bit the dust I, too, could buy the Blender of all Blenders.
As I stood there, staring out the window, dreaming of another blender, smoke began seeping out of my own blender.
I think I killed it with my own disgruntled thoughts.
That, or attempting to blend too much meat all at one time.
So, readers, learn from me: perhaps blend the meat in small quantities to avoid any issues! Unless, of course, you are trying to kill your blender in order to buy a Blendtec. Ahem.
- 1 small onion peeled, and quartered
- 2 pounds ground beef or lamb
- 6 cloves minced garlic
- 2 T Italian spices (oregano, rosemary, thyme)
- 3 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoons ground black pepper
- Blend the onion chunks, and then put them into a paper towel and squeeze out the moisture.
- Stir all the ingredients, including the blended onions, together in a bowl and set in the fridge to marinate for 1-24 hrs.
- Remove meat mixture from fridge. Adding a little at a time, blend it in your blender.
- Take the meat mixture, and pack it into a bread pan, being careful to remove any air pockets.
- Bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until done.
- Remove the pan from the oven, pour off any oil that has accumulated.
- Wrap a brick or heavy bread pan in foil, and set on top of the gyro meat loaf, to compress the meat. After twenty minutes, remove the weight.
- Chill, and then slice into thin strips for your gyros!
How to Construct a Perfect Gyro Sandwich
The perfect gyro meat is:
- Heavily spiced (use lots of garlic, cumin, and Italian spices)
- Has a dense texture (in order to achieve this at home, be sure to blend the meat, and then compress it after it is cooked)
- Sliced into thin strips (after it is completely cooled)
How to serve the gyro:
- Serve the meat in pita bread.
- Add sweet onions, feta cheese, halved cherry tomatoes, and shredded lettuce.
- Make your favorite cucumber yogurt dressing or Greek dressing to top it.
- This Pita Bread is a perfect for your gyro meat!
- Either Homemade Fries or Sweet Potato Fries would make a great side dish!
- I love to serve a Salad alongside my Gyro too!
Bethany is a stay-at-home mom to two. During her babies’ naptime, when she’s not dreaming of Blendtec blenders, she works behind the scenes for Laura.