My Gyro Obsession and The Meatball Solution

The past few years I have really taken up the hobby of cooking. Not only has it increased the quality of my health and saved me money, but I honestly love reverse engineering recipes. The one dish over the past few years that has eluded me has been gyro meat. Gyro meat is mix of ground lamb and ground beef. It is ground very fine, packed together with spices and slowly cooked on a vertical broiler. Some of these gyro cookers cost over $1,000. Yeah, I’ve priced them.

That is how much I love gyro meat.

You can follow Alton Brown’s recipe for baked gyro and I have. However, it does require a kick ass food processor. Mine is so ghetto, I don’t think it could cut through cotton candy at this point.

For the past few years I haven’t tackled this problem head on. When I do go out to eat, I mostly go to Greek restaurants to get my gyro meat fix. Until recently this didn’t bother me. But I’ve started to notice the quality around Seattle is dropping and the portions are getting smaller. Plus I got a suspicion that some might be using vegetable oil in their sauces. In January, I left one of the Greek places in the University District extremely disappointed in the quality of their gyro salad – plus I left still hungry.

Now I was motivated to solve the gyro riddle. That is when I got the idea to replace the spices in the meat and make meatballs. It wouldn’t have the same texture, but it would share a lot of the taste. Plus I could source higher quality grass pasture meat and save money. Game on!

Summary: Gyro flavored meatballs. Add them to a pita or a salad.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground lamb
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 onion, diced, dried in paper towel
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 -1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 -1 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1/2 -1 teaspoon ground rosemary
  • 1/2 -1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 390 degrees.
  2. Mix every ingredient above together. Mix it up real good.
  3. Make meatballs
  4. Bake for 20 minutes

gyro-meatballs

Quick notes

I added my Gyro Meatballs to salad. To compliment the salad, make a nice Tzatziki Sauce. Feta cheese and tomatoes too!

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)
Culinary tradition: Greek

Conclusion

The texture for the meatballs is nothing like gyro meat, but the flavor matches. This will absolutely work for me. This dish is going into my rotation. At least until the day that I own my own gyro broiler. 🙂

Published by

MAS

Critical MAS is the blog for Michael Allen Smith of Seattle, Washington. My interests include traditional food, fitness, economics, and web development.

8 thoughts on “My Gyro Obsession and The Meatball Solution”

  1. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Gyro meat is one of my favorite flavors and now I can make them at home. The idea of meatballs is genius! Mahalo Nui Loa from a girl missing good Greek food on an island out in the middle of the ocean.

  2. Just made these for lunch. I was ravenous and feeling lazy so used garlic salt and onion powder instead of fresh. Used the real thing in the Tzatziki though. They turned out great. Definitely a keeper. Thank you! Now I’ll have to check out your Pho recipe…….

  3. These are amazing! I never thought I could get that classic gyro flavor from my own kitchen…I was wrong.

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