September 13, 2011 by Sara Kreidler
I originally posted a recipe for gyros with tzatziki sauce back in May. I revisited the recipe last night and made some tweaks. The recipe from May was for gyro meatballs, which tasted great but were pan fried. Last night, I wanted to make two pounds of meat instead of one, and I didn’t want to fry all of that meat, so I turned it into a meatloaf instead. By baking the meat in a loaf pan, you not only avoid the frying oil, but much of the fat releases from the loaf and stays behind in the pan and doesn’t end up on your plate; the meat is still very moist and tasty, though. The picture above is of the gyros made with meatballs.
And this is a picture of last night’s gyros, with the sliced gyro meatloaf. I know, this picture doesn’t look as good as the first one, but I just didn’t have the patience last night to focus on making the picture look good. I was tired and hungry, so I just snapped a shot and sat down to eat. The verdict: the picture of the May gyro (meatballs) looks better, but last night’s gyro (sliced meatloaf) tastes better and is a little bit healthier (although I would gladly make the meatball version again too).
On the upside, I did get a better photo of the tzatziki sauce this time (the recipe for the sauce is the same as in May). The leftover sauce is great spread on toasted pita and topped with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and crumbled feta for lunch the next day.
For the sauce
- 16 ounces plain greek yogurt
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- Juice of ½ of 1 lemon
- 10 mint leaves, minced
- 1 tablespoon of butter, softened
- 2 pounds ground lamb
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 teaspoons dried marjoram
- 3 teaspoons dried rosemary
- Salt and pepper
- Pita bread
- Sliced tomato
- Sliced onion
- Crumbled feta
- To make the tzatziki sauce, place the minced cucumber in a clean tea towel and squeeze over sink to remove as much liquid as possible. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, cucumber, salt, garlic, lemon juice and mint and mix well. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before use.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Use softened butter to lightly grease a loaf pan. Set aside.
- Combine the lamb, eggs, onion, garlic, marjoram, rosemary and salt and pepper in a medium bowl and mix thoroughly by hand until all ingredients are well incorporated into the meat. Transfer meat mixture to the loaf pan and spread meat out evenly in the pan. Bake for 1 hour.
- When 15 minutes of baking time remains, wrap the pita bread in aluminum foil and place in the oven, next to the meatloaf.
- Remove meatloaf and pita from the oven. The meatloaf will have shrunken away some from the pan a little bit, making it easy to lift the meatloaf out of the pan with a spatula. Transfer the meatloaf to a cutting board. Discard fat and drippings that are left behind in the pan. Cut the meatloaf into 1/2 inch thick slices. Serve sliced gyro meat on warm pita with sliced tomato and onion, crumbled feta cheese, and tzatziki sauce.