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One of my all-time favorite foods is lamb gyro. Yes, I know, it’s basically fast food. This knowledge did not stop me from serving it at my wedding.
Maybe it’s the memories of street-cart gyros in Greece—by far the best deal in Athens at just over one Euro for a soft, plump pita stuffed to the brim with meaty deliciousness and a cold Mythos lager to wash it all down—or maybe it’s just that the idea of heavily spiced strips of meat, speared, compacted, and roasted on a spit before being shaved onto plate or pita awakens a carnal hunger within me. Either way, I’m licking my lips.
I’d always wanted to recreate the gyro experience in my kitchen, but with two small kiddos and a fairly restricted budget, a giant, fire-dwelling spit is not something my home can currently accommodate.
Not to be completely defeated, I developed this home-kitchen-friendly “Gyro” recipe that fills the void and then some.
I love the flecks of tangy feta running throughout each slice, but if you would prefer a more classic look and taste, feel free to save the feta for a side salad or pita stuffer.
Feta-Studded Lamb Gyro• 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
• 1 lb boneless lamb shoulder, cut into chunks
• 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1 tsp dried basil
• 1 tbsp dried oregano
• 1 tbsp onion powder
• 1 tbsp smoked paprika
• 2 tsp kosher salt
• 1/2 tsp coarse black pepper
• 1 tbsp freshly minced garlic (or 1 1/2 tsp granulated)
• 1 egg
• 4 oz feta, crumbled
• finely chopped parsley for garnish, if desired
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease a Pyrex loaf pan. If desired, cut a strip of parchment paper to fit along the length of the pan with the edges sticking out a few inches over the short sides, creating “handles” for easy removal of the loaf after cooking.
Place all ingredients except feta and parsley in a food processor and process until the mixture is very well blended and looks somewhat like meat-dough, pausing to scrape down the sides about half-way through. Add the feta and pulse just to distribute.
Scrape the meat mixture into the prepared loaf pan and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the center registers 160-165 degrees Fahrenheit. Let rest 5-10 minutes before lifting or turning out onto a cutting board (run a knife around the edges first to loosen if necessary).
Slice thinly, sprinkle with fresh parsley if desired, and enjoy over rice or vegetables or tucked into a pita with tzatziki sauce, hummus, and sliced tomatoes. Opa!
Morgan Crumm is a mother, blogger, recipe-developer, and real-food advocate based in Dallas, TX. More of her work can be found at BeingTheSecretIngredient.com, a blog about food, life, and love.
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