Gyros Meatballs and Tzatziki sauce

I love Greek food. How could you not? So full of freshness and flavours. Feta cheese, yogurt, tomato, cucumber, dill, garlic.. Oh baby. Sure, a paleo purist would balk at the mention of yogurt and feta, so good thing I’m not one of them! 😉 My mom and I mourned the loss of this wonderful Greek place near the airport here that we would always go to when I picked her up for visits. They had the most delicious gyros. I love gyros. And Shawarma too for that matter. Every time I see that delightful meat spinning around on a spit I exclaim that I really want a giant meat spit for my kitchen. Alas, they are probably expensive, impractical and not to mention dangerous with a wee one around. I did build a custom coffee bar into my home, but a meat roasting station might be a bit excessive. Not to mention not so great for resale, no?

Inspired by ground lamb on markdown sale at the grocery store tonight ($10/lb regular price, and even tonight I paid $8 OMG!) and from the delicious Deconstructed Gyros Salad from The Clothes Make the Girl (do we see a theme here? I may possibly have a foodie crush…), I set out to make some gyros flavours in my own kitchen.

Gyros Meatballs: Makes approximately 4 dozen

  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 1 Tbsp dried mint leaves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 Tbsp coarse (granulated) garlic powder
  • 1 tsp tablespoon salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp coconut flour (could probably omit…)

Gather your spices. It seems like a lot, but once you stock your spice cupboard you’ll find so much use for it. Nothing here is overly exotic and should be found at your local grocery store

Add your lamb and beef to a big bowl. Crack your egg over it, toss in your coconut flour and spices.

And mix. Mix mix mix. Use your hands. Pound the crap out of it. Do not be afraid of the slimyness that is raw meat. You will wash your hands later! (sidenote, HOW do food bloggers take photos? I had to pause so many times to wash my hands so I could grab my camera, and I even recruited my husband to take a few of the shots. He thought I was nuts, bien sur).

Use a spoon (or a handy dandy scoop if you have one!) to portion out the meat. Roll gently with your hands to create a ball.

Lay out all your meatballs on a tray. I had initially planned to bake them, but as I was impatiently waiting the oven to heat up I turned on the cast iron pan. Put it on high to heat, but you’ll gradually turn down the heat as it warms up. You’ll want to cook these on medium-ish heat. Turns out, this was a perfect way to cook them and get those nice caramelish crispy bits all over, like a real gyros!

I had quite the little assembly line going to get these babies in and out of the pan. Wear an apron. Not only are they super cute and very underappreciated, they will save your hideously overpriced but oh so cute Lululemon tank top that you had to have clothes from getting splattered with grease. The meatballs will take about 8-10 minutes to cook. Use your trusty thermometer to test them out if you aren’t sure if they are done. Or sacrifice one and cut it open and eat it to find out!

I also made some tzatziki sauce to go on top. This was simple. Greek yogurt, grated cucumber, granulated garlic, and chopped dill. That’s it, that’s all.

Put your cooked meatballs on a slice of lettuce with tzatziki, tomato, and thinly sliced red onion. Or if you’re the gluten-eating type, these would be delicious on a warmed pita. These are delicious hot or cold. I froze most of them for weeknight meals, but there are some packed with a salad for my lunch tomorrow. Can’t wait!