An authentic gyro is roasted in a vertical spit, but this crockpot version is a great homemade alternative to the real thing. I discovered this recipe through Pinterest at Rainy Day Gal. Her recipe is an adaptation of one by A Year of Slow Cooking. I couldn’t find ground lamb, so I used beef instead. I’m not sure what lamb would have been like, but it tasted great with the beef and turkey combination.
I used a Middle Eastern herb blend called Za’atar that my brother and his fiancee had given me for Christmas. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to try it. For those of you on Vancouver Island, you can find it at Hazelwood Herb Farm in Ladysmith BC. It’s a blend of sumac, thyme, sesame seeds, oregano, basil, summer savory, sweet marjoram, salt and lemon peel. It worked really well in the gyros, and it’s delicious in hummus too. If you can’t find Za’atar anywhere near you, here’s a link to make your own homemade Za’atar. Or you could just use oregano, as the original recipe calls for.
I have to admit that blending the meat in a food processor was sort of gross, but once it was in the crockpot, the aroma that wafted through our house as it cooked was incredible. I couldn’t wait to try it. You could eat it just like a meatloaf if you wanted.
I decided to serve it in warm pita bread with greek salad and tzatziki sauce. The boys found them a little hard to eat so they ended up pulling them apart and using a fork. They still really enjoyed the gyros, and so did Tony and I. We didn’t use all the meat, so I chopped it up and used it in Greek pizza the next next. I don’t have a photo of that because we ate it up so quickly!
Adapted from Rainy Day Gal
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground turkey
2 tsp Za’atar herb blend
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp kosher salt
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Juice from 1 lemon
Place ground beef and turkey, spices and salt in a food processor and blend well. Form it into a loaf with your hands. Place onion and garlic into the bottom of your crockpot. Lay the meat loaf on top. Squeeze lemon juice over top. Cover and cook for 4 hours on low (or 2 hours on high).
Slice the meat and serve in warmed pita with Greek salad and tzatziki sauce. Wrap them in foil to hold them together.