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Gyro Meatballs

Gyro Meatballs

Lamb, beef and pork combine to make these Gyro inspired meatballs. Hints of lemon, oregano, pepper, onion, and olives give a taste of the flavors one would expect in a good Greek style sandwich or salad. Serve them as an appetizer with tzatziki sauce, or in a pita/salad with romaine, tomato, onion, cucumber and feta.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 120 small meatballs

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 - 2 cups Milk
  • 2 cups bread crumbs see note below
  • 0.5 cup onion finely diced
  • 0.5 cup kalamata olives finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon pepper see note below
  • 1 teaspoon dried ground mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Combine all ingredients (start with just 1 cup of milk, reserving remaining cup for later) in a large bowl, mixing by hand until well combined. If the mixture seems dry, add another 1/4 cup milk. Combine. Mixture should hold together (not dry but not soggy either). Add final 1/4 cup of milk if needed.
    Gyro Meatball Ingredients
  • Use a cookie scoop that is about 1 1/2 inches in diameter to portion each meatball. Place on cookie sheets or in baking pans, close but not touching. If using metal pans, spray lightly with cooking spray.
    Gyro Meatball Scooping
  • Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.
    Gyro Meatballs in a Pita

Notes

Naan CrackersBread Crumbs: You can use whatever kind of bread crumbs you like. The type of crumb you use will affect the texture of the meatballs. I like to use a flaky crumb, not a coarse one. I have also used ground up crackers in place of a portion of the crumbs.
This time, I had some naan crisps that had gone stale so I ground them up in the food processor and combine them with bread crumbs to total two cups.

Lemon Pepper: 
The brand of lemon pepper that I used in this recipe contains salt. In fact, it is the first ingredient on the label so I did not include any extra salt in the ingredients. If you are using a lemon pepper that has no salt added, you will want to add 1 teaspoons of salt to the recipe as well.
Size of Meatballs: You can make the meatballs any size you want. Cooking time will obviously be longer. The only way to know is to remove one from the pan and cut it in half. Just make sure there is no pink in the middle and that the texture is consistent all the way through.
Ratio of Ground Meats: It would be fine to use equal parts lamb/beef/pork in this recipe (i.e. a pound of each). If you do not like lamb, or cannot find ground lamb at your store, just make it with equal parts beef and pork. I will say, it is the lamb that truly represents gyros.
Freezing/Storing: Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. This is a BIG batch so make some for the future by freezing them in resealable plastic bags. When you are ready for another meal, simply defrost what you need, bring almost to room temperature, and place them under the broiler of your oven until edges start to crisp and meatballs are heated through.