Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Greek Meatballs


Steven and I love gyros but making the meat at home is a bit challenging since we don’t have a vertical rotisserie. I figured Greek style meatballs would be the next best thing. We ate them on warm pita breads with chopped lettuce, tomatoes, sautéed onions, and tzatziki sauce; pretty close to a gyro.

Greek Meatballs - Keftedes
1/2 lb lean ground beef
1/2 lb ground lamb
Half a medium onion, finely chopped
1 slice of bread, crust removed, pulsed in a food processor or cut into small cubes
1/4 C milk
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
Zest from 1 lemon
1 egg
1 tsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp fresh dill or mint, finely chopped (I had some dill leftover from the tzatziki sauce)
2 to 3 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 tsp black pepper
About 3/4 tsp salt, to taste

1/2 C or more dried breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil

Heat 1 tsp of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium high heat and cook onions until softened. Remove from heat and stir in minced garlic.

Mix the onions and garlic together with the other ingredients except for the dried bread crumbs and vegetable oil.

To form the meatballs, instead of rolling them individually by hand, use this really cool method I learned from Rachel’s blog, Coconut & Lime:

Sprinkle your work surface with some bread crumbs. Roll about a cup of the meat mixture out into a log then cut into pieces about 1 tbsp for your mini meatballs. Then place the pieces into a wire mesh strainer and sprinkle some more bread crumbs over them. Toss and roll the meatballs around in the strainer over a bowl and you’ll have lightly-coated, perfectly round meatballs. You can reuse the breadcrumbs in the bowl for the rest of the meatballs, then throw away the excess in the end.

Heat about 1 tsp of oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. I didn’t use very much oil because the meatballs exuded quite a bit of oil. If you find that your meatballs are dry, add more oil so they don’t dry out or burn. Brown all sides of the meatballs until they are fully cooked, about 10 minutes.

Makes about 20 meatballs.

Links:
Check out Elise's recipe for Greek meatballs
Kalyn also has another recipe for Greek meatballs. The addition of feta is a great idea! I'll have to try that next time.

11 comments:

Rachel said...

I was leaving a comment to say what a great picture that is, and I noticed you mentioned my meatball method! I am glad you liked it.

tigerfish said...

Reminds me of the greek food near my place. Love their gyros too!
Do you know what makes the meatballs greek? Is it the dill? Tempted to make but I won't want to be left with so much dill after buying a bunch ;p

Gattina said...

warm bread, tangy tzatiziki sauce plus these spicy meatballs, oh boy am I in heaven!

Wandering Chopsticks said...

That's really clever. I love gyros. And I love tzatziki sauce b/c of the dill. Yum. Yum.

Hey, you did something with yogurt too. :)

Bettina said...

YUMMY!!!! that looks soooo good. it's making my mouth water even though i just finished eating dinner!

SteamyKitchen said...

I love gyros too and there is only one place in town that has so-so gyros. I'm going to definitely try this now!

Amy said...

Rachel,
Your way is so very clever! It was very efficient, I loved it. Thanks!

Tigerfish,
I think the lamb and the herbs are what make it Greek. It's okay if you don't use dill, I have a tiny bit leftover in my fridge that I don't know what to do with. :D Use more oregano in its place.

Gattina,
:D I hear ya.

WC,
Thanks! This was actually the first time I used dill (herbs are always so expensive at the store). I need more pitas to eat with the rest of the tzatziki. Lol I just noticed the yogurt thing too. :D

Bettina,
Thanks!

Jaden,
I've been meaning to try Alton Brown's recipe for gyro meat. It's cooked in a meatloaf pan rather than a spit.
I have a craving for a gyro now, it's been so long since I had one.

Kristen said...

What a great idea for gyros. These look great. Nice photo!

Amy said...

Kristen,
Thanks so much. :)

Kevin said...

This recipe looked so good that I had to try it. The meatballs are tasty enough to eat all by themselves but in a lightly toasted greek style pita with tomato esand tzatziki sauce they are even better! I tried with the feta cheese and the feta on the outside of the meatballs burned/caramelized and tasted amazing.

Amy said...

Kevin,
I'm so glad you liked the recipe! The addition of feta sounds really amazing, both in the meatballs and the wrap itself. Mmm, I know what you mean about the caramelized bits, yum!

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin