Tracy Lee Karner
The Way I Was

Greek-seasoned Ground Meat Patties

Tracy Lee Karner
No matter how you pronounce “Gyro” or “thyme, “this is good food

Greek-seasoned Ground-meat Patties taste like Gyros.

These want Cucumber-yogurt Sauce. For that recipe click here. And for our home-baked Pita recipe to stuff it all into, click here.

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Spicing it up…

To make the seasoning mix, which you will then sprinkle on the ground meat ( lamb, beef, pork, or any combination you like–or use eggs, or make a scramble out of tofu), stir together:

  • 1 tablespoon salt (not Kosher, you want fine table salt when you’re blending up a seasoning mix)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic**(see footnote)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Grind in a mortar or with a spice grinder:

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried thyme-
Tracy Lee Karner
You can grind the oregano, rosemary, and thyme in a grinder, or with a mortar and pestle.
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Mix all the spices/seasonings together and store them in an airtight container.

Here’s how Ken puts together his home version of Gyros:  

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Flatten out the Ground Meat.
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Sprinkle the seasoning mix all over–use 1/2 teaspoon for every 5-6 ounces, 1-and-1/2 teaspoons per pound.
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Knead it to mix in the seasoning.
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Form each patty on a square of parchment paper (for easy handling), make the edges craggy.
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Dimple the patty all over…this shaping helps the fat cook out but keeps it tender and moist, not dry.
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Flip the patty into a pre-heated heavy skillet (medium heat). We like cast iron, (and one 7-ounce patty feeds two of us).
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Peel off the paper.
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Cover, but leave it cracked to let out steam. Cook for 3-4 minutes on medium.
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Use a spatula to flip it over, cook for 3-4 minutes longer.
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Wrap it in pita
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Add some chopped veggies–tomatoes, onions, cucumber…
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Smother it with cucumber-yogurt sauce and enjoy!

**There are people who are opposed to granulated garlic (although they will use dried herbs, and I just don’t get it). Generally these people will also go berzerk if someone pronounces Gyro or thyme wrong.

But in a cooking show-down between those people and  my chef (who pronounces thyme with an “h,”) I’ll be putting my money on the old-fashioned guy who has taught me practically everything I know about cooking, and more than a few things about life, including that granulated garlic is like everything else:

To everything, (turn, turn, turn) there is a season (turn, turn, turn) and a time to every purpose under heaven. 

It took a combination of finding love and reaching middle age before I figured out that the wisdom of Solomon is not just a pop-song; it’s true.

There’s a purpose for granulated garlic, a purpose for fresh garlic, a time to protest (against injustice, for example) and a time to realize that there are some things in life (such as how to pronounce Gyro or thyme) that are not worth making into a big hairy deal.

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

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