Gyro Meatloaf with Tzatziki Sauce
This is definitely a “fusion” dish, but one you will enjoy -- the flavors of Greece rolled into a classic meatloaf and served with a Malbec wine.
Malbec is a black-skinned grape variety native to south-western France (specifically the area around Cahors), but now better known as the iconic wine grape of Argentina.
In a few short decades, Malbec has shot from relative obscurity to international fame. But you won’t have to look to Argentina for a fine Malbec to go with this dish; we have one right here in Santa Barbara County.
Gyro Meatloaf With Tzatziki Sauce
For the Tzatziki (Yogurt/Cucumber) Sauce:
Note: Strain yogurt the day or evening before making Tzatziki. To remove excess liquid from plain yogurt, strain with double layers of cheesecloth in a colander, or in a yogurt strainer. Strain for several hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
1 cucumber, grated
1 tsp. salt
1 lemon, zest and juiced
1 Tbl. extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1Tbsp. fresh dill, chopped or 1 tsp. dried
1/8 tsp. white pepper
2 c. yogurt cheese (from 1 quart plain yogurt)
Dill fronds or mint leaves for garnish
Place grated cucumber in a lined colander, sprinkle with salt and allow draining at least 15 minutes. Squeeze to remove excess liquid.
Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, add lemon juice, and then briskly incorporate olive oil with a whisk. Add minced garlic, dill, white pepper, and whisk again.
Carefully add yogurt cheese, stirring slowly, but blending thoroughly.
Add additional salt and white pepper to taste.
Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes to blend flavors.
For the Gyro Meatloaf:
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 c. dry bread crumbs
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 c. feta, crumbled, or Romano cheese, grated
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 lbs. ground lamb or beef
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. Crumble lamb (or beef) over mixture and mix well. Shape into a loaf and place in a greased 11-by-7-inch baking dish.
Bake, uncovered, 55 to 60 minutes or until no pink remains and a thermometer reads 160 F.
Let stand 15 minutes before slicing. Serve with tzatziki sauce.
Pair this with Lucas & Lewellen’s 2012 Santa Barbara County Malbec from select vines grown on a small portion of their esteemed Valley View Vineyard in Solvang.
An uncommon convergence of landscape, climate and farming expertise at their estate Valley View Vineyard has generated this phenomenal offering of single variety Malbec. The wine has dense flavors and aromas, a creamy texture, well-integrated tannins and flavors of dark red fruit, cassis, and blackberry.
Not only is Malbec great with leaner red meats, but the wine does extremely well with various cheeses and spices.