Pork Belly Gyro

Pork Belly Gyro
Pork Belly Gyro
"I tried to re-create thin gyro meat with shaved pork belly, but thick slabs are better. If it's too thin, it crisps up too much."— Rick Gencarelli, Lardo, Portland, OregonJoseph De Leo

By starting with a low cooking temperature and then switching to a high one, Rick Gencarelli of Lardo, in Portland, Oregon, ensures a pork belly with perfect texture. The low temp slowly renders out the fat without making the fibers tough, and a higher finish adds a beautiful brown sheen. Use this technique when cooking any pork belly.

Pork Belly Gyro
Supremely tender, thick slabs of Middle Eastern-spiced pork belly, dressed with tart tzatziki, fill fluffy pita pockets for an unconventional take on the classic sandwich.
Yield: makes 2 sandwiches
Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless pork belly
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 12 tbsp. dried marjoram
  • 12 tbsp. dried rosemary
  • 12 tbsp. dried thyme
  • 12 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 14 tsp. za'atar
  • 1 shallot, sliced 1/4" thick
  • 14 cup plain, full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 14 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. plus 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 12 tsp. minced oregano
  • 1 small cucumber (one-quarter grated and squeezed dry, three-quarters thinly sliced)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. sumac
  • 12 cup shredded romaine lettuce
  • 1 plum tomato, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1 preserved lemon rind, minced
  • 2 9" pocket pitas, halved

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 275°. Place pork belly on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Mix garlic powder, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, 12 tbsp. black pepper, the cumin, and za'atar in a bowl; rub on pork belly. Roast 40 minutes. Increase oven to 375°; roast 40 minutes more. Let cool; slice into 12″ strips. Heat an 8″ cast-iron skillet over high; cook shallot until charred, 10–12 minutes, and let cool. Stir shallot, the yogurt, sour cream, 1 tsp. lemon juice, the oregano, grated cucumber, salt, and pepper in a bowl; set tzatziki aside. Combine sliced cucumber, sugar, 1 tsp. salt, and the sumac in a bowl; let sit 10 minutes, then toss with remaining ingredients. To assemble sandwiches, stuff pitas with pork belly, tzatziki, and cucumber and lettuce mixture.