Pork Belly Gyro
Pork Belly Gyro. Joseph 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 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


  • 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


  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.