Friday, April 4, 2014

Greek Pulled Pork Pitas

Where did Caeser keep his armies? Up his sleevies!

How could I possibly resist the joke- I am after all talking about Greece and that is probably in my top three jokes of all time. (Interestingly, nobody has told me to quit my day job to go into a comedy career).

All jokes aside, this is one of the best homemade sandwiches that I've ever made.  I daresay, it surpasses food truck fare, and you know its getting serious when I say that.  

When I cooked the pork I used warmer aromatics like allspice, cinnamon and oregano to highlight the flavor of the pork without overwhelming it with spice.  Tomatoes, cucumbers and onions brought a fresh crunch to the party, and the sweet and tangy notes of the tzatziki sauce rounded out the flavor profile to make a rich and satisfying meal.  And that's before I've even begun to wax poetic about the virtues of the homemade pita bread.

If you are ever going to make one item from this blog, this is the one I recommend.  You can play with the proportions to your liking, but you are not going to regret eating this.

This recipe really started a few years ago, when the newly married Mad Scientis and I went onto a bit of a Greek food kick that started by eating Mousaka from Christos in Minneapolis.

Not taken at Christos, but we look so cute that I couldn't resist.

That Mousaka was the food of the Gods (contrary to popular belief they eat Mousaka not pomegranate and nectar), and I've never been able to recreate it well.  It seems like I can never get my proportions of eggplant to beef correct.  The Mousaka fail hasn't stopped me from trying a wide range of other Greek favorites like Spanikopita, Baklava, Pastisio and now this pita sandwich (which cannot properly called a Gyro but is close enough to fall into the category of Greek food).

As the Mad Scientist says, this one's a keeper!

Tzatziki Sauce

Easy Tzatziki sauce gives any sandwich, salad, or plate of meat a Greek flair. A more traditional version would use dill instead of oregano, but I guess I don't own any dill.
Prep time:  Yield: 2 Cups
  • 1.5 Cups Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Cucumber- peeled and finely diced
  • About half a lemon's worth Lemon Zest
  • One Lemon's worth Lemon Juice
  • 3 Cloves Garlic Pressed
  • 2 Teaspoons Oregano
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • To Taste Salt
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.2. Using either a food processor or an immersion blender, blend until mostly smooth.3. Refridgerate for at least one hour prior to use (keeps about a week in fridge)

Greek Pulled Pork Pitas

Greek food for the masses. This mock gyro is easy to make and delicious.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 Sandwiches
  • 2 Homemade Pita sliced in half
  • 1 lb Pre-cooked Pulled Pork
  • 3/4 Cup Stock or broth
  • 1 Teaspoon All Spice
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon Oregano
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Pepper
  • 1.5 Roma Tomatoes Sliced
  • 1/2 Cucumber Sliced
  • 1/4 White Onion Thinly sliced
  • To Taste Parsley
  • 6 Tablespoons Tzatziki Sauce
1. Infuse pork with Greek flavor by reheating it on low in a crockpot or regular pot with stock and all spices for at least 30 minutes (More than one hour in crockpot)2. Spread Meat onto parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven at 450 for ten minutes (to add a crisp texture to the pork)3. Layer sandwich ingredients inside pita bread as desired. Be careful not to tear pita bread. Alternatively, you can make these Gyro style by rolling the filling inside a whole pita bread.

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