Exactly nine years ago, I was just finishing up my wonderful two month trip to New Zealand. I was 19, and my dear grandmother and I had decided we needed an adventure. So we flew across the ocean, and eventually arrived in Christ Church, New Zealand. The two months we spent at my uncle Geoff's home were wonderful. I made a point of going on little adventures, and it was great spending so much time with my extended family.
We ate lots of good food while I was there; one of my favorites being a recipe my Aunt Vicki had created. I made sure to scribble down her instructions before I came home, and have been making it ever since. I've made a few adaptations over the years, and I make this about once a month. It's great that it is so easy (yay for crock pot recipes!), and it's one of Bryan's favorites.
We always eat it on pitas, and sometimes I serve it with Spanakorizo: a Greek spinach and rice dish.
3 pounds meat, cut into medium sized chunks*
1/4 cup olive oil if meat is lean, omit if meat is fatty
1/2 cup red wine
juice of 1 large lemon
3 cloves garlic, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic)
3 tbs oregano
2 tbs basil
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp rosemary
2 or 3 bay leaves
1/2 to 3/4 tsp salt
*(I've used different cuts of beef and pork, and have found that pretty much any kind of meat will do.)
Put all ingredients in a crock pot, and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or until meat is cooked, stirring every hour or two.
When meat is done, spoon most of the juices into a separate bowl, and mix with plain yogurt to make sauce. I usually use a little more meat juice than yogurt.
Meat should shred easily with a fork, or by using the flat attachment of a Kitchen Aid.
Serve in fresh pitas with diced cucumbers, tomatoes, feta cheese and yogurt sauce.
And of course it works just as well served on a flat pita, soft taco style.
Fresh Pocket Pitas
These pitas are really easy to make, and are so much better than anything you can buy at the grocery store.
Start by mixing up my super easy bread recipe. Using a third of the dough from a full batch, separate it into four equal parts.
Smush to flatten.
Carefully transfer to preheated pizza stone. Bake at 450 on top oven rack for 5 to 7 minutes, until puffy and just slightly golden. I can only bake one at a time, but it doesn't take long.
The dough should puff up nicely. Place on cooling rack, and wrap with a light cloth. This way the pitas don't get too dried out and have a lovely texture.
Cut in half and enjoy!