I haven’t posted a recipe in a while. It’s mainly because most of the things I’ve been cooking lately are recipes going into my cookbook (which, I might add, is slated to publish in May). So, of course, in order to entice you to buy the cookbook, I can’t be posting them all over the web, right?

Well, here’s a recipe that isn’t going into my cookbook. Why? Because I’ve pretty much finished writing my cookbook! (Huzzah for that!) I did, however, make this on Sunday to feed some friends that came over to watch the Texans football game. (Our loss to the Patriots is not to be mentioned, please.) I was trying to come up for ideas on what to serve during the game, and I’d learned that the Pittsburgh Steelers serve an Italian roasted pork sandwich at their stadium. This sounded delicious and hearty, especially for a cold winter’s day (yes, it does get cold in Houston). I tried to find broccoli rabe for this dish but my unfortunate local grocery store did not carry any broccoli rabe. In fact, the employee said, “Broccoli what?” Sigh. But improvisation is the beast of the kitchen, and if “MasterChef” has taught me a damn thing, it’s how to improvise and smile while doing it.

So I used mustard greens instead, but I think I would try a different green next time if I still can’t find broccoli rabe since the mustard greens were a little too bitter and pungent for the finesse of the pork and provolone.

Roasting pork can pose a challenge even for some of the more experienced home cooks. I was worried the pork would turn out dry and untasty. This concern was escalated when my digital thermometer did not beep once it hit 135°F—apparently the beeping function was turned off—but to my gleeful delight, the pork still turned out moist, and the sandwiches were a hit (even though our Texans weren’t).


Recipe: Roasted Pork Sandwich

Ingredients

  1. 3 lbs. pork shoulder or butt
  2. 8 cloves garlic, minced & divided
  3. 1 bunch fresh rosemary sprigs
  4. 1 bunch fresh thyme sprigs
  5. 2 tbsp. Olive oil
  6. Salt & pepper to taste
  7. 1/2 c. Chicken broth
  8. 1/2 c. Dry white wine
  9. 1 lb. Broccoli rabe, washed & stems removed
  10. 1/2 tsp. Red pepper flakes
  11. 2 rolls crusty Italian bread
  12. 1/2 lb. Provolone cheese, sliced

Instructions

  1. In a sm. Bowl, mix together 6 minced garlic cloves, rosemary leaves, thyme leaves, and 1 tbsp. olive oil.
  2. Liberally salt and pepper the pork. Spread garlic and herb mixture over pork. Place pork in a roasting pan, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hr., preferably overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°f. Insert a digital thermometer into the roast. Pour 1/4 c. Chicken broth and 1/4 c. White wine into the roasting pan, cover with foil, and roast until internal temperature reads 135°F to 150°F, approx. 60 to 90 min., uncovering and pouring remaining chicken broth and wine halfway through cooking.
  4. Meanwhile, heat 3 qts. water to a boil and blanche broccoli rabe; drain, dry, and roughly chop.
  5. Once pork has reached desired internal temperature, remove from oven and let rest for 10 min.
  6. Meanwhile, in a sauté pan, sauté remaining garlic and red pepper flakes over med.-high heat until fragrant. Add broccoli rabe and sauté until tender. Add jus, salt & pepper to taste.
  7. Slice pork, discarding any chunks of fat. Place pork slices in a casserole dish and pour jus over the meat..
  8. Toast bread slices. Assemble sandwiches: place provolone slice on top of a bread slice, add pork, top with broccoli rabe and another bread slice.

Number of servings (yield): 12

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15 Discussion to this post

  1. Michael Chen says:

    Hmm, interesting that you stop your pork at 135. I suppose it helps keep it together, haha. I like my roasted pork, to be slow-roasted and almost fall-apart tender (a bit like our tacos al pastor experiment 🙂 )

  2. Maureen says:

    "Serves 12" HOLY. I'll play around with the conversion and make it more 2-4 friendly but the pork sounds DELICIOUS. I'll definitely use it in a panini sometime soon 🙂

    • Christine Ha says:

      I made half servings, so in actuality, this recipe should probably serve about 6 to 8. Let me know how it turns out. 🙂

  3. Mike B. - Houston says:

    This sounds wonderful…will have to try it soon. How did it pair with the St. Arnolds? Food heals all wounds…so, I will probably gain a few pounds over our Texans. Can't wait for your book to come out.

  4. J. Dent says:

    Now that's a sandwich. It does sound delicious and hearty, and this is from someone who's come close to swearing off anything between two pieces of bread. I've eaten a lot of sandwiches during my undergrad days, so many, I kept thinking that it was going to start talking to me before I took a bite. (To this day, the combination of turkey, ham, and roast beef doesn't sit quite right with me) But this sounds like it'd be really good. A homemade sandwich can beat out a sub shop any day.

    Sounds like a bit of work, but the best things usually are.

  5. Stacy says:

    This was fantastic!

  6. Maria says:

    Christine! Just discovered your blog when I was trying to figure out when your cookbook is dropping! Just wanted you to know that I rooted for you all the way through Masterchef! You are such an inspiration! Keep cooking!

  7. John Smith says:

    Christine Ha … Hi i am from Croatia i just wanted congrats on win … ( Why all asian ppl use fish or soya souce?) ( Answer: Cause they don't know how to make mayonnaise) 😀 😀 😀 😛

  8. Christine,

    Huge win for the sandwich, it's delicious! That said, despite being a true Texas Alief person…my family hails from Pittsburgh. You're right, the Steelers have a pork sandwich (said "sam-mitch")…but the quintessential Pittsburgh treat is a sandwich from Primantis…if you dare: see link: http://projects.washingtonpost.com/recipes/2009/0

  9. Terry says:

    LOL. I was shocked by "Number of servings (yield): 12". It looks cool. I'll try it in my toaster oven this weekend. Usually, I cook open face sandwiches for 3 or 4.

    • Christine Ha says:

      Yes, it is a lot of servings, but it's hard to find just a small pork roast. This is why it's perfect for parties, etc.

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