Saturday, March 24, 2012

Italian Roast Pork Sandwiches

Photo courtesy Taste of Home
  Philadelphia is famous for cheesesteak sandwiches. They are a personal favorite and cooking quest of mine. I never seem to get the meat just quite right but am determined to conquer it. 
  After watching some cooking shows on TV, I learned of another Philly favorite, the Italian Roast Pork Sandwich. This seemed to be more in my range of doable. This takes a few steps to do, but the flavor is good and the meat is tender. It's much like a pork version of Chicago's Italian Beef Dip Sandwich.

Italian Roast Pork Sandwiches
3 lb. boneless pork loin roast
3 T. olive oil
1 tsp. parsley
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. rosemary
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp.Italian seasoning
1/2 green and yellow bell peppers, sliced
1/2 beer or beef broth
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
1/2 small onion, sliced
1 cup beef broth (1 bouillon cube dissolved in 1 cup water)
6-8 hoagie rolls or sub buns
garlic salt
12-14 slices provolone cheese

    In small bowl, combine olive oil, parsley, rosemary, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Place pork in crock pot and pour olive oil/spice mixture over meat, rubbing it all over to coat. Lay slices of bell peppers and onion over meat. Pour in beer or broth and sprinkle with red pepper flakes and add bay leaf.
   Cook on low for 7 hours or high for 4 hours. Remove meat to plastic container and cool completely (3 hours to overnight). Save spiced broth from slow cooker.

   Skim any fat off broth and heat on low in medium pan or return to slowcooker. Add 1 cup beef broth. Slice pork thin, about 1/8 inch, and add to broth and simmer just to warm and combine flavors, at least 30 minutes up to a few hours, depending how long you want to hold it before serving.

   To assemble sandwiches, preheat oven to 350. Spread butter on inside of buns and sprinkle with garlic salt. Toast in oven 10 minutes just until slightly firm. Layer cheese on both sides of bun. With slotted spoon, strain pork and layer on sandwich, top with peppers and onions from broth. Return to oven if desired for an additional 5 minutes to melt cheese.

 Serve with small bowl of dip or ladle a small amount of broth on top sandwiches. Makes 6-8 servings. (I used leftover pork and broth to top a baked potato.) 
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