Porker Face

So, I was M.I.A. last week from the blog. I had a good excuse: Swine Flu. In honor of my week-long lock down in the condo with bug du jour, I decided to make something pork-y this week.  Behold the spicy complexity of this stacked delight. It’s from Tom Colicchio’s new sandwich book, ‘Wichcraft.  I played with the recipe a bit by adding a bit of sweetness to the cabbage slaw–in addition to the red wine vinegar I added some aged balsamic and a little local honey just to round out the spiciness.

Slow-roasted pork with red cabbage, jalapenos and mustard

‘Wichcraft, Tom Colicchio

1 tablespoon caraway seeds

3 whole cloves

1 star anise

1/2 tablespoon black peppercorns

1/2 cup kosher salt

1 (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder or pork butt)

2 cups shredded or thinly sliced red cabbage

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

4 ciabatta rolls

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 large jalapeno pepper thinly sliced.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F

Combine the caraway, cloves, star anise, and peppercorns in a spice grinder and process until they have the coarseness of salt. Combine the spices with the salt.

Rub the pork vigorously with the spice mixture until completely covered. Any spice mixture that does not stick to the meat can be removed. Place the meat in a roasting pan, cover tightly, and cook in the oven for about 4 hours. The meat should be fork-tender and some of the fat should have rendered into the bottom of the pan. Transfer the meat to a plate and discard the fat from the pan.

Increase the oven heat to 350 F

In a bowl, combine the cabbage, oil, and vinegar and season generously with salt and pepper. The cabbage should taste quite salty and tangy.

Slice the ciabatta rolls in half. Spread the mustard evenly across the bottom halves. Using a couple of forks, pull the roasted pork apart and distribute some on the bottom and top halves. Place the bread in the oven and remove when the bread is lightly toasted and the meat is heated through. Add the cabbage on the bottom halves and top with the jalapeno. Close the sandwiches, cut into halves and serve.