This sandwich is very special to me. Not only is this MY FAVORITE Philadelphia sandwich (yeah I said it), but it reminds me of my mom making these for us on special occasions. It was such a treat and the whole house smelled of roast pork. Although it's a bit time consuming due to the cooking of the pork, the actual prep is super easy and versatile. There are a few components that you absolutely need in the sandwich, but you can absolutely make this sandwich your own!
2 lbs of pork shoulder
1 lb of pork roast
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of honey
1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
5 cloves of garlic
3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1-2 cups of chicken stock
2 large bunches of broccoli rabe, trimmed
2 lemons (one for the water, the second for the sandwiches)
1 block of provolone cheese (about a pound), to grate on the sandwiches
6-8 of your favorite hoagie rolls (yes I say hoagie, it's not a hero!!)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Serving Size: makes about 6-8 sandwiches
- Start by taking out your crock pot (this just makes your life so much easier) and adding your pork in. Then, add the olive oil, vinegar, honey, crushed red pepper, garlic, thyme and rosemary, about 1 tablespoon of salt and pepper and mix it all around so the pork is completed coated in this heavenly marinade. Then, add the chicken stock. I like a lot of liquid for my pork sandwiches so I almost covered the meat in liquid, but you don't have to do that. You can add about a cup and go from there, up to you! Put the lid on and either cook for 8 hours or low or high for 4 hours. I did high for 4, because I still like to have a little texture to my pork, versus a pulled pork vibe. Either one is delicious so cook's choice.
- Next, bring a pot of water to a rapid boil and cut 1 of your lemons in half. Squeeze the juice in the water, plus the lemon. Season the water with a little salt. Blanche the broccoli rabe in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes and then add it to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process and give them a gorgeous green color. Once the sandwiches are ready to be eaten, I like the give the broccoli rabe a quick saute in a pan with olive oil and crushed red pepper to give them a little char. Personal preference!
- Once the pork is cooked, remove from the crock pot and slice thin. Then put back into the cooking liquid and stir.
- Now to assemble. Slice your hoagie bread in half and start by adding a generous portion of your insanely delicious pork (up to you how much you want on there). Go big or go home at this point. Then, add your broccoli rabe on top of the meat. Next, grate as much provolone cheese as your heart desires on top of the broccoli rabe. Last, zest some of that lemon on top of the cheese. This gives it a nice burst of freshness to cut through all of that meaty flavor. I think it makes a big difference in this sandwich and highly recommend! You can also squeeze some lemon juice on the broccoli rabe once you place that down on the sandwich. I do that too!
- Optional* you can broil this in the oven for a minute or so to add a crispy texture if you like! I like it both ways. Enjoy!!