Philly Style Porchetta Sandwich
Here in Philadelphia, especially in south Philadelphia, finding a version of this roast pork sandwich is almost as easy as finding it’s heart clogging cousin the cheese steak. Some serve it simpler than others but usually it’s Italian style like mine here. The big difference with mine is the use of leftover porchetta instead of a roasted pork loin.
The porchetta makes for great flavorful sandwiches the next day and I can’t think of any better way to serve a traditional Italian herb stuffed pork, than as a traditional Italian inspired Philly pork sandwich. The pork is already packed with flavor, but then add the sweetness of the roasted peppers, the garlicky slightly bitter broccoli rabe and the sharpness of the provolone and you have a sandwich that stands alone and will make you look forward to having leftovers.
1lb Sliced Porchetta
1lb Broccoli Rabe
2 Red Peppers
1/4lb Sharp Provolone
3 Cloves Garlic Minced
3 Kaiser Rolls
2 Tbs olive oil
Leftover Au Jus
Salt and Pepper
Hot pickled cherry peppers, grated horse radish or a grainy mustard for serving
Makes 3 Sandwiches
The important thing with making this sandwich is reheating the pork. A microwave works just fine, but add a little water to the dish and flip the slices every 45 seconds or so. This will help with keeping it moist.
It’s winter right now and no one really feels like taking a few red peppers outside to the grill to char the skin. The other way to accomplish this indoors is to put them directly on the gas range with the flame on high. Just keep turning the peppers until the skin is completely charred. After charring, put them in a plastic bag and tie it closed. After about 8 minutes they will be cooked through and the skins should peel right off.
Most of the time when I talk to someone about broccoli rabe, they say they don’t like it because it’s too bitter. Broccoli rabe is bitter, no question, but it is possible to make without the bitterness being overwhelming. This is a vegetable that needs to be blanched and shocked. That means that it needs to be dropped into boiling water for about 5 minutes in this case, and then drained and cooled quickly. The blanching will help remove most of the bitterness and the shock will stop the cooking process so that it can be sautéed next. To shock it, I usually just run it under cold water for a minute after draining.
Before sautéing the rabe, make sure to give it a good squeeze to get most of the water out. This is important unless you like splattering hot oil. It’s a good idea to wrap it in a paper towel for a minute also. Heat your oil and sauté the garlic. Don’t let it brown. For this, I like to add salt and pepper directly to the oil and garlic before adding the broccoli rabe. Pull the rabe apart a bit if it’s all clumped together and toss in the oil for a few minutes until it’s hot.
I like to pop the bottoms of the rolls in the oven with the cheese on them to melt. This is up to you on how you want to serve, but I love the taste of melted provolone over cold.
Assemble your sandwiches, heat the au jus and top generously.