Several years ago, trying to come up with an idea for what to serve at a casual house party, I stumbled across this recipe for Hot Slow-Roasted Pork Onion & Mozzarella Sandwich on epicurious.
Our guests went crazy for the combination of slow roasted pork shoulder, topped with sauteed onions, bell peppers and melting mozzarella served on a kaiser roll. This sandwich has since become my go-to crowd-pleasing meal. It's easy to make, serves a lot of people and tastes great!
Of course a yummy sandwich like this deserves an equally delicious side dish, like Double Fried French Fries. As the name suggests the spuds are fried twice making them crispy on the outside while still having a soft fluffy interior.
Slow-Roasted Pork Onion & Mozzarella Sandwich
For the Pork
4 large garlic cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, ground in mortar with pestle or spice grinder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 9-pound whole pork shoulder with bone
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Chop garlic on work surface. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt and mince until paste forms. Transfer paste to small bowl; mix in parsley and next 7 ingredients. Using small sharp knife, make 20 evenly spaced 1-inch-long, 2-inch-deep slits in pork. Stuff seasoning mixture into slits. Sprinkle outside of pork with salt and pepper. Let stand 1 hour for seasonings to penetrate.
Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 325°F. Place rack in large roasting pan; place pork on rack. Roast until thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 170°F, about 4 1/2 hours. Let pork rest 30 minutes. Transfer to work surface. Maintain oven temperature; reserve roasting pan.
Thickly slice pork off bone. Coarsely chop or tear slices and place in large baking dish; cover with foil. Pour juices from roasting pan into 4-cup measuring cup. Spoon off fat. If necessary, add enough water to degreased juices to measure 2 cups. Stir 2 tablespoons juices and cornstarch in small saucepan until cornstarch dissolves; whisk in remaining juices and vinegar. Whisk over medium heat until sauce boils and thickens, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
For the Vegetables
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound onions, halved, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 pound red bell peppers, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
1/2 pound green bell peppers, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and all peppers; sauté until vegetables are tender and brown, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
10 crusty rolls, split, toasted
1 1/2 pounds fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
Arrange roll bottoms on work surface; mound with warm pork and drizzle with sauce. Cover with cheese, vegetables, and roll tops. Serve warm.
Do-ahead tip: The pork, sauce, and vegetables can be made one day ahead. Cover and refrigerate everything separately. Before serving, reheat pork, covered, in 350°F oven about 40 minutes; rewarm sauce and vegetables over medium heat.
Double Fried French Fries
6 large potatoes (I use Russet)
Oil for deep frying (I use canola)
Cut the potatoes into fries about 3/8" thick. Peel the potatoes.
In a frying pan or deep fryer, heat the oil to 325°. Fry small batches of the fries for about 3 minutes; they will be softened but not browned. Remove them from the oil and let them rest on paper towels for at least half an hour, up to 2 hours. When you're ready, reheat the oil to 375°. Cook the fries a second time until golden brown, 4-6 minutes. Drain again on paper towels, transfer to a serving dish, and season with one of the gourmet seasoning recipes below while they are still warm and moist.