Recipe Fridays: Porchetta Sandwich of the Century
Every once in a while, I discover just how amazing I am.
Sincerely, I am not bragging here.
Just telling it like it is.
Really, though, it’s how amazingly well I treat myself.
I mean, sometimes life just takes a turn for “WTF” and you kind of want to just curl up in a ball and roll over and say “Forget it!” but instead
I made myself a sandwich.
Not just any sandwich, my friend.
But a pretty damn close approximation of … omfg… Roli Roti!!!
Oh no I didn’t – but OH YES I DID
Yeah, that good.
It’s a little labor intensive, but the end result is so amazing and wonderful and those of us on the East Coast can’t really get this here, so it’s totally worth it and after a Sunday of perfuming the house with delicious smells, you have a week (or more, depending on how many you have eating them) of sandwiches that would make anyone jealous. SO WORTH IT.
What you need to make this sandwich of my dreams:
Roasted Shallot spread
The rest is just assembly, I promise.
For the porchetta, I used my lovely friend Hungry’s recipe adaptations of another person’s recipe. Resist the urge to eat all that lovely skin because you’ll want it for your sandwich.
For the roasted shallot spread, which is something that I just made up off the top of my head:
1-2 lbs of shallots, peeled and trimmed
a good, aged balsamic vinegar (I used Cherry Gold, which tastes amazing, but is a bit cost prohibitive; just make sure you use real balsamic and none of that ‘caramel color + vinegar’ crap that masquerades as balsamic a lot of times)
a couple of glugs of good olive oil (I used extra virgin since that’s all I stock, but if you want to use olive oil, I don’t think that will be a problem)
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Put the shallots in a baking dish.
Pour a little balsamic vinegar and then put your hands in, massaging the vinegar into the shallots, coating each one.
Pour a little olive oil in, and toss to coat again.
Cover with tinfoil and slip into the oven, roasting for about an hour until it’s all caramelized and mooshy, turning once at the 30 minute mark.
Remove and let cool for a little bit.
Pulse in processor until you get a nice mix.
Season with salt/pepper as desired.
Store in a tightly covered plastic container, I imagine it would be good for a few weeks in the fridge, but mine next lasts that long as it works on a spread for anything!
I used Fresh Direct’s par-baked ciabatta sandwich rolls, which I adore. You can use whatever ciabatta you like; I like these especially because I can bake one at a time (I live alone!) and make it fresh just there and never worry about the bread going bad. And it’s hot when I make it…
I cut that open, and slathered one side with the roasted shallot jam.
On the other side, I laid down a few slices of the pork.
Then – this is crucial – I took a piece of skin sized approximately how big my sandwich was (yes I cut it this way on purpose), laid it on my cutting board fat side up (ie, the part that touched the meat facing me), and ran my knife over it; not cutting through, but crunching it a bit so it will maintain its crunchy integrity while in the sandwich, but still will split when I bite into it (I copied this method directly from Roli Roti, as I saw the guy doing this). Otherwise, the skin will just slide out of the sandwich…
So top the meat with the crunchy skin, then a bit of peppery arugula, which adds a really nice flavor to it (and I don’t even like arugula!).
Next, sprinkle a little kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper over the shallot side, unless you are satisfied that it’s salty enough as is.
Last but so not least, put the sandwich together and ENJOY THE HECK OUT OF THAT SANDWICH…
Excuse me while I go make one of my own!