Philadelphia may be famous for cheese steaks but that is not the only sandwich this city is known for. They also make a serious roast pork sandwich! Personally, I think the Philly style roast pork Italian is far better than ANY cheese steak. There is certainly no shortage of BAD cheese steaks in that city but the pork always is a hit. The 2 most popular locales for the roast Pork Italian are DiNic's in the Reading Market right downtown and Tony Luke's in South Philly. On a recent trip through the Philly Airport I was greeted with a Tony Luke right there in the Terminal. Damned if I didn't get sandwiches on may way out and on my way back! So yesterday, as I was staring in my deep freezer looking for inspiration for something different for dinner, I happened upon a pork roast WAY in the back. The light went on! I was going to recreate those sandwiches I love so much. After a little research, I realized I wouldn't be able to do it exactly the way they do. It takes them 3 days to to it right! They season the pork the first day, slow roast it the second, and serve it the third. For me, it was a 1 day event. As a result, my pork wasn't quite as flavorful (it was still damn good) and it could not be sliced like they do in the sandwich shop. In order for that you need to chill the meat, then slice it, and reheat it in it's juices. SO, my pork was more pulled in texture. Still delicious! Also essentisl for this sandwich are a good, sharp provolone and a GOOD crusty roll. Do NOT use any pre-bagged bread aisle rolls. Go to the bakery and get the good bread. It need to be sturdy enough to hold this sandwich together. I took a 30 minute drive to hit the Italian market for the good bread and cheese. They also have pre made broccoli rabe (rapini) which also made my life a hell of a lot easier. If you don't have access to prepared broccoli rabe and have to make it yourself I highly recommend Lidia Bastianich's recipe. You can find it here.
Philly Style Roast Pork
1 Pork Rib Roast
1 head garlic, separate and peel cloves
2 Tbs fresh rosemary
2 Tbs parsley
1 Tbs salt
2 tsp black pepper
4 Tbs olive oil
2 Cups white wine
Pre heat over to 275
Debone and butterfly rib roast, remove fat cap
Add garlic, herbs and olive oil to a food processor and chop until fine.
Rub herb and garlic mixture all over pork roast
Roll and tie pork roast
At this point you can place the roast into the refrigerator overnight to really let the seasoning permeate the meat
Place roast into a baking pan and add white wine, also add the bones and some of the fat that was trimmed away.
Cover tightly with foil and roast for 5-6 hours.
Once roasted, Ideally you should let if cool and refrigerate overnight. This will allow the meat to rest and reabsorb its juices. It will also become sliceable.
Let cool until you are able to handle the meat without burning yourself. Slice into thick pieces, the meat will crumble. Place meat back into pan with juices for a few minutes while you prepare the sandwiches.
For the sandwiches, slice open rolls and add a layer of sharp provolone. Add the porck pieces, top with warm broccoli rabe, pour a couple spoonfuls of the pork juices over the sandwich (Do not skip this step). Devour!