This recipe from ‘Wichcraft (Clarkson Potter, 2009) uses the pork shoulder, a very flavorful cut that benefits from slow cooking, which breaks down the textures, develops the flavors, and renders a lot of the fat. This recipe has its origin in pork barbecue, which is often served with coleslaw. The cabbage in this sandwich—a nod to that side of slaw—is seasoned with olive oil and red wine vinegar. It is assertive and acidic, balancing the richness of the pork, while the jalapeños add a nice kick. Peppers vary in intensity—sometimes two slices are more than plenty while sometimes eight won’t be enough—so be sure to taste-test yours before layering them on.
Slow-Roasted Pork with Red Cabbage, Jalapeños, and Mustard
Recipe from ‘Wichcraft by Tom Colicchio:
Makes 4 sandwiches
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
3 whole cloves
1 star anise
½ tablespoon black peppercorns
½ cup kosher salt
1 (1¼ to 1½ pounds) boneless pork shoulder
2 cups shredded or thinly sliced red cabbage
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
4 ciabatta rolls
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 large jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 250°F.
Combine the caraway, cloves, star anise, and peppercorns in a spice grinder and process until they have the coarseness of salt. Combine the spices with the salt.
Rub the pork vigorously with the spice mixture until completely covered. Any spice mixture that doesn’t stick to the meat can be removed. Place the meat in a roasting pan, cover tightly, and cook in the oven for about 4 hours. The meat should be fork-tender and some of the fat should have rendered into the bottom of the pan. Transfer the meat to a plate and discard the fat from the pan.
Increase the oven heat to 350°F.
In a bowl, combine the cabbage, oil, and vinegar and season gen- erously with salt and pepper. The cabbage should taste quite salty and tangy.
Slice the ciabatta rolls in half. Spread the mustard evenly across the bottom halves. Using a couple of forks, pull the roasted pork apart and distribute some on the bottom and top halves. Place the bread in the oven and remove when the bread is lightly toasted and the meat is heated through. Add the cabbage on the bottom halves and top with the jalapeño.
Close the sandwiches, cut into halves, and serve.