Herb-Roasted Pork Subs with Garlicky Spinach
- ACTIVE: 45 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 3 HRS 30 MIN Plus overnight resting
- SERVINGS: 8
To create this outstanding sandwich, Matt Neal rubs pork shoulder with an herb-and-garlic mixture and then slow-roasts it for hours ("Forever," he says). He piles the meat high with pickled peppers and spinach sautéed with garlic. One key to the sandwich is to slice the pork very thinly; to do so, be sure the pork is very cold and use a deli slicer or a thin, sharp knife.
- 12 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- One 4-pound boneless pork shoulder roast
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 20 ounces baby spinach
- 8 hero rolls, split
- 3/4 pound sliced provolone
- 1 cup jarred Peppadew peppers or sweet pickled Italian cherry peppers, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 300°. In a small bowl, combine the garlic with the rosemary, thyme, oregano, fennel seeds, crushed red pepper and salt; stir in the olive oil. Rub the mixture all over the pork. Set the pork in a large, enameled cast-iron casserole and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Roast in the oven for about 2 1/2 hours, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 180°. Let cool, then wrap the pork in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 450°. In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook over high heat until golden, 1 minute. Add the spinach in large handfuls and cook, stirring, until wilted, 3 minutes. Season the spinach with salt and transfer to a colander. Let cool slightly, then squeeze out the excess water.
- Slice the cold pork very thinly, then let come to room temperature. Arrange the rolls on 2 baking sheets and mound the spinach on the bottom halves; layer the provolone on the top halves. Bake for about 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Pile the sliced pork on the rolls and top with the pickled peppers. Close the sandwiches and serve right away.
This tender pork calls for a rich red wine with smooth tannins, such as a Washington state Syrah.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.