Italian Style Pulled Pork Sandwich

Do you love sandwiches? I know I do and as a matter of fact I really was craving a BLT the other day, but you know what, tomatoes are just not in season here. This sandwich however is in season as it is comfort food season! This one is the Italian style pulled pork sandwich, and one that screams comfort, and as a matter of fact my kids devoured this sandwich and came cruising back for another one.

Italian Style Pulled Pork Sandwich Recipe
Italian Style Pulled Pork Sandwich Recipe

The pork is slow cooked in a great tomato based mixture until fall apart tender, then served on some crusty bread with melted provolone cheese and sauteed greens. What’s not to love!

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 lb pork shoulder, fat trimmed
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp dried red chili flakes
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, stem removed, finely chopped
  • 1 whole head of garlic, finely diced
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 1 whole yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups of beef stock
  • 14 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of rapini
  • 2 cups of fresh spinach, tightly packed
  • 1 cup additional beef stock
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper, to taste
  • bolillo rolls, to your serving
  • Chicago style sport peppers, optional
  • 2 slices provolone cheese, per serving

Start by making your rub for the pork. To a small mixing bowl, add the fennel seeds, red chili flakes, chopped rosemary, parsley, and garlic. Give a good mix, and season with some salt and pepper.

Add the pork shoulder to a large cast iron skillet, or dutch oven, large enough to hold all of the broth and tomato mixture. Make sure it is fat side up.

Add the garlic mixture to the top of the pork shoulder. Next pour around the shoulder the beef stock, add the crushed tomatoes, bay leaves and onions.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and let the pork shoulder rest on the counter as the oven heats up. Your goal here is to build a nice crust, then either cover with foil and reduce the heat to 300 degrees and braise for 2-3 hours, or what I did was simply transfer everything to a slow cooker, covered it and forgot about it until the next day (I recommend this approach as it was like butter).

Once the oven is heated, add the pork, and build a nice crust, about 25 minutes or so. Next, carefully remove from the oven, then place in a slow cooker, on low, and cook for about 10 hours or so. I simply did this overnight.

Ingredients for making Italian style pulled pork sandwiches
Ingredients for making Italian style pulled pork sandwiches

Now let’s make the greens. To a stock pot, add the rapini and spinach. Give a pinch of salt and crushed red chili flakes, and the additional cup of beef stock. Bring to a simmer, stir, and cover, cooking until the greens are completely wilted. They will not be pretty, but they are super delicious, and great for you to boot.

Now let’s make the sandwich. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Slice your roll, but not all of the way through. Layer in the cheese, and place in the oven, cooking until the roll is crusty and the cheese is nice and melted. You want a crusty roll here as when you fold in the pulled pork and greens, it gets pretty darn saucey. You’ll see. It’s like the best gravy for swiping your sandwich into.

During this time shred the pork. It should simply fall apart. Once shredded, mix everything together. Remove the roll from the oven, then add some greens, fold in the pork mixture to your liking, and top with a couple of sport peppers. I liked adding the peppers as that vinegar and subtle heat cuts through that savory pork.

Eat this one over a plate people as that pork is so super juicy and it will run out all over your plate. This sandwich is a real homerun, feeds a ton of people (We ate it for two days and I ended up freezing a ton of it), and is super delicious. Hope you enjoy!

Italian Style Pulled Pork Sandwich
Author: 
Recipe type: Sandwiches
Cuisine: Italian Style
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
Ingredients
  • 3-4 lb pork shoulder, fat trimmed
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp dried red chili flakes
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, stem removed, finely chopped
  • 1 whole head of garlic, finely diced
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 1 whole yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups of beef stock
  • 14 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of rapini
  • 2 cups of fresh spinach, tightly packed
  • 1 cup additional beef stock
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper, to taste
  • bolillo rolls, to your serving
  • Chicago style sport peppers, optional
  • 2 slices provolone cheese, per serving
Instructions
  1. Start by making your rub for the pork. To a small mixing bowl, add the fennel seeds, red chili flakes, chopped rosemary, parsley, and garlic. Give a good mix, and season with some salt and pepper.
  2. Add the pork shoulder to a large cast iron skillet, or dutch oven, large enough to hold all of the broth and tomato mixture. Make sure it is fat side up.
  3. Add the garlic mixture to the top of the pork shoulder. Next pour around the shoulder the beef stock, add the crushed tomatoes, bay leaves and onions.
  4. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and let the pork shoulder rest on the counter as the oven heats up. Your goal here is to build a nice crust, then either cover with foil and reduce the heat to 300 degrees and braise for 2-3 hours, or what I did was simply transfer everything to a slow cooker, covered it and forgot about it until the next day (I recommend this approach as it was like butter).
  5. Once the oven is heated, add the pork, and build a nice crust, about 25 minutes or so. Next, carefully remove from the oven, then place in a slow cooker, on low, and cook for about 10 hours or so. I simply did this overnight.
  6. Now let’s make the greens. To a stock pot, add the rapini and spinach. Give a pinch of salt and crushed red chili flakes, and the additional cup of beef stock. Bring to a simmer, stir, and cover, cooking until the greens are completely wilted. They will not be pretty, but they are super delicious, and great for you to boot.
  7. Now let’s make the sandwich. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Slice your roll, but not all of the way through. Layer in the cheese, and place in the oven, cooking until the roll is crusty and the cheese is nice and melted. You want a crusty roll here as when you fold in the pulled pork and greens, it gets pretty darn saucey. You’ll see. It’s like the best gravy for swiping your sandwich into.
  8. During this time shred the pork. It should simply fall apart. Once shredded, mix everything together. Remove the roll from the oven, then add some greens, fold in the pork mixture to your liking, and top with a couple of sport peppers. I liked adding the peppers as that vinegar and subtle heat cuts through that savory pork.

African Style Chicken Sandwich – Chicken Suqaar

It was not too long ago when my colleagues and I ventured out to try a new restaurant, only due to the fact that someone did a writeup on them in regards to one of their sandwiches.  The place was called Blue Star Cafe, and is located on the east side of Milwaukee. The three of us ordered sandwiches, and I decided on getting their chicken sandwich with green sauce. Not really knowing what I was going to get, beyond chicken on bread, I was completely blown away by the flavors, tenderness of the chicken, and their bread. It was known as Somali food, and I was down with it. After recognizing all of the awesome flavors, I decided to take a stab at making my own, and boy was it ever good.

African Style Chicken Sandwich Recipe
African Style Chicken Sandwich Recipe

When I was eating this sandwich, it really took me to a similar sandwich, the Banh Mi, a sandwich that is packed with tender meat, fresh herbs, and seasoning.

My kids devoured this sandwich and were wanting more. That’s always a good sign, of great food in my book, plus it is super simple to make.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tbsp lemon pepper
  • 1 tbsp chicken bouillon
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 whole potato, peeled, cooked, and cubed
  • 2 whole carrots, peeled, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 whole onion, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 head lettuce, shredded
  • 1 whole tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1 serrano chili, thinly sliced, optional
  • fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • Thin, soft French baguettes

Start by adding the chicken thighs to a slow cooker. You can do this in the oven if you desire, but during a busy work week, I find that throwing these in a slow cooker was the real trick.

Toss with the garlic, salt, cumin, cinnamon, lemon pepper, chicken bouillon, and allspice. Drizzle with some olive oil, add in the water, and cook on low for 8 hours.

Once cooked, pull apart with a fork, and remain cooking until it gets folded into the vegetable mix.

To a large skillet, drizzle in some olive oil, then add in the onions, cubed potato, and carrots. Cook just until slightly tender, then fold in the chicken mixture. Gently stir, and cook on low heat.

Make the curry mayonnaise for the sauce. Add the mayo and curry powder to a bowl, and stir to combine.  Now let’s make the sandwiches!

How to make African Chicken Suqaar Sandwiches
How to make African Chicken Suqaar Sandwiches

Take one of your French baguettes, and slice lengthwise. Slather on the curry mayonnaise on both sides. Top with the chicken suqaar mixture, then add in the chilies, lettuce, tomatoes, and cilantro.  Fold, give a good push down. Open wide and dig in.

There’s something to be said about this African chicken sandwich. It’s ultra tender chicken, that is just seasoned perfectly really balances out with the curry mayonnaise, and fresh herbs and chilies. I’m really glad my colleagues turned me onto the Blue Star Cafe, as without going there, I would have no idea about this type of African cuisine. Give this one a try, I’m sure you will love it!

African Style Chicken Sandwich - Chicken Suqaar
Author: 
Recipe type: Chicken, Sandwiches
Cuisine: African
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tbsp lemon pepper
  • 1 tbsp chicken bouillon
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 whole potato, peeled, cooked, and cubed
  • 2 whole carrots, peeled, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 whole onion, cut into matchsticks
  • ½ head lettuce, shredded
  • 1 whole tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1 serrano chili, thinly sliced, optional
  • fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • Thin, soft French baguettes
Instructions
  1. Start by adding the chicken thighs to a slow cooker. You can do this in the oven if you desire, but during a busy work week, I find that throwing these in a slow cooker was the real trick.
  2. Toss with the garlic, salt, cumin, cinnamon, lemon pepper, chicken bouillon, and allspice. Drizzle with some olive oil, add in the water, and cook on low for 8 hours.
  3. Once cooked, pull apart with a fork, and remain cooking until it gets folded into the vegetable mix.
  4. To a large skillet, drizzle in some olive oil, then add in the onions, cubed potato, and carrots. Cook just until slightly tender, then fold in the chicken mixture. Gently stir, and cook on low heat.
  5. Make the curry mayonnaise for the sauce. Add the mayo and curry powder to a bowl, and stir to combine. Now let’s make the sandwiches!
  6. Take one of your French baguettes, and slice lengthwise. Slather on the curry mayonnaise on both sides. Top with the chicken suqaar mixture, then add in the chilies, lettuce, tomatoes, and cilantro. Fold, give a good push down. Open wide and dig in.

 

Caribbean Style Pork

I am still working my way through my habanero peppers, and yes, that can take quiet a bit of time. A little goes a long way. As you know, I recently batched out a bunch of mango and peach habanero sauce that I am still hammering through, and day by day it just gets better and better. But as I was still staring down my bag of peppers, I decided to come up with a Caribbean style pork recipe that had that subtle kick of the habanero peppers, but one that it was not too overpowering. This pork dish is bright, vibrant, and packed full of a citrus punch that is a bit addicting.

Caribbean Style Pork Recipe
Caribbean Style Pork Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 nectarines, juiced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 whole white onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 whole habanero peppers, seeds and stem removed, chopped
  • 2 whole sprigs of thyme
  • 1 cup of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 8 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1/4 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 lbs pork tenderloin, cut into thick chunks
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • cooked rice, optional

Start by making the marinade. To a bowl, add in the nectarine, lemon, and lime juice. Season with the salt, pepper, onion, habaneros, bell pepper, thyme, parsley, garlic, worcestershire, oil, and vinegar. Add in the pork, and carefully toss. Careful of those habanero peppers. I always recommend wearing gloves when using those. Once everything is coated, marinate overnight.

Caribbean Style Pork Recipe
Caribbean Style Pork Recipe

The following day, remove the marinated pork from the refrigerator and let it rest on the counter to come up to room temperature.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place the pork mixture into a baking dish, seal with aluminum foil, and cook for about 2 hours, or until it is super tender. Uncover, crank up the heat to about 425, and cook a few additional minutes to get a bit crispy.

Remove from the oven, and serve over rice, if desired. Feel free to drizzle any of the remaining liquid over the pork, along with the cooked onions, garlic, and peppers.  This one is a real winner. It has an awesome citrus, and bang of the habanero that is just perfect. Hope you enjoy!

Slow Cooker Carne Guisada

If you have never heard of carne guisada, well now you have. It is essentially stewed meat, and typically done with pork, it can be done with chicken, or beef, and in my case, pork. It’s one of those comfort foods that everyone can identify with, and one that is super versatile as it can be used in tacos, enchiladas, burritos, or event stand on its own. This is my take on a slow cooker carne guisada, as one I was pinched for time during the work week, and two, who doesn’t love the slow cooker?

Slow Cooker Carne Guisada Tacos

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of boneless pork ribs, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 whole onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped, seeds removed
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 whole tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • flour tortillas, warmed, optional
  • fresh cilantro, optional
  • hot sauce, optional

Start by heating a large skillet on medium-high heat. Once heated, add in the oil, and let it come to temperature for about 10 seconds. Add the pork, and sear the pork on each side. Once seared, place the pork into your slow cooker. Return the skillet to the stove, and toss in the chopped onion. Cook for about 2 minutes, then add in the water to deglaze the skillet. Pour everything into the slow cooker.

With the remaining ingredients, with the exception of the tortillas, cilantro, and hot sauce, add to the slow cooker, and give everything a cook stir. Cover, and cook on low heat for 7 hours.

Carne Guisada Ingredients

Before serving, I like to lightly shred the pork, however leaving some cubes together. Now you can go ahead and serve as is, but I like to sear mine on the stove once again. So what I do is add a skillet on medium-high heat to the stove. Next I add in however much carne guisada I think will hold with two tacos, and mixing it around for a couple of minutes until some of the pork caramelizes, and some of the juices run clear.

Add to the warmed tortillas, and dig in.

Words can’t explain how awesome this meat mixture is. It’s super tender, and just loaded with great spices and flavor. It’s a definite winner for tacos, that’s for sure. So if you are looking to steer away from your standard taco meat, give this one a shot. Hope you enjoy!

Slow Cooker Carne Guisada
Author: 
Recipe type: Tacos, Stews
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds of boneless pork ribs, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 whole onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped, seeds removed
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 whole tomato, chopped
  • ½ cup water
  • flour tortillas, warmed, optional
  • fresh cilantro, optional
  • hot sauce, optional
Instructions
  1. Start by heating a large skillet on medium-high heat. Once heated, add in the oil, and let it come to temperature for about 10 seconds. Add the pork, and sear the pork on each side. Once seared, place the pork into your slow cooker. Return the skillet to the stove, and toss in the chopped onion. Cook for about 2 minutes, then add in the water to deglaze the skillet. Pour everything into the slow cooker.
  2. With the remaining ingredients, with the exception of the tortillas, cilantro, and hot sauce, add to the slow cooker, and give everything a cook stir. Cover, and cook on low heat for 7 hours.
  3. Before serving, I like to lightly shred the pork, however leaving some cubes together. Now you can go ahead and serve as is, but I like to sear mine on the stove once again. So what I do is add a skillet on medium-high heat to the stove. Next I add in however much carne guisada I think will hold with two tacos, and mixing it around for a couple of minutes until some of the pork caramelizes, and some of the juices run clear.
  4. Add to the warmed tortillas, and dig in.