Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Sandwich Series: Shredded Pork with Balsamic Onions and Apple Lemon Slaw
Sandwiches are all the rage, why else would Graham Elliot, Tom Colicchio, Rick Bayless (among others) open simple sandwich shops? And while I say these are simple sandwich shops, lets be honest - there was an extreme amount of planning that went into each mouthwatering handful as dutifully noted by the high prices!
With a large piece of pork begging for attention in my freezer but limited time to pay it proper attention, I dropped it in the crock pot for a day, thinking an idea would hit me later. Allowing cheaper cuts of meat simmer all day will render them tender and ready to use for a quick addition to many applications - a great addition to pasta, a topping for polenta, a lasagna layer, perfect filling for an omelet and a strata, toss with rice and beans for a quick salad or use in a sandwich.
In this sandwich, the sweet balsamic onions play off the tangy apple lemon slaw while the havarti brings a creaminess to entire bite. The great thing about pork is that the flavor is slightly salty and versatile enough to marry with these sweet, tart flavors.
Spending ten dollars on a sandwich is worth it sometimes, you probably can't afford to do that every day (I can't, anyway.) You don't have to. Invite your friends over, make amazing sandwiches at home and spend your money on a great beer or wine to wash it all down with. The Fat and Happy Sandwich Series is here for your tastebuds' enjoyment.
Tips and techniques: For the pork, see my posting for a classic crock pot pork. If havarti cheese isn't available, try Jarlsberg or a Swiss.
Sandwich Series: Shredded Pork with Balsamic Onions and Apple Lemon Slaw Sandwich
4 cups cooked, shredded pork
1 green apple
2 ounces havarti cheese, shredded or thinly sliced
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
2 Tbls extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbls grainy mustard
4 bread rolls
Salt and pepper to taste
Saute onions and 1 tablespoon olive oil until the onions get deeply caramelized, have patience as this will take up to 15 minutes, add more olive oil if needed. Add in the balsamic vinegar and simmer 5 minutes to thicken the balsamic. Remove from heat, stir in the mustard and juice of 1/2 lemon, set aside until ready to use. Can do this step ahead of time, hold in the refrigerator until ready to use, warm over a small skillet adding in additional balsamic if the onions become dry
Apple Lemon Slaw
Slice the green apple in long, thin strips; I use a mandolin but this can be done by hand. Place the apples in a bowl, zest the lemon over the apple sticks and then squeeze all of the juice over the top. Toss well. This will give the apples a zesty zing while keeping them from turning brown.
Putting it all together
Warm the pork, place in an oven proof bowl, add a few drizzles of liquid (if the pork you are using does not have it's own liquid add in about 1/4 cup of broth or water) cover tightly and bake about 10 minutes until warm. If your pork needs more seasoning, now is the time.
Putting it all together: Preheat a broiler to high. Cut the bread rolls open and begin to layer the ingredients- place the shredded pork down first (roughly 1/2 - 1 cup of pork per sandwich depending on your meat to bun preference.) Add a layer of the balsamic onions, drizzling a little sauce as well, and then add 1/4 of the lemon apple slaw. Cover the apple slaw with a few tablespoons of the shredded havarti. Brush the top half of the bun with the remaining olive oil.
Place both halves of each bun under the broiler (the top bun will get just a little crusty giving a great texture to the sandwich while the cheese will melt over the bottom half. Remove from the broiler when the cheese melts, top each sandwich with the crusty top bread and enjoy.