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Garlicky Roast Pork Makes the Best Sandwiches

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As Food52 gets older (and wiser), and our archive of recipes grows, we’re making the effort to revisit some gold recipes from our community. Sdebrango’s Portable Pork Sandwich caught our attention years ago when it inspired a Food52 Community Potluck in Brooklyn. Members wssmom, queensashy, Cristina Sciarra, and Fig and Quince met at sdebrango’s brownstone for a feast of pickled asparagus, chicken wings, cocktail cookies, and (of course) these perfect pork sandwiches. Below, sdebrango tells us a little more about her dish.

Messy, but in the best way.
Messy, but in the best way. Photo by Ty Mecham

The Brooklyn Flea is not just a flea market—it has some of the best street food in Brooklyn. And I used to live only a few blocks away. One weekend, I noticed a small stand and the irresistible aroma of meat. I followed my nose, and found two guys and huge pork roast. They sliced the juicy, tender meat right in front of you, laid it on a crusty ciabatta roll, and there you had pork heaven. I had to try it.

The next week, I developed my own to honor their tasty pork sandwich. I made a few changes—using warmed flatbread instead of ciabatta, and added simple, tasty sauce and slaw. I tend to make straightforward food that is not overly seasoned, but wanted this a bit more aggressive with lots of garlic and rosemary.

When making this sandwich, get a quality cut of pork shoulder or butt with plenty of fat. Don’t have the butcher trim it because the fat makes the meat more flavorful and tender. Also, don’t skimp on the seasonings. You want every bite of your sandwich to taste like garlic and rosemary.

4 Secret Butcher's Cuts to Try

4 Secret Butcher's Cuts to Try by Cara Nicoletti

The Brown Sugar Balsamic-Glazed Pork Loin that Pinterest Loved

The Brown Sugar Balsamic-Glazed Pork Loin that Pinterest ... by Caroline Lange


To serve, I set everything out on a big butcher block or cutting board. The meat tastes best warm, so I like to leave the roast whole and slice off pieces for each sandwich. If using flatbread, put it right on the gas burner and use tongs to get both sides a bit charred. Also have lots of napkins at the ready. This sandwich can be a bit messy, but in the most wonderful way!

I last made this recipe two years ago at a Fourth of July party. For me, slow-cooked food is the ultimate comfort food. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but a simple slow-cooked meal makes me feel like I am home.

Portable Pork Sandwich (An homage to my favorite purveyor of pork at the flea)

Portable Pork Sandwich (An homage to my favorite purveyor of pork at the flea)

sdebrango sdebrango
Serves 8-10

The pork roast

  • 1 pork Shoulder Roast, approximately 5- 8 pounds bone in
  • 4 to 6 large Cloves garlic a larger roast use more garlic
  • 1 sprig rosemary (should yield 2 generous tbs of chopped rosemary)
  • 1/4 cup olive Oil
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper, more to taste

The sauce, slaw, and putting your sandwich together

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup olive Oil
  • 1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 pinch crushed hot pepper flakes
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 large head green cabbage (Or 1 whole small head of cabbage)
  • 8 radishes
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 to 4 turns of the pepper mill
  • 10 pieces flat bread or rolls
Go to Recipe

What's your favorite dish that feels like home? Have you made it recently?

Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: Pork, Slow Cook, Community