|The assignment that re-ignited|
my love for this yummy sammy!
Rinse the pork butt and pat dry with paper towels. Using a sharp paring knife, cut eight small ½ inch deep holes into the pork butt (4 on top, 4 on bottom) and use your index finger to push a garlic half into each hole. Massage 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the pork.
Stir together the salt, black pepper, cumin and crushed oregano in a small bowl or cup. Sprinkle the herbs onto the pork butt and massage it in.
Place a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot on medium heat; add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering, carefully place the pork butt into the pan; brown the pork on all sides. Pour in the orange juice and add enough water to cover the pork then add the onion and the orange rinds (the bitter pith is used as a flavoring agent here so don't remove). Raise the heat to high and bring to a rolling boil; cover, reduce heat to low and simmer meat for 3 ½ to 4 hours until the meat is fork tender and a meat thermometer registers 145 degrees Fahrenheit. While the meat is cooking, occasionally skim off any foam that rises to the surface. When meat is done, remove to a platter, tent with foil and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.
FOR THE SANDWICH
ciabatta rolls or other thick soft sandwich roll
¼ inch thick slices of cooked pork butt
thick cut deli ham, honey glazed is particularly a good fit
Swiss cheese slices
sandwich sliced pickles
olive oil or butter
Spread a generous amount of mustard onto the bottom slice of the bread. Begin layering ingredients starting with a single layer of pickles, a slice or two of cheese, two or three slices of ham (folded), a slice of the pork butt, more cheese and if you're a pickle freak like I am, another layer of pickles. Spread a generous amount of mustard on the top slice.
Heat a panini press. Lightly brush the outside of the bread with olive oil (or spread a little butter for more oomph!). When press is to temp, carefully place the sandwich in the center and close the press taking care not to allow the top half of the sandwich to push forward and slide off. Start off with gentle pressure, holding the sandwich in place with your free hand. After a minute or two, raise the panini press and turn the sandwich so that the flatter side is now facing out and the thicker side facing in. Lower the press and repeat the gentle pressure. Once the sandwich can maintain position without sliding forward, apply a little more pressure, then allow to warm until the cheese is melted and the bread is just starting to turn a golden color. (If your panini press adjusts for sandwich thickness, then you don't need to follow the directions to keep the sandwich from sliding forward; my press doesn't have a floating arm so I must do the above dance.)
Alternately, in place of the panini press, warm a heavy skillet such as a cast iron. Once the pan is hot, add the sandwich that has been brushed with the olive oil. Place a smaller heavy skillet on top to press the sandwich or use a clean brick covered in foil as the weight. Cook for two to three minutes or until the bottom is just turning golden then carefully flip and press and cook until desired color and cheese has melted. Remove sandwich to a small cutting board. Allow to rest one minute then cut diagonally and serve.
Until next time …