Everyone knows Philly for their cheese steaks, but roast pork sandwiches are actually the best sandwiches in Philadelphia.
These garlicky, juicy sandwiches are paired with slightly bitter broccoli rabe, smoky roasted red pepper, and sharp provolone. A true roast pork sandwich takes hours of brining, hours of cooking, and ends with a melt in your mouth deliciousness found only in the city of brotherly love.
However, you can have all of this in the comfort of your own home without flying to Philly and waiting in the long line in Reading Terminal Market. This crockpot version is fast to assemble, and it’s perfect for game day.
Check out the rest of my weeknight meals for some other quick options.
I’ve been thinking about making these roast pork sandwiches for a long time. I’ve been researching the best way to make a pork loin, how to thinly slice it, how I’d keep pork juicy without oil or brine. Then I found this pork in the deli. I was skeptical but hopeful. Good God, this is delicious.
I kept tasting the broth as it was cooking in utter disbelief at just how good it was. Every time I lifted the crockpot lid (which I know you’re not really supposed to do) my house was filled with this amazing smell only found in the best delis and sandwich shops of Philly.
I made everyone in the house try it. It was so good. When I finally assembled the sandwiches and I took my first bite, I texted like three people. I was shook, as the teens probably don’t say any more. There is so much flavor in these layers.
It’s all about the bread
I will definitely serve roast pork sandwiches at future parties. If I make this ahead of time, I will make the broth in the crockpot just as it is directed below (or on the stove) and then just warm up the broth in the crockpot and add the pork before the party.
You can serve these on a Kaiser roll or club roll, but I believe the best pork sandwiches have a hard, crusty roll. Seeded if possible. From Sarcone’s bakery in South Philly, specifically haha. I’d eat that bread whole like I was Aladdin if I had the chance.
Using 2oz slices of baguettes, these sandwiches come out to be 6sp a sandwich.
Dwardcooks Philly Roast Pork Sandwiches
- 1.5 lb Roasted Pork Loin from the deli I used Columbus brand
- 1 head Garlic plus another 4 cloves
- 1-2 bunches Bunches of Broccoli Rabe
- 2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes divided
- 6 cups Fat-free chicken broth
- 4 Red Peppers
- 10 slices Ultra Thin Sliced Provolone I use Sargentos brand at 1sp a slice
- 1 oz Freshly grated Parmesan
- 1 Sprig Spring of Rosemary
- 1 Bunch of Rosemary
- 1 tbsp Salt
- 1 tbsp Pepper
- Slice the top off of a head of garlic. Use a cheese cloth and make a bundle of the garlic head, rosemary, parmesan, and thyme). Alternatively, you can crush the garlic cloves to remove the skin and chop the herbs, and let them float in the crock pot. You could even put it in the food processor (just remove the garlic paper and stems of the herbs). Add 1 tsp red pepper, 1tbsp salt and pepper, and chicken stock to crock pot. Add the slices of pork to your crock pot. Cook on high for 4 hrs. And that’s it for the pork. Super easy.
- The broccoli rabe needs to be blanched. Fill a pot with salted water (like pasta water) and boil for 1-2 minutes. Remove the broccoli rabe and put it in a bowl of ice water. This step will make the broccoli rabe tender before sauteing it.
- Spray a pan with cooking spray and saute it with 1/2 tsp red pepper, 4 thinly sliced garlic cloves, and a pinch of salt. It’ll will and shrink a little like spinach. Cook for about 5 minutes then remove and store for later.
- Roasting red peppers required fire. I usually throw mine on the grill until fully blackened on all sides. If you can’t grill, blacken them directly on the flame of your stove. Once they are blackened, put them in a bowl and cover them (I use a plate). Let them sit for a few minutes. After about 5 minutes, the skin will be looser and the peppers should be cool enough to handle.
- Put peppers on a cutting board and wipe the charred parts off the pepper using a paper towel. Cooking the peppers takes a lot of the heat off of it, so don’t worry about spice. Chop the red peppers into big chunks and store in a bowl until ready to serve.
- *4 hours later*
- You can put out all the ingredients for self assembly if this is a party, but a proper sandwich usually has a nice crusty baguette, broth ladled into the bread, broccoli rabe on the bottom, roasted red pepper on the top, a slice of provolone, and 2oz of pork per serving. Ladle more of that delicious sauce on top.
- Using 2oz slices of baguettes, these sandwiches come out to be 6sp a sandwich.
If you like this recipe as much as I do, post it on Instagram and tag me! I love seeing people making and enjoying my food. Tag me @dwardcooks or use #dwardcooks as a hashtag.