Thursday, October 21, 2010

Big Hands Pork Sandwich With Onions & Hickory-Barbecue Sauce

What makes a hot sandwich downright delicious? It took a trip to Australia to convince me that it's the toppings. Back in my college days my best buddy and I were in Sydney and we ordered a hamburger from a place I can’t recall. I do remember the surprise we got when our order arrived. The burger was as big as the famous Sydney opera house (from an ant’s perspective) as it was loaded with topping. It had the usual lettuce, pickles (I don’t recall if there was a tomato on there or not) plus caramelized onions and beets. By the way, beets are really good on a burger! Of course that’s coming from a guy who likes beets. For this particular Australian burger you required both hands to hold it all together. Ever since that experience, I’ve topped hot sandwiches with lots and lots of stuff!

The reason I share this "Down Under" food experience is because this week I found a hot pork sandwich recipe in an October 2000 issue of Bon Appétit magazine. Yes I still have a 10-year-old food magazines hanging around the house. Although there was no picture of the dish, the ingredients alone made my mouth water because the toppings looked awesome! Caramelized onions finished off in bourbon and barbecue sauce followed by a big scoop of coleslaw. Bam! The toppings were the trigger that made me want to make this sandwich!

 One problem, I've never owned a bottle of bourbon. No worries (that’s what the Aussie’s say), I used beef stock as a substitute. Just saying the work "bourbon” brings visions of the south so I went with a hickory flavored barbecue sauce to pump up the southern flavor factor. The recipe also called for store bought coleslaw. I always find that stuff to creamy for my liking. Instead, I purchased bagged coleslaw and added just enough store bought coleslaw dressing to give it some flavor.

Even though I dried out the pork and the buns were a tad stale the toppings were incredible! They saved the sandwich. As for my music experience, I was listening to the radio while cooking and I can’t recall many of the songs played. The one song I did remember was “Blister In the Sun” by the Violent Femmes. Why? Because the song references “big hands”, which is exactly what’s required to eat any hot sandwich when you stack it high with some fantastic and flavorful toppings!

What are your favorite sandwich toppings?

Big Hands Pork on a Bun

8 ounces pork loin chops, cut crosswise into ¼-inch thick strips
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 tbsp beef broth
1/3 cup hickory flavored barbecue sauce
2 large, Kaiser rolls
1/2 cup purchased coleslaw

Season pork strips with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook just until cooked through, about 2 minutes. Remove pork and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium-low and add onions to skillet. Sauté until golden brown, about 8 minutes.

Add beef broth. Cook and stir up browned bits. Add barbecue sauce. Stir until sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Add cooked pork to sauce and cook until heated through.

Mound pork with sauce on bun bottoms. Top with coleslaw and bun tops. Wrap your hands around the sandwich and enjoy!

Volume: Makes 2 Sandwiches

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The Kitchen Roadie

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