This is how they do it at the Times (above).
Mid-blizzard, juke box lights glowing warmly, the door to the Lunch Encounter swung open and in stepped Barbara Stratton, in a hat, stomping snow off her boots. Barbara’s got a sandwich groove on at Cafe Clementine and she stopped in to spread the good word.
“Really,” thought I. We love em both but know them in culinary pig Latin apparently. Gooooda. And porchetta, emphasis on the CH.
If it roasts slow and low, as her porchetta does, we want in, so I peppered Ms Stratton with questions. Details. I need the details. Must. Reproduce.
Barbara elaborated, “The sandwich idea was given to me by the butcher at Cronigs. He told me he has eaten it several times in Philly and in his opinion it beats the cheesesteak hands down. I made a few sandwiches with the left over porchetta. They were good but I think they were raised to total EAT ME status by the long hot. I was poking around looking for the sandwich on Philadelphia food sites when I discovered the pepper. It is delicious and easy because you don’t peel or de-seed and it adds a little heat which lands with a yeah!! on the tongue.”
I think she skipped a few steps. My tongue watered, my brain rained pork fat and I was cornfused.
“So, um, what’s on it?” I wondered with deep desire. And what’s it on, I pondered, dreaming of New York breads. There is always always some spectacular and new New York bread source, doncha know. Outloud I said, “Porchetta, long hot and…?”
“The long hot gets its stem removed. Then toss in olive oil and salt and roast until blistered.”
“We blanch the broccoli rabe, stir fry in oil with garlic and cool. The broccoli rabe needs to be covering most of the pork in a thin layer because you want a yummy taste of everything in each bite.”
Aha. Will do.
“Grandaisy Bakery is in my neighborhood- or just use something that has a nice platform and will toast up crispy.”
“We reheat in a hot oven until the cheese melts-about 7 minutes. Also leave the lid off of the sandwich so it has a chance to toast.”
Nice platform, lid off, done.
And the meat, the meat, the meat, who is the mistress of the meat? Melissa Clark, mebbe?
“Yes,” she confirmed, “I used the “Melissa Clark recipe from the Times. The epiphany struck me after I spent 40 minutes scoring the fat on the one I made on the Vineyard. USE A SERRATED KNIFE! It works like a charm and is no big deal. Just make sure that the fat is cold.”
“I’m gonna set a day aside and dedicate myself to this affair,” sez I grandly.
“Alas,” Ms Stratton warns me, “the porchetta is a two day affair, what with the time to marinate and all—you could make/assemble all of the components on day one, then roast the pork and assemble the sandwich on day two. Also, don’t use a really aged gouda-too overpowering. Just a middle aged and a thin slice-the poke is the thang. ( I did ramp up the crushed red peppers and garlic in Ms. M’s recipe.)”
So, to recap. One two three GO!
Bottom of ciabatta brushed with oil and a long hot, pork, broccoli rabe, aged gouda, top of ciabatta.