Do not adjust your screen.  This is Kitchen Apparel and that actually is meat and wheat you see in the photo above.  And no, Sandra has not totally lost it and gone rogue.

    This is Chris from over at Shared Appetite and I have taken full control of Kitchen Apparel for today.  Don’t worry, you’ll have the awesomely wonderful Sandra back tomorrow.  But for now, you are all mine (insert lame evil laugh here).

    I’ve been a big fan of Kitchen Apparel for quite some time now.  Sandra’s stunning photos not only makes my mouth water, but I may have actually drooled onto my keyboard once or twice.  And if you really miss her and need to hear her voice, head over to Shared Appetite, where she has kindly returned the favor of playing blog hostage for the day.
    So let’s get down to business, shall we?  My kind, loving, beautiful, and amazing-in-every-way wife (she may be reading) and I are frequent visitors to NYC.  And by visitors I mean we go to eat.  A lot.  And any and every time I remotely come close to asking Asheley what she possibly might want to eat, she’ll say the Pulled Duroc Pork sandwich from Num Pang. She's a bit obsessed.

    If you’ve never heard of this glorious Cambodian-inspired sandwich establishment, feel free to check out my Num Pang review.  Just don’t pay attention to the terrible photos.
    Their pulled pork sandwich is definitely one of the best eats-between-two-slices-of-bread in all of NYC.  What makes it so, you ask?  The super moist and tender pulled pork.   The fresh and cool crunch of cucumber and creamy spicy mayo.  The acidic bite of pickled carrots and herbaceousness of fresh cilantro.  Oh, and let’s not forget the perfectly toasted mini baguette.  
 
    No individual component of this sandwich is probably going to jump out, smack you in the face, and wow you.  But when their powers combine, something magnificent happens.  You’ll get that feeling you had when you enjoyed your first kiss with your special someone... only so much better.  (It’s okay, my wife would agree.  She loves this sandwich that much.)
    You’re going to want to make the pickled carrots and onions at least a day in advance.  I tend to always have a jar hanging around in the fridge, since they are great to add to pretty much anything and everything.  The pickled onions aren’t actually on the official Num Pang sandwich, but I like them.  So there.  

    And listen, when you’re shopping for bread, don’t make it some little silly afterthought.  It’s the biggest decision you need to make for a successful sandwich experience. You want a nice crispy crust, delicate inside crumb, and good airy hole structure. Put that Wonderbread away.
    Making carnitas (i.e. pulled pork) couldn’t be easier.  And the best part is that the recipe below will make way more than you need for these sandwiches.  What to do with all that leftover pulled pork? You're so silly. The real question is, what NOT to do with all that leftover pulled pork!

If you need some ideas, check out Carnitas Tacos with Pickled Onion and Salsa Verde or Better Than Chipotle Burrito Bowl.
    When it comes to building your sandwich, there are no rules really.  Toast your bread.  Pile on a good amount of pork.  Some carrots and onions.  A couple slices of cucumber and few sprigs of cilantro.  And of course a nice slathering of spicy mayo. 

    I’m sure Sandra will have you go through some sort of microgreen detox program after all this meat and gluten talk.  But it was fun while it lasted, wasn’t it?  Wasn't it?!

Num Pang Pulled Pork Sandwich


RECIPE

Carnitas (Pulled Pork), recipe below
Pickled Carrots, recipe below
Pickled Onions, recipe below
Cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
Fresh cilantro
Spicy Mayo, recipe below
Mini Baguettes/Rolls, halved and toasted


For the Carnitas:

8-10 pound bone-in pork shoulder (or 6-8 pound boneless)
2 tablespoons neutral-tasting oil
1 teaspoon chile powder
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon cumin
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
Kosher salt


Cut pork shoulder in large pieces, approximately 4-5 inches.  Remove excess fat.  Season pork generously on all sides with Kosher salt and refrigerate overnight.  (If in a rush and can’t do the overnight part, just salt pork and continue).

Preheat oven to 350°F.  In a large oven-safe pot (I use my dutch oven), heat oil over medium-high heat. Sear pork shoulder in a single layer on all sides until deep golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side. Sear in multiple batches if needed.

Remove browned pork and blot away excess grease with paper towels.  Pour in 1 cup of water and use a wooden spoon to scrape up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pot.  Stir in chile powder, ancho chile powder, bay leaves, cumin, garlic, onion, and a hefty pinch of salt.  Return the browned pork to the pot and add enough water to so that it submerges ⅔ of the pork.

Place uncovered pot in oven for 3 to 3 ½ hours, turning pork a couple times throughout the braising process.  Pork is done when the meat falls apart as you try to pick it up with a fork and most of the liquid is evaporated.  Remove bay leaves and discard.  Shred meat with two forks (or let it cool and use your fingers) and discard any visible chunks of fat.  Extra pork may be refrigerated or wrapped in foil, sealed in ziploc bag, and frozen.  To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat in 350°F oven wrapped in foil and placed on a baking sheet (in case anything spills out).  


For the Pickled Carrots:

2 - 3 large carrots, peeled and shredded
½ cup warm water
½ cup apple cider vinegar
⅛ cup sugar
½ tablespoon Kosher salt


Combine water, vinegar, sugar, and salt in bowl.  Whisk together until sugar and salt is fully dissolved. Place shredded carrots in a bowl or jar (I like to use a mason jar) and pour vinegar mixture over carrots. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 day, although they will last for a few weeks.


For the Pickled Onions:

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup warm water
½ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt

Combine vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a bowl.  Whisk together until sugar and salt is fully dissolved. Place thinly sliced onion  in a bowl or jar (I like to use a mason jar) and pour vinegar mixture over onions.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 day, although they will last for a few weeks.


For the Spicy Mayo:

½ cup mayonaisse
1 and ½ tablespoons sriracha
½ teaspoon sugar
Pinch Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. 




 


Comments

06/10/2013 10:35pm

What a gorgeous sandwich! It's really hard to beat the tender quality of pulled meat and I cannot imagine packing in more nutrients or color. Fabulous. I also love how you've pickled the veggies here - the flavor must be out-of-this-world delicious. Great photos too! Thank you for the great guest post Sandra -- it was indeed fun Chris! ;-).

Reply
06/10/2013 10:40pm

This sandwich is definitely packed full of flavor and color. The pickled veggies are awesome. We just got done eating ours (mine with gluten-free bread) and everyone loved them! I might just have to eat micro-greens tomorrow though ;)

Reply
06/10/2013 11:14pm

Micro-green detox Sandra!!!!

06/10/2013 11:12pm

Thanks so much Kelly! It was a lot of fun taking the blog hostage for today :) Pickled veggies are so awesome. I took a pickling seminar with Geoffrey Zakarian last year at the NYC Wine and Food Festival and he really opened my eyes to how they can transform a dish.

Reply
06/11/2013 12:00pm

I was in NYC for the first time 2 weeks ago and had the pork belly sandwich at Num Pang. It was amazing!

Reply
06/12/2013 1:47pm

I know Jad, isn't Num Pang super awesome?! Love that sandwich shop. I'm still eating my way around the menu. So many sandwiches, so little time!

Reply
06/19/2013 1:03am

Well you had me at spicy mayo quite frankly! I'm not a fan of pork generally but the spicy flavours in this sandwich look wonderful (and who doesn't love an epic sandwich).

Reply
06/19/2013 2:04am

The spicy mayo is really great and it makes plenty of leftovers to use on other things ;) The pickled onions and carrots are a great touch too...definitely an epic sandwich! (Even when you use gluten-free rolls)

Reply
06/19/2013 3:48pm

I love vietnamese sandwiches - can't wait to try it with pickled onions, great idea!

Reply
06/21/2013 6:33pm

This look simply delicious!

Reply
Rich
10/11/2013 12:16am

Chris, it took me about 8 weeks to finally getting around to make this sandwich. Finally! It was super awesome! Thanks.

Reply



Leave a Reply