SuperHero and Friends: How to make the best sandwich. Ever.

A hero sandwich for all the heroes in your home: Pulled pork, quick pickle, Cole slaw, and more. 

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In the days before the Super Bowl, you can cook a bunch of pulled pork ahead, and make some "quick pickles", so when the crowds descend on your home, you have all your secret weapons at hand. Lay out some fresh sub bread, layer on mayonnaise, sauce, pulled pork, candied bacon, quick pickles.  

Two things will happen: You get to take it easy on Super Bowl Sunday; and everyone -- EVERYONE -- will think you are a superhero of your own. 

Magical ideas below. 

Pulled pork

  • 8 lb pork shoulder blade, bone-in
  • 20 cloves of garlic
  • Spice rub (see below)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium white onions, thinly sliced
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  1. Fat side toward you, cut through the fat in slices an inch apart (see the picture)
  2. Repeat crosswise to form cross-hatching
  3. Rub the spice rub into and around the nubbly fat. Don’t be shy.
  4. Let the roast come to room temperature
  5. In your largest EuroCAST stock pot, heat 1/4 cup of olive oil and brown, meat-side down, for 4 minutes.
  6. Remove to your EuroCAST Dutch oven.
  7. Add bay leaves, onions, and the remaining olive oil.
  8. Cover tightly with tinfoil.
Slice the fat into a cross-hatch. You want to keep the fat intact for the rendered goodness that comes out, but sliced up so it will take the rub and garlic. 

Slice the fat into a cross-hatch. You want to keep the fat intact for the rendered goodness that comes out, but sliced up so it will take the rub and garlic. 

Roast in the oven at @200F for 7 hours. The time and temperature are critical to getting tender, easily-pulled pork. Don't rush this part. 

  1. Remove from oven and let cool until comfortable to handle.
  2. Shred pork from the bone into another bowl or oven safe vessel.
  3. The Dutch oven will have rendered fat and garlic in the bottom. Incorporate as much of the fat and garlic into the pork as you can.

This is the lovely sauce for the sandwiches. 

Get eating. 

TIP: Because this pork is garlic based and not heavy on other herbs you can use the leftovers in myriad ways. Check out our Instagram feed (@eurocastcookware) for another way to use this delicious pork. You ARE following us on Instagram, right? 

Spice rub for pork

  • 6 T. Kosher salt
  • 3 T. Black pepper 
  • 3 T. Garlic powder 
  • 3 T. Red pepper flakes
  • 3 T. Dried thyme
  • 3 T. Granulated sugar
Aye. There's the rub. 

Aye. There's the rub. 

Pickles -- a quick way that gives the hero superpowers

Every good sandwich deserves a pickle and with the cucumber bounty on full blast- why not make your own?

Super fast, wicked tasty and just in time for the weekend hero, barbecue -- or your Bloody (or Virgin) Mary!

This is a technique call “quick pickling”, and I love it. No need to worry about "canning safely".   All you need is a good glass jar with a tight lid. Once you assemble the ingredients, you just pop it into the fridge.

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The glass jars in my photos I unearthed from their battered postal boxes, all stamped “Italy” — now there’s some lovely Europe-feel for you! The friend who sent them had over 100 of these that she was going to take to Goodwill. And not one had been unwrapped! What do they say about one man’s trash? Oh yes, another woman’s treasure! 

  • 4 small firm cucumbers, such as Kirby or Persian, sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • 1 TB sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
Gorgeous! Gorgeous! Gorgeous! Easy. Easy. Easy. 

Gorgeous! Gorgeous! Gorgeous! Easy. Easy. Easy. 

In a colander resting in a bowl, salt and sugar sliced cucumbers and let them sit about 30 min.
Rinse and drain and pack into clean glass jars with a lid. See the picture with 4 cloves of sliced garlic and 2 split Serrano peppers. (You know I love my heat.)

In your small EuroCAST sauce pan bring to a boil:

  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 c. Water
  • 1T kosher salt 

Pour cooled liquid over packed jars of cucumbers. Secure lids and refrigerate until chilled. 4 hours.

Candied bacon

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Yes, you read that right. We're making a superhero, not a run-of-the-mill sub sandwich. This is the ingredient that will make people weep tears of joy in recalling the game day lunch. 

Grandma Violet called this "proposal pig”. It’s the simplest and most ridiculously decadent way to cook bacon, and if you're looking for a proposal — or maybe just brunch at home — it's a fantastic way to make the most of a moment. 

In your EuroCAST grill pan: 

  • 1 pound bacon tossed with 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1 teaspoon black pepper. 
  1. Lay bacon flat along the bottom of the pan and sprinkle the leftover sugar on top. Do not layer. 
  2. Cook at 400F for 15 minutes, flip bacon and cook for another 5-6 minutes. 
  3. Remove to a plate to cool. 
  4. It'll harden just a bit. 

Eat. It. Now. Well, OK, save a lot for the hero sandwiches. But have a bite now. 

Hush puppies

Serve the hush puppies on the side of your super hero. You can serve the Cole slaw on the side, too, or just add it as a layer to the sandwich (our pick).

Serve the hush puppies on the side of your super hero. You can serve the Cole slaw on the side, too, or just add it as a layer to the sandwich (our pick).

I asked a friend who was raised in the South for his best hush puppy recipe because, as he said, “Every time I think pulled pork, I start sweating for hush puppies. And my friend Becky has the best recipe.” Rumor has it that this recipe was swiped for the hush puppy offered by an incredibly successful Southern barbecue place. 

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Becky’s family is as Southern as pecan pie. So, here’s Becky’s tale, when he asked her for the recipe card.

"Alas and alack, 'tis not my fingers from whence said recipe card should be pried. It is my brain.  Unfortunately, I have never made hush puppies the same way twice - hush puppies are the meatloaf of the biscuit family - the best I can do is give you some ballparked proportions and ingredients, and you guys will have to play restaurant."

Start with (about):

  • 1-1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup really finely minced onion [Lisa: I grated it]
  • 1 or a little more cups buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  1. Mix together just until moist.
  2. Deep fry in peanut oil (anything but olive oil) 350-375F until golden brown. 
  3. Stir or turn over while frying.  
  4. Drain well - not on a paper towel.

Several notes from Becky: "Measurements are approximate. You may find you prefer a closer ratio of cornmeal to flour,  more than the 1 cup of buttermilk, beer instead of buttermilk, or you could add a cup of creamed corn if you like little yellow corny things showing through.  And some people (Yankees) prefer not to include the sugar. The key is to keep the dough sticky enough to hold together when you drop it by spoonfuls into the hot oil.  And whatever you do, mince that onion enough so you don't have major chunks popping out all over the hush puppy.  Nothing worse, and we have our pride."

The friend who shared this recipe with me has made it many times. He suggest the following possible spins: 

Add chives instead of minced onion, stir in whole kernels of corn sliced fresh from the cob (obviously, summertime is best for this), and then dipping them into thinned out hot pepper jelly.

He uses his favorite jalapeño jelly, which he gets from — well, me. But that’s another tale.

Laying down the beat

It's sandwich time. (If all this decadence is making your head swim, feel free to pause for a moment and inspect our tomato burrata salad below. But come back, because we've got the pulled pork beat going here.)

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That jewel-toned onion is pickled red onion. You know how to pickle now. So ... get to it!

That jewel-toned onion is pickled red onion. You know how to pickle now. So ... get to it!

Step by amazing step.

To think, you did this all, and it really wasn't hard. 

We did a GIF for you. Share this (http://gph.is/2GuUoZd) with family and friends to see if they'd like to eat this. As if anyone has a question about that. 

Tomato burrata salad: Not your mama's caprese

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You can do it like a "Make Your Own Caprese" board. You could add wafer thin slices of radish. Walnuts. Raw crudités

You can do it like a "Make Your Own Caprese" board. You could add wafer thin slices of radish. Walnuts. Raw crudités

Even though it's midwinter, you can still get great hothouse tomatoes. Pick some that make you swoon when you smell them -- they should have a tang, smell organic and tempting. And some grape tomatoes (they're about the same size as cherry tomatoes, a bit more oval, and sweeter). 

And then get some burrata. Best quality. And then some baby mozzarella. The grape tomatoes and baby mozzarella are visual cousins, so they please the eye.  And these tiny additions have flavor just different enough from big tomatoes and burrata that they all have a conversation with each other. 

Have your best extra virgin olive oil handy. Its flavor is critical.  

Have some basil leaves handy to tear over top.

Put it all on a platter. To assemble, pour a few glugs of EVOO love over top, toss on some gently sautéed pine nuts (do these in a dry EuroCAST pan until they are just starting to show a little brown), tear your basil --  and then sprinkle on Aleppo flakes.

This is not a fussy salad -- and it is definitely not your Mama's caprese -- but it will be a hit. 

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A cavalcade of tempting delights for the big game. 

We all love cooking shows where things come together, step-by-step. Here's your superhero's journey below, where it all comes together. 

Paul WardComment