I posted this several years ago. It's a wonderful sandwich and today is National Sandwich Day, so I'm happy to put the spotlight back on pork + gerkins + cabbage + apples. It's a Fall recipe supreme.
When we say, “I’ll have the pork sandwich,” here in America that very often means pulled pork with Carolina-style barbeque sauce. Yeah, you can taste it now, can’t you?
There are other ways to do pork, other delicious ways. We have Num Pang here in New York, a Cambodian sandwich shop that makes an incredible, kinda-Southern pulled pork sandwich, too, but with the hit of Asian heat.
Midway between Carolina and Cambodia, there is the snow and mountains of the Nordic lands and they have a rather different perspective on pork sandwiches. Sliced, not shredded. Sour, not from a sauce but straight from vinegar and gherkins. And layers of sweetness from yogurt, honey and apples.
And there’s the Warm Red Cabbage called for in this recipe, cabbage made with cherry juice, vinegar, and red wine. The recipe for that is included in this post. It’s wonderful by itself, and is surely a major contributor to the beauty and satisfaction of this sandwich.
This recipe is from The Nordic Kitchen by Claus Meyer. It's book filled with that different Nordic perspective from one of the co-founders of the famed Noma restaurant. You can read a full review of the book here.
Roast Pork Sandwich
Yield: serves 4
- 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, ideally homemade
- 1 tablespoon prepared coarsely ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon acacia honey
- Sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper
- 2 apples
- 4 pickled gherkins (preferably cornichons)
- 1 small portion of Warm Red Cabbage, recipe follows
- 1 ¾ pounds leftover roast pork with crispy skin [there’s a great recipe in the book on page 201]
- 4 good-quality buns
Mix the yogurt, mayonnaise, and mustard together in a bowl to make a dressing, and season with the vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper. Wash the apples, quarter them, and remove and discard the cores. Thinly slice the apple quarters and the gherkins.
Heat the red cabbage in a small saucepan. Reheat the pork in a preheated oven at 325°F for 10 to 15 minutes if you wish (reheat before slicing so that it doesn’t become too dry).
Slice the buns and lightly toast them if you like. Spread the mustard dressing on both top and bottom halves. Cut the pork into 8 slices and place 2 slices in each bun. Sprinkle with a little salt and then garnish with the apple slices, warm red cabbage, and sliced gherkins. I usually drain the red cabbage in a sieve just before I add it to the buns to stop the juice from making them wet and soggy too quickly. Sandwich the buns together and serve. The pickled cabbage will eventually seep into the bread, so don’t make the sandwiches in advance but enjoy them immediately.
The roast pork sandwich has become a classic in my Meyers Deli shops in Denmark, and we make it every fall and winter. At Christmas they sell really fast. The roast pork sandwich is lovely for lunch (not least on the day after a “wet” Christmas party), but would definitely make a nice dinner too.
Warm Red Cabbage
Yield: serves 10 to 12
- 1 red cabbage
- Juice of 2 organic oranges
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 star anise
- 4 bay leaves
- ⅔ cup superfine sugar
- 1 ¼ cups concentrated cherry juice
- I cup cherry vinegar
- 1 ¾ cups red wine
- 1 tablespoon sea salt flakes
Slice the red cabbage into quarters and cut and discard the stalk. Slice the cabbage finely and place in a large saucepan with the remaining ingredients and stir over high heat. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and let the cabbage simmer, covered, for 1 to 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally. The liquid should all be absorbed, to result in a blank and clear appearance.
Source: The Nordic Kitchen by Chris Meyer [Mitchell Beazley, 2016]