Smoked Porchetta Pork Loin Sandwich




Makes 6 to 8 servings

Pork rub:
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil

Pork loin:
1 (3-pound) boneless pork loin
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut in chiffonade
1/4 cup fresh oregano, finely minced
6 cloves garlic, crushed or finely minced
1/2 cup olive oil
6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
12 ounces sliced bacon

For the aioli:
1 medium red bell pepper, roasted, or use prepared roasted pepper
3 egg yolks
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste

For the sandwich:
6 to 8 ciabatta rolls
Sliced provolone cheese, sliced tomato and wilted spinach, for garnish

For the rub: In a small bowl, mix all ingredients well; set aside.
Lay pork loin on cutting board. With sharp knife, begin with shallow lengthwise cut in the meat, approximately 1/2 inch deep. Turn knife and work through the meat to butterfly the pork loin into a flat piece of meat, 1/2- to 3/4-inch thick. Trim edges as necessary to produce a rectangle.
Season both sides of pork loin with salt and pepper. Combine basil, oregano, garlic and olive oil, and spread evenly over one side of pork loin. Lay thin-sliced prosciutto over the herb mixture, covering evenly to within 1/2 inch of the edges of the meat. From one long edge, roll the meat tightly.
Generously rub the outside of the meat with the pork rub. Wrap bacon strips around the rolled roast, covering completely. Lay one strip over the edges of the bacon strips to cover. Sprinkle rub on the outside. Using kitchen twine, securely tie the roast. Wrap and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
Remove pork roast from refrigerator to bring up to room temperature for cooking.
Prepare your smoker. The roast may be cooked on any style smoker. I used a kamado-style smoker, using natural lump charcoal and apple wood smoking chunks. At 225 degree smoking temperature, smoke porchetta to internal temperature of 145 degrees, approximately 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
Remove from smoker and let rest 30 to 45 minutes, to allow juices to reabsorb. Cool roast completely, wrap and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
To make the aioli: Roast red pepper on rack in 450-degree oven until skin is evenly charred. Wrap in foil to cool and loosen skin. Remove skin and seeds, rough chop flesh of the pepper.
Add pepper, egg yolks, garlic and vinegar to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse several times until mixture is combined and smooth. With processor running continuously, slowly stream in olive oil and vegetable oil to produce smooth, emulsified mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To make the sandwich: Slice meat very cold for best results. Thinly shave slices of porchetta with a very sharp slicing knife or electric slicer (preferred), approximately 6 ounces of meat per sandwich.
Split fresh ciabatta rolls. Toast lightly. Spread both sides with red pepper aioli. For each sandwich, heat porchetta for several minutes in a lightly oiled sauté pan or on griddle, turning once. After turning, top meat with provolone cheese. After meat is heated through and cheese has begun to melt, transfer the meat/cheese to the ciabatta roll with spatula. In same pan, add spinach leaves and cook until just wilted. Garnish sandwiches with fresh sliced tomato and wilted spinach.