The Ultimate Philly Italian Pork Sandwich: A DiNic’s Copycat Recipe

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting Philadelphia, you know that while cheesesteaks are iconic, the real gem is the Philadelphia Italian pork sandwich. This multi-dimensional masterpiece is piled high with pulled pork, smothered in either drippy broccoli rabe or spinach, topped with peppers, and blanketed with gooey provolone cheese, all nestled in a perfectly crisp yet soft Italian roll. It’s a symphony of flavors that surpasses your average cheesesteak in every sense.

Unraveling the Magic of the Philly Italian Pork Sandwich

Before we dive into the details of this renowned sandwich, let’s break down what makes a Philly-style Italian pork sandwich truly special. Tender pulled pork takes center stage, complemented by a generous serving of either broccoli rabe or spinach, depending on your preference. The sandwich is then adorned with flavorful peppers and a decadent layer of melted provolone cheese. The final touch is a perfectly baked Italian roll, adding a satisfying crunch to each bite.

While cheesesteaks may be the go-to choice for many, my college years in Philadelphia opened my eyes to the wonders of this Italian pork delight. My favorite spot was DiNic’s, tucked away in Reading Terminal Market. Every visit was an experience, from the vibrant veggie market to the mouth-watering aroma of the pork sandwich. DiNic’s offered the perfect combination of pulled pork, broccoli rabe, provolone cheese, and a mix of sweet bell peppers and spicy long hots. It was pure indulgence.

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Crafting the Perfect Recipe

To recreate the magic of DiNic’s iconic Italian pork sandwich, I embarked on a journey of research and experimentation. I delved into videos, pored over Google images, and scrutinized every component to ensure that this recipe would capture the essence of an authentic Philly experience.

The heart of this recipe lies in the roasting process. It demands time and effort, but the end result is well worth it. While some may suggest using an Instant Pot, I believe that slow-roasting in the oven yields a depth of flavor that simply can’t be replicated.

The roasting process includes various steps to achieve the perfect texture and tenderness:

  • Roast the pork for 35 minutes, then add a liquid base of stock, wine, tomatoes, and bay leaves.
  • Roast for an additional 2 hours, then cut the pork into chunks and incorporate it into the braising liquid.
  • Continue roasting for another 2 to 2 ½ hours until the pork is fork-tender.

The total roasting time amounts to approximately 5 hours, but trust me, the result is a succulent and flavorful pork that will transport you straight to the streets of Philadelphia.

The Magic of DiNic’s Recreated in Your Own Kitchen

Now that we’ve mastered the art of roasting the pork, it’s time to assemble the ultimate Philly Italian pork sandwich. For the complete recipe instructions, head over to Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ’s official website here.

In summary, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Marinate the pork shoulder overnight, seasoning it with a blend of fennel seeds, thyme, oregano, rosemary, parsley, and garlic.
  2. Roast the pork and peppers simultaneously in a preheated oven, allowing the flavors to meld and the meat to become tender.
  3. Sauté broccoli rabe with garlic and crushed red pepper flakes until wilted and tender.
  4. Once the pork is cooked and tender, shred it into succulent chunks and mix it with the braising liquid.
  5. Build your sandwich by layering sharp provolone slices on toasted Italian bread, topping it with pulled pork, sautéed broccoli rabe, and optional peppers for an added kick.
  6. Finish off with slices of tangy pepperoncini, adding a delightful contrast to the flavors.
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The true beauty of this sandwich lies in its versatility. Whether you devour it fresh and hot, enjoy it at room temperature, or even savor a bit of its cold, soggy remnants from the refrigerator (we all have our guilty pleasures), one thing is for certain—you’ll never be disappointed.

So, if a trip to Philly isn’t in your immediate future, bring the magic of DiNic’s into your own kitchen by recreating this authentic Italian pork sandwich. Visit Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ for the full recipe and step-by-step instructions. Get ready to embark on a flavor-packed journey that will leave you craving more.