Our team just got back from a weekend at Feast Portland, where we hosted the festival’s welcome party with chefs Nick Anderer and Mei Lin, and served up inspiring fare in the Grand Tasting at our Williams-Sonoma Open Kitchen Booth. On the menu? Chefs’ Collective member Jason French’s smoked pork loin sandwiches.
Chef French and Lucian Prellwitz, his chef de cuisine at Ned Ludd, developed this pork loin sandwich recipe, which combines a pleasing blend of lean meat and creamy cheese, and rich mayo and piquant, crunchy sauerkraut. They were, in fact, so delicious that we begged the team for the recipe.
There’s nothing fast about this recipe — you’ll need to start your efforts a week in advance — but put in the effort, and you’ll be rewarded tenfold with a delicious bite you’ll want to savor again and again. You’ll also have plenty of leftover pork loin, which you can freeze and use later or add to salads and quesadillas. The mayonnaise is made with lemon omani, a Persian ingredient sold at Middle Eastern markets and online made from lemons that have been boiled in salt water, then ground and dried.
Smoked Pork Loin, Quick Kraut, Swiss Cheese, Omani Mayo and Chipotle Sandwich
For the smoked pork loin:
1 1/2 cups (10 oz./310 g) kosher salt
1 cup (8 oz./250 g) sugar
1 cup (12 oz./375 g) honey
1 Tbs. allspice berries
1 Tbs. whole coriander seeds
1 Tbs. black peppercorns
1 tsp. whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 boneless pork loin roast, about 5 lb. (2.5 kg)
For the quick kraut:
1 head green cabbage, about 3 1/2 lb. (1.75 kg), shredded
1 1/2 Tbs. kosher salt
For the omani mayo:
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) mayonnaise
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. ground lemon omani
For assembling the sandwiches:
12 potato buns, split
Williams-Sonoma Chipotle Drizzling Sauce as needed
12 slices good Swiss cheese
A week before you want to make the sandwiches, prepare the pork. In a large pot, combine the salt, sugar, honey, allspice, coriander, peppercorns, cloves and cinnamon stick with 1 gallon (64 fl. oz./2 l) of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn off the heat and let sit for 15 minutes. In a large container, like a food-safe 2-gallon (4-l) bucket, pour the brine over 2 quarts of ice and let cool to room temperature or cooler.
Cut the pork loin into thirds and submerge in the brine. Cover and refrigerate for 1 week.
After 1 week, remove the pork from the brine and discard the brine. Pat the pork dry and let sit, uncovered, in the refrigerator overnight to dry.
Remove the pork from the refrigerator and let sit for 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat a smoker to 200°F (95°C). Smoke the pork loin until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 155°F (68°C), 3 to 4 hours. Let rest for about 30 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Three days to 1 week before you want to make the sandwiches, make the quick kraut. Put the cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle evenly with the salt. Using your hands, firmly massage the salt into the cabbage, crushing the cabbage lightly. Transfer to a clean glass jar and store in a cool, dark place for 3 days to 1 week. The longer you leave it, the more sour it will be.
To make the omani mayonnaise, in a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, lemon juice and omani. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).
To assemble the sandwiches, thinly slice the pork loin. Spread the bottom of a bun with the omani mayonnaise and top with about 1/4 lb. (250 g) of the smoked pork. Top the pork with a spoonful of the kraut and a slice of cheese. Drizzle with the chipotle sauce and top with the top half of the bun. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Wrap each sandwich separately in aluminum foil and place in the oven until warmed through, about 15 minutes. Serve warm. Serves 12.