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  • Herrine Ro: In a city known for its sandwiches,

  • the roast pork sandwich is a Philadelphia local favorite.

  • We visited three famous spots,

  • John's Roast Pork, Tommy DiNic's,

  • and High Street on Market,

  • to find which roast pork sandwich is best in town.

  • So, Erin, cheesesteak is probably

  • the most iconic legendary sandwich in this city,

  • but the roast pork sandwich is just as popular, if not more.

  • Customer: I'm a roast pork guy.

  • Customer: Roast pork.

  • Customer: Definitely the roast pork sandwich.

  • Herrine: So, obviously, we want great roast pork.

  • It has to be juicy

  • and a generous amount of it in the sandwich.

  • And, you know, the cheese and the vegetables

  • shouldn't be an afterthought.

  • It should all play together

  • and make this great sandwich,

  • and the bread should be able to sop up all that juiciness

  • and still retain its shape.

  • Erin Kommor: I am so ready. I -

  • I love a hefty sandwich.

  • Herrine: A hefty sandwich.

  • Erin: A hefty sandwich! Let's go!

  • Herrine: So, we are in South Philly right now,

  • and we are going to John's Roast Pork.

  • This place is a institution.

  • And they are famous for its namesake sandwich,

  • and also its cheesesteak.

  • Erin: Look! The little piggy.

  • Herrine: Yeah, that's gonna be us

  • by the end of this video.

  • John Bucci: The roast pork is really, is really special.

  • It is just a great blend of flavors when done correctly.

  • Customer: I've had roast pork sandwiches

  • everywhere you can find them,

  • and I've never found one like this.

  • Customer: Roast pork in South Philadelphia

  • is one of the traditions, and absolutely love it.

  • John: The reason why it's so popular in Philadelphia,

  • especially South Philadelphia,

  • is when we would have family get-togethers, weddings,

  • they would have roast pork sandwiches.

  • That became associated with celebrations.

  • What goes into our pork sandwiches?

  • A lot of TLC.

  • It's my grandfather's recipe.

  • We still do it the same way.

  • We'll get a fresh ham, and it has the bone in it.

  • You take the big bone in the middle out,

  • butterfly it, leave the tailbone in.

  • Season the inside.

  • Just use your five favorite ingredients,

  • herbs and spices.

  • Because it's too many competing flavors.

  • Like, five is the perfect number.

  • You tie it up.

  • We cover it with salt,

  • roast it in the oven for six hours,

  • take it out, put it in the refrigerator,

  • let it sit overnight,

  • then you slice it on the machine real thin.

  • It would not be good if you didn't hand slice.

  • It's not like roast beef.

  • It would be chewy.

  • Cut the bag.

  • And voilà, there's our beautiful bread.

  • When assembling the pork sandwich,

  • the first thing we have to do is take

  • the top part of the inside of the roll out

  • because we put so much meat, it just wouldn't fit.

  • Two handfuls of sharp provolone.

  • And the way you know it's good sharp provolone:

  • if it's bits and pieces.

  • Then the pork goes on, forkful on at a time.

  • The gravy is the most important thing.

  • So, you take those drippings,

  • and that's the secret that I can't tell you about,

  • is how we, you know, extract the gravy.

  • Then you would put the spinach, sautéed spinach on top.

  • Herrine: Why spinach? Why not broccoli?

  • John: There are things that are very -

  • in Italian, we say "shabi,"

  • it doesn't really have a lot of taste.

  • Oh, my pork, Jesus, it's loaded with taste.

  • So it doesn't need broccoli rabe.

  • And then you would just,

  • ladleful of gravy, and you're done.

  • Squeeze the roll.

  • Herrine: We're trying two, but....

  • Erin: They're both really cute. This one has, like,

  • got a little personality.

  • Herrine: Mm-hmm. I mean, they both do, right?

  • Erin: They both do, yeah.

  • Herrine: Let's start with the,

  • like, the classic version first.

  • Erin: The bread looks amazing.

  • Herrine: It's a juicy girl.

  • It's dripping.

  • All right, shall we?

  • Erin: Yep.

  • Herrine: Yep, that's it.

  • Erin: Oh, my God.

  • Herrine: That might be just

  • the juiciest sandwich I've ever had.

  • Erin: Hands down, in my entire life.

  • Herrine: Like, more than a roast beef.

  • Erin: More than, like, a French dip.

  • I really dig this.

  • I like this better than a cheesesteak. I'm gonna say it.

  • Herrine: Do you know what I mean when I say that

  • the roast pork sandwich is much more balanced?

  • Erin: Totally.

  • Herrine: You got the sharpness and the pungency

  • of the sharp provolone,

  • and then you get, like, the salty, fatty, herby roast pork,

  • and then you get, like, the vegetal...

  • Erin: Earthy.

  • Herrine: Earthy taste of the spinach.

  • Erin: No, I agree.

  • Herrine: Which, like John said, an outlier ingredient,

  • because most of the time it's with broccoli rabe.

  • The spinach, because it's, like, cooked

  • and, like, sautéed in garlic and oil,

  • it provides, like, this almost additional silky texture

  • that makes it a lot more juicy and enjoyable.

  • Erin: And then the crunchiness of the bread holds

  • all those, like, wet, soppy, amazing ingredients.

  • Herrine: Gravy! That's also the secret.

  • Erin: The gravy! And the bread just sops all of it up.

  • Herrine: Do you want to try the roast pork by itself?

  • Erin: Yeah. It's so tender.

  • Herrine: Normally roast pork, I feel like,

  • is a very lean meat, but honestly,

  • very generous helping of the gravy

  • and the way that he trims the ham in-house,

  • I think he, like, leaves some of that fat on there.

  • So this is a fattier roast pork than what I'm used to.

  • Erin: I feel like they've done pork better

  • than I've ever had it.

  • Herrine: One thing I will say -

  • it is a little too sharp.

  • Erin: Hold on, can we try this one?

  • Herrine: Yo, the lesson for today,

  • mustard and roast pork, match made in heaven.

  • Erin: He knows what he's doing.

  • Herrine: But for the sake of this video,

  • we should be only judging on this one.

  • So, my biggest curiosity is, you haven't had

  • a roast pork sandwich with the broccoli rabe,

  • which is, like, what is, like, Erin: I have not.

  • the classic combination.

  • So I wonder if that's going to kind of, like,

  • tilt your....

  • Erin: I have no idea.

  • Herrine: So, this is another iconic place.

  • It is the most essential shop

  • in Reading Terminal Market.

  • It's DiNic's!

  • They were nominated for their roast pork sandwich,

  • the best sandwich in America.

  • Erin: The best sandwich in America!

  • Herrine: The best sandwich in America!

  • Erin: That is amazing. Look how cute this place is!

  • Herrine: I know, there's so many things going on.

  • Erin: Let's go!

  • Joe Nicolosi: Our recipe has been passed down.

  • My father learned with his father,

  • and I did with my father. That being said,

  • there's nothing, there's no great secret here;

  • it's just kind of good basics.

  • Customer: I love the way that the roll absorbs

  • all that, that juicy goodness.

  • It feels authentic. It feels Italian.

  • Joe: A few years back, Adam Richman named us

  • the best sandwich in the country,

  • which was humbling.

  • Adam Richmond: Oh, wow.

  • My brother.

  • Joe: Actually, when we won best sandwich in America,

  • John from John's Roast Pork called us.

  • So that was a very nice thing.

  • We have the local butcher shop

  • right around the corner here in the market.

  • We get those fresh hams.

  • We season them and tie them up to our liking.

  • Salt, pepper, and garlic and rosemary

  • and marjoram and thyme.

  • We put them in a roasting pan with a pigskin and onion,

  • and then they go into the oven.

  • So, they're roasted for approximately five hours.

  • We make a stock as we're going along,

  • roasting the roast pork.

  • Pull them from the oven, let them cool down.

  • They go into the walk-in box for 24 hours,

  • and then the next day they will be sliced,

  • but they need to be sliced cold.

  • We take the cold sliced roast pork throughout the day,

  • which then gets put right into the stock,

  • which is so hot.

  • It heats up just in moments because it's, like, so thin.

  • First timer, I would definitely suggest getting

  • roast pork with sharp provolone and broccoli rabe.

  • It is quite good with broccoli rabe and provolone.

  • It works all very well together.

  • Broccoli rabe is kind of, depending -

  • a lot of people who haven't had it before

  • might not take to it.

  • It's a strong flavor. It's a bitter green.

  • And then depending on how you like it,

  • if you like it a little bit wet, we put some more

  • gravy, stock, au jus on top of it.

  • Herrine: Look, the bread sopped up that juice.

  • And this is the first one

  • that you're having with broccoli rabe.

  • Erin: This is true.

  • Herrine: So, like, the traditional way of having it.

  • Erin: And I'm a fan of broccoli rabe.

  • Herrine: Let's try the pork by itself, shall we?

  • Erin: That's really good.

  • Herrine: That's insane, how such a lean cut of pork

  • can be that flavorful.

  • That is so f---ing good. Erin: It's so good.

  • Herrine: That bottom end piece,

  • where all that juice sopped up.

  • Erin: All the juice. It's perfect.

  • And the bread is so - it holds it so well.

  • Like, it's not soaking through -

  • Herrine: The seasoning here is really what gets it for me.

  • Like, that pepperiness,

  • the spices that they use, the herbiness.

  • I am going to ask...

  • Erin: For more jus?

  • Herrine: If it's possible to get it on the side.

  • Erin: I think it's possible.

  • Herrine: Normally they don't do this, so, like....

  • [Erin laughing]

  • In hindsight, that must have been a little too much.

  • Erin: I would drink that.

  • That is the most flavorful, rich, fatty, beautiful sauce.

  • Herrine: Because there's so much going on with the pork

  • and the broccoli rabe, you can't really taste the cheese.

  • Erin: And I kind of prefer it that way.

  • I don't love when cheese overpowers it

  • to the point of it taking away from the meat.

  • The meat's the star, and the bread for me is,

  • everything really complements each other.

  • Herrine: I love it.

  • This sandwich is, I don't want to say it's perfect

  • because I feel like there's always room for perfection,

  • but this is the closest thing.

  • Last and final stop is High Street on Market.

  • Erin: Ooh.

  • Herrine: And this place has a new interpretation

  • on the roast pork sandwich.

  • Erin: Yes, and you told me

  • it was a fancy roast pork sandwich.

  • What does that mean?

  • Herrine: All I know is that they use a Lancaster pork

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