Big Game Italian Pulled Pork Sandwiches

This weekend there is a big game. I repeat, BIG. GAME.
first day preschool
This I know, because I happened to get married on this BIG. GAME. weekend, nine years ago and most of my friends will NEVER let me live that down.
Happy 9 years, Mikey, on 9/15.
Big Game Italian Pulled Pork Sandwiches
The Iowa State Cyclones and the Iowa Hawkeyes will square off tomorrow and if you’re like me, the food served at the tailgate party is more important than the game itself.
italian pulled pork
These Italian Pulled Pork Sandwiches save the day and make a killer sandwich that is make-ahead-worthy and packed with flavor!
Big Game Italian Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Plus, when we’re celebrating the rally around the pigskin, it is only appropriate to eat THE PIG. Pulled pork is as versatile as anything in the kitchen. It is easy to make and can fit into so many different recipes. If you end up with leftovers from this recipe somehow, serve them up with garlic-buttered pasta and parmesan cheese instead of the gooey farmer’s cheese I suggest for the sandwich. You won’t be disappointed, trust me.
Big Game Italian Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Tomorrow 9/10 on Snapchat, find me (CristenCClark) because I’ll be with my brother in law, Drew and we will be riding through some cattle and talking about my other favorite protein, BEEF! He loves being the center of attention (NOT) so I’ll let him tell you about the time that the “She Loves Country” magazine Facebook page with 1.3 million followers stole his picture from my blog and posted it…
Big Game Italian Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Well… we can chat more on that tomorrow.

Did I mention that these sandwiches work great for harvest meals too… before you know it we’ll be:
Harvest 2015 Party

Big Game Italian Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Peppers and Onions

by: Cristen
Makes 8 sandwiches

For Italian Pulled Pork:
1 pork shoulder roast (weight: around 3 lbs.)
1 packet of dry Italian dressing mix
1 tsp seasoned salt (Lawry’s)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup italian dressing
For Peppers and Onions:
2 tsp olive oil
1 TBSP butter
2 yellow onions, cut into 1/2” rings, then rings cut into half
4 bell peppers of various colors, cut into 1/2″ strips
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
3/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
To complete sandwiches:
8 hearty sandwich rolls or hamburger buns
2 TBSP butter for spreading onto rolls
3/4 pound of farmer’s cheese, grated (select any cheese you wish, pepperjack for a kick!)
For Pork:
Remove pork shoulder from packaging, set on a plate or cutting board. Combine dressing mix, seasoned salt and black pepper. Rub into roast, place in slow cooker. Add one cup of chicken stock or water. Pour Italian dressing over roast. Cover and set slow cooker on LOW setting for 6-8 hours, or when roast pulls apart easily.
For Peppers and Onions:
In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil, butter and onions. Cook until onions begin to soften, 5 minutes. Add pepper strips, Italian seasoning, garlic salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring often, until onions and peppers are softened, but not mushy, 10 minutes. Remove from heat, set aside.
To Assemble:
Pull pork, removing excess fat with a spoon off the top of the surface of the cooking liquid with a spoon. Stir pulled pork with juices. Warm peppers and onions if needed (these will melt the cheese!)
Butter rolls and toast them, if desired.
Using a slotted spoon, add pork to bottom half of bun. Add a spoonful of pepper and onion mixture. Add farmer’s cheese. Cover with remaining bun top, wrap in foil or serve immediately.

Note: It is important to have a hearty bun, because of the juiciness of the sandwich. If your bun is light, fluffy and soft, the juices may soak right and you’ll have a soft sandwich. Toasting the buns helps keep them sturdy too.
Note: Buy cheese in a block and grate it. The cheese always tastes better this way, and melts better too! *Because stabilizers that help pre-shredded cheese hold its shape are not included in the block version.
Flavor-town: Want more acidity to the dish? Drizzle some additional Italian dressing over the cheese on the sandwich. Whole grain mustard adds an interesting dimension as well.

Alternative: For a different meal, swap buns for one pound of pasta with 2 TBSP butter plus 1 tsp garlic salt, and swap cheese for parmesan.

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  • Reply juliabarrett September 9, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    Love pulled pork anything! I’m a U of IA alum and a huge Hawkeye fan- although I love the Cyclones too! This is a big game. I’ll be watching.

  • Reply Diann September 9, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    I know ..big game I work at HYvee in Ames. Think for sure Iowa Hawkeyes will win,,I will not be watching..I will be working..

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