John's Roast Pork and Cheesesteak question
Let me preface this by saying John's is my favorite for both pork and steaks in the city. I'd like to try to...(gasp)...try to create such masterpieces in my home. I am a pretty good cook but am not a meat specialist. My question is regarding a copycat recipe I could use in my house. I know that some steak places use the ribeye and slice it thin when it's partially frozen. I wonder what John's uses? Also what part of the pig for the pork? Then when that is established any ideas on how to season and how to cook these beasts? For the steak would you season it in advance and let it stand or season it when it's on the griddle and season it with what. I have the bread down pat that's a given. As is the cheese and toppings if so desired. Could probably use some help on the greens.(I like spinach, not the rabe...too bitter). So in summary does anyone know what parts I would buy and how to season and cook them to achieve some kind of comparison to John's(Or if you like others and want to chime in that would be great too). Also, once the pork is cooked and sliced, how about the thin gravy they keep it in, any ideas how to make that? Sorry for the long post but I'm gonna have some time on my hands over the holidays and want to work on this. Also, I hope this makes the PA board and is not shiped to home cooking as not many people will be able to relate to this goodness. Thank you
When I was a grill cook at a place that specialized in Philly Cheessteaks we used Ribeye that we would hand trim some of the fat off of. We would then put the slabs of meat in the freezer to firm them up just enough for slicing. We would then put the meat in the cylander attachment for the industrial meat slicer we had, and sliced the meat paper thin.
For the record this is how we prepared the Philly Cheesesteak:
As for cooking we made each sandwich to order so there was no pile of cooked onions, or beef sitting on the grill. The method we used was to squirt some veg. oil on the flat top griddle, throw down the beef, and then some onions, and squirt a little more veg. oil on the pile... We would season with salt, and pepper, and go to work with the 2 metal spatulas, pulling, and tearing the meat, and onions into smaller pieces on the grill. When the meat and onions were cooked we would put provolone cheese on the meat/onion mix, and fold the pile over, and top with the sliced philly roll for long enough for the cheese to melt, and the roll to get steamed a little. For my personal Philly I would top it with tomatoes, chopped mild cherry peppers, and sliced jalapenos. Sometimes I would grill the 2 peppers with the meat and onions..
I had to go to the expert on this one but can anyone elaborate on which part of the sirloin or any other tips...
From LaBan's live chat...
Q.Hey Craig, I'm wondering if you have some insight on how I can make a John's Roast Pork style cheesesteak at home. I have the Carangi bread down...now, what kind of cut of meat would I get and how do I order it? How do I season it? Any other tips? I'm not looking for business secrets, just your take on how to make a killer steak at home like the Bucci's do. Thanks
Tonyjlive, Philly 3/13/07
A.Tonyjlive - Funny you should mention it, but I was just discussin this with John himself. I don't want to give away too much here - though it's the passion and Jonn's griddle chops that make it so good, not a recipe. Still, there are some things I can share. Many, many steakeries serve a cut of ribeye, but John belies this is tough. He uses a portion of the sirloin. The other thing is not to use pre-frozen meat. When you see a stiff brick of wafer meat go down on the griddle (like I saw this week at Spataro's new steakery in the Terminal) you know it's going to be dry. John chills his meat in the freezer just enough so he can slice it thin, but it never really freezes. And the meat is really just right. Add a 2-street helping of sharp provolone. Season it with salt and an extra helping of South PHilly tough love, and you might just be on your way to recreating a classic. But then, of course, you wouldn't have all that ambiance.
Craig LaBan 3/13/07
Here's how I make great roast pork
8 lb pork shoulder roast. If you want the roast pork to shred, take the string off the roast. If you are going to slice it, leave the string on;
1 bulb garlic, peeled;
1⁄4 cup dried oregano;
1⁄2 cup dried marjoram;
1⁄2 cup dried parsley leaves;
1⁄2 cup bay leaves;
1⁄2 cup basil leaves;
1⁄2 cup dried rosemary;
1⁄2 cup dried sage leaves;
salt and pepper to taste;
2 cups white wine; and
Throw the pork roast and all the ingredients into a roaster oven and fill with water as high as possible without having it boil over out of the roaster pan. Crank the heat up and let that baby churn and reduce the liquid for a while. After it reduces a bit fill with more water and continue to let it cook. It will take 4 or so hours. When its done, fill it up with some more water and let it chill completely and all the fat will solidify and form a blanket on top on the liquid, just roll that fat up and toss it.
Dry rubbed pork sholder, low and slow. Braising, maybe in a crock pot would be a good idea, possibly. The juices would come directly from the pork and the spices. I'd use an italian style rub. Rosemary, oregano, and the like......little salt, little pepper and lots of garlic.
These suggestions are not from experience, be forewarned!