Germany's version of the South Philly cheese steak with a twist

  • Preparation Time40 mins
  • Cooking Time35 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyHard

For the brine

480ml warm spring water
480ml Gewurztraminer wine, at room temperature
115g granulated sugar
1 tsp orange zest
1 tsp lemon zest
1 orange, juiced (about 120ml juice)
1 lemon, juiced (about 3 tbsp juice)
120ml grapeseed oil
120g salt
70g black peppercorns
2 fresh bay leaves
1 (1kg) trimmed boneless pork loin

For the filling

120ml grapeseed oil
1 medium onion, peeled and julienned
1 (175g) bratwurst, casing removed, filling minced
1 (900g) bag sauerkraut, drained
3 green apples, peeled, cored and julienned
120ml bock beer
350g limburger cheese, skin removed (approximately 50g each sandwich)
6 (20cm) black pumpernickel roll with garlic (South Philly hoagie-style roll)
180ml sweet mustard (recommended: Bavarian-style)
German pickles, for garnish
1) In a nonreactive container or resealable plastic bag combine the spring water, Gewurztraminer, sugar, citrus zest and juice, grapeseed oil, salt, peppercorns, and bay leaves. Set aside.

2) Remove the pork loin from the package and pat dry to remove all the liquid, then wash the pork loin under room temperature water and repeat the pat dry method. Trim some fat from the top of the pork loin and place the loin in the brine. Refrigerate for 24 hours below 5C or lower.

3) Remove the pork and discard the brine. Lightly pat the meat dry and place it on a flat 1/2 sheet pan, lightly wrap in cling film and put into the freezer.

4) When the pork is slightly frozen, using a machine slicer (deli slicer) slice the frozen pork paper thin. Portion the pork loin into 6 servings of about 150g each, it doesn't have to be exact. Put each portion on small deli sheets or parchment paper and place in the refrigerator until ready for use. Be sure to properly sanitize the deli slicer and wash it in hot soapy water.

Finishing the sandwich:
1) Preheat a large flat top Philly-style gas griddle about 65cm by 45cm to 180C for 5 minutes. Pour 4 tbsp of the grapeseed oil in the centre of the griddle, spread evenly and allow to heat. Place the julienne onions on 1 side of the griddle and let them caramelize for about 4 minutes.

2) On the other side of the griddle place the minced bratwurst and cook through to an internal temperature of 68C. Chop into smaller crumbles. When the brats and the onions are fully cooked, about 5 minutes more, toss them together and to one side of the griddle on a low heat (70C for hot holding).

3) On the empty side of the griddle, place the sauerkraut and julienned apples and cook until tender, another 4 minutes. When they are fully cooked toss them together with the onions and bratwurst. Deglaze the griddle with the beer and reduce until it has evaporated. Hold the apple mixture with the onion and bratwurst on the cooler part of the griddle.

4) Remove the shaved pork loin from the refrigerator. Drizzle the last of the grapeseed oil on the part of the griddle that is at 180C and cook the shaved pork loin for about 5 minutes. Lightly rough chop the shaved pork loin Philly style: place 1 spatula on a section of the pork loin and hold firmly and with a second spatula pull gently apart (pull away from each other and away from your body).

5) When the shaved chopped pork loin is fully cooked with no visible blood, and is fully chopped, toss with the warm sauerkraut, onion, apple, and bratwurst, and section into 6 portions on the griddle. Top each portion with 50g of Limburger cheese.

6) Place 1 sliced pumpernickel hoagie roll on top of the melted cheese/pork portion and place a spatula under it. Place one hand on top of the roll and flip sunny side up while catching the pork-melted cheese stuffed roll in the same hand that you use to place on the roll.

7) Serve with mustard, German pickles and German beer.

Cook's Notes: The proper way to order this sandwich is:
1) 'Pork wit' which means 'everything and with cheese'.
2) 'Pork wit-outenzi' which means 'no cheese only'.
The proper way to eat this sandwich is called the South Philly Slump: Place the sandwich in your hands lengthways, starting at one end only of the sandwich, push your buttocks out away from you (in a duck position) and lean slightly towards the front, so that you do not drip all over yourself.

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