Mini Cuban Reubens with Pulled Pork and Orange Mayo
Total: 3 hr 20 min(includes cooling time)
Active: 1 hr 20 min
One of the first grilled cheeses I ever made at The Foundry on Melrose, these bite-sized sammies from The Great Grilled Cheese Book are an homage to my dearest friend and chef Alfonso Ramirez. Just like when we get together, these bad boys are trouble.
a stovetop pressure cooker; a double-burner cast-iron griddle pan
For the pork: Season the pork pieces with salt and place in a stove-top pressure cooker. Add the garlic, orange juice and orange peels. Place the lid on top put over high heat. Once it comes to pressure, cook on high pressure for 45 minutes.
When finished cooking, cool and release pressure according to manufacturer's directions. Very carefully open the cooker and, using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a plate.
Strain the remaining liquid into a high-sided saute pan over medium-high heat, reserving the softened garlic for later, and reduce until a glaze consistency, 5 to 10 minutes. This will be for your Orange Mayo.
When the pork is cool enough to handle, using 2 forks or your fingers, shred it, transfer it to a heatproof bowl, and pour the reduced cooking liquid over the meat.
For the kraut: Add the shredded cabbage, vinegar, orange juice, honey, and salt to a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When the liquid comes to a boil, remove from the heat and let cool in the liquid to room temperature. Once cooled, remove the quick pickled cabbage from the liquid and put into a bowl, storing in the refrigerator until needed.
For the orange mayo: Add the mayonnaise, mustard and softened garlic to a large bowl and whisk to combine making sure the garlic is thoroughly blended. Pour in about 1/2 cup of the reduced orange sauce and whisk until thoroughly smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Line up all of the bread slices on a work surface. Spread each slice with 1 tablespoon of the orange mayo. Top half of the bread slices with 1/8 of the grated cheese, one-fourth of the pork, a small mound of the kraut, 4 pickle chips, and a second layer of grated cheese. Close the sandwiches with the remaining mayo-bread slices.
Line a large platter with paper towels. Preheat a double burner cast iron griddle pan over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons butter. Once the butter has melted, turn down the heat to low, add 2 sandwiches, and cook, turning once, for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until browned and crisp on both sides and the cheese is melted. Transfer to the prepared platter to blot the excess grease. Repeat with the remaining butter and sandwiches.