- 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil (such as canola)
- 1 orange, halved
- 1 cup whole milk
- 5 thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 ounce Verde Capra blue cheese or other blue cheese, crumbled
- 1 ounce aged white cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/2 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 tablespoon minced parsley
- 1 teaspoon finely minced shallot
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard
- 2 artisan organic sourdough bread slices, lightly toasted
- 3 tablespoons apricot preserves
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- dash of red pepper flakes (optional)
How to Make It
Step 1 Make the carnitas. Preheat oven to 275°F. Season pork shoulder with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over moderate heat. Sear pork shoulder until golden brown all over, 5 to 6 minutes per side. Remove pork from pan. Pour off drippings and discard. Return pork to pan and squeeze juice from orange halves over pork. Add spent rinds to pan along with milk, thyme, and bay leaf. Cover with a lid or two layers of aluminum foil. Roast in preheated oven until very tender, pork is sizzling in fat, and a meat thermometer registers 195°F, 3 to 4 hours. Let pork rest for 20 minutes. Shred pork, discarding any large pieces of fat.
Step 2 Make the grilled cheese: In a small bowl, fold together the blue cheese, cheddar, Parmesan, parsley, and shallot. In a second small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise and mustard.
Step 3 Spread each slice of bread with the mayonnaise-mustard mixture. Top one slice with cheese mixture, 1/3 cup carnitas, and preserve, add a dash of red pepper flakes, then top with remaining bread slice.
Step 4 Melt butter in a cast-iron skillet or griddle over moderate heat. Press the sandwich and top with another skillet or heavy, heatproof plate. Cook until bread is golden and cheese is melted, about 5 minutes per side. This is ever easier in a panini press if you have one.
This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine Magazine