slow roasted pork sandwich

Just last week I prepared tamales with roast pork and salsa verde. When I went grocery shopping for the ingredients, the smallest pork shoulder they had was 4 pounds, so I decided to use half for the tamales and half for today’s lunch: slowly roasted pork sandwich with Aji cilantro sauce. Most people serve pulled pork sandwiches with BBQ sauce and coleslaw, but I wanted to make a lighter, fresher sandwich with the pork that was equally delicious. I think I hit the jackpot with this recipe!slow roasted pork sandwich with aji cilantro sauceroast pork sandwich

Serves 4


Slow roasted pork sandwich with aji sauce
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  • 2 lb pork shoulder
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 aji or hot peppers
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro, stems included
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped white onion
  • 2 avocados
  • 4 hamburger buns, toasted


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Trim pork shoulder of any large pieces of fat. Season with salt and pepper. Put in a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Wrap with foil and roast in the oven for 2 - 2 1/2 hours or until fork tender. The pork should easily shred with a fork when ready. Shred and keep warm until ready to make sandwiches.
  3. While the pork is roasting, prepare the pickled red onions. Slice the red onions thin. Heat the vinegar, sugar, and salt until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Pour over the red onions and let sit for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  4. Prepare the aji cilantro sauce by combining the aji peppers - lime juice in a blender. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the white onion.
  5. Mash the avocados and season with salt and lime juice. Spread a generous portion of the avocado on each of the buns, about 1/2 an avocado per sandwich. Top with the shredded pork, pickled onions and aji sauce. Serve immediately.

**Helpful tips and common mistakes

If you would like to prepare the pork ahead of time you may do so but I will warn you, it’s best right out of the oven. If you roast the pork the day before, shred when hot and keep it in its juices to prevent it from drying out. Reheat in the oven covered until warm.

The pickled onions can also be prepared the day before or even several days before.

When preparing the aji sauce, you may find it difficult to find aji peppers especially if you are in the United States. I opted for half serrano peppers and half yellow peppers. You can also use habanero or jalapeno.
peppersAt first, I was worried that this sandwich may be on the dry side but it was far from it! The avocado added a nice creamy texture while the pork was warm and tender, the aji sauce spicy but fresh and the pickled onions tart. A great combination of flavors without packing all the calories! You can even serve these as sliders for your next gathering!roast pork sandwich


Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.


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