Pork lion is a hugely underrated cut of pork which I think is where a lot of people think this cut is dry and tough, but this is only where it’s a lean cut of pork but if cooked properly is juicy and tender and using a meat thermometer helps you achieve this consistently.
To make this sandwich we are going to start off by making a dry rub to help bring out the flavour of the pork.
¼ cup caster sugar
¼ cup salt
1 Tbs fennel seeds
1 Tbs ground black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
Take the fennel seeds and place them into a spice grinder (pestle and mortar will work fine) and then mix with the other ingredients.
To cook the pork
Take your pork loin (2kg piece is a good size) and brush lightly with Dijon mustard and apply an even coating of the dry rub all over the pork loin.
Setup your BBQ for indirect cooking and preheat the BBQ (or the oven) to 300f/150c. Place 1 hand full of wood chips onto the coals and then place the pork on the cool side of the grill, place your meat probe into the centre of the pork joint and shut the lid.
You’ll want to set your alarm for 150f/65c internal meat temperature. This will probably take between 1 hour – 1 hour 30 mins. When your meat reaches the target temp (it’s always good to double check different places in the meat to ensure it has cooked evenly) Take it off the grill and rest on the side covered with a piece of foil for 30 minutes.
Whilst the pork is resting you can then make the side components of the sandwich.
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Juice of a lemon
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
2 fennel bulbs
1 small red onion
1 coxes apple
Pinch of salt
Mix together sour cream, Dijon mustard & lemon juice in a bowl and place to one side
Then take the fennel bulb, trim the top (save this for later) and bottom of the bulb, half the bulb down the centre removing any tough parts in the core and then finely slice along with red onion and apple.
Mix everything together in a large bowl and season with salt to taste. Finally take the top of the fennel bulb that you saved earlier and take any springs of fennel and use these as garnish on top.
Grilled Apple Sauce
2 Bramley apples
Juice of ½ lemon
½ cup apple juice
1 Tbsp caster sugar
A little butter and pinch of salt
Start off by peeling and coring the apples and then grill these until blackened and caramelised. Then place them into a saucepan with the lemon juice, half of the apple juice and sugar. Bring the pan to a light simmer and place the lid on the pan stirring the apples regularly (if the pan dries out just add more apple juice). Once the apples have gone soft blend them using a stick blender until smooth. Once finished stir in a knob of butter and then add salt to taste.
Building the Sandwich
To build the sandwich, take a nice bun (brioche is my favourite) and place a table spoon of the apple sauce on the bottom of the bun, then place a couple of slices of the pork on the bun and then top this with a pinch of the slaw. Put the top half of the bun on and dig in. (Serves 10)