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philadelphia roast pork ready to be sliced in granite ware pan

Philadephia Roast Pork Sandwich

Roast pork loin is transformed into this most popular Philadelphia roast pork sandwich infused with garlic and herbs, served on seeded bread with cheese, peppers and broccoli rabe. Oh yes!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 6 hours
Cook Time 1 hour
14 minutes
Total Time 7 hours 14 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 339kcal
Author Marie


To season the meat (see HERBS note)

  • Boneless roast pork loin , 4 pounds
  • Salt (table salt), (1.5 to 2 tablespoons total; suggested use of 1 to 1.5 teaspoons per pound])
  • Black pepper , 2 to 3 teaspoons
  • Fresh rosemary large handful chopped, about ½ cup
  • Fresh parsley large handful chopped, about ½ cup
  • Fresh sage large handful chopped, about ½ cup
  • Garlic , 8 cloves
  • Olive oil , ¼ cup

To roast the meat

  • 1 cup carrots sliced or use baby carrots
  • 1 large onion cut into chunks
  • 2 ribs celery chopped
  • 1 cup white wine

For the greens:

  • Broccoli rabe , 1 bunch
  • Crushed red pepper flakes , about ¼ teaspoon or to taste
  • Garlic , 1 clove minced
  • Olive oil , 1 to 2 tablespoons

For the au jus:

  • Pan drippings , strained
  • 1 cup Chicken stock

To assemble/serve the sandwiches:

  • Sharp provolone , 2 slices per sandwich
  • Loose rolls or baguette portions , 1 per person
  • roasted peppers or long hots (or both!)


For the meat:

  • Remove raw meat from wrapping and lay flat on a clean dry surface.
  • Sprinkle each side with the seasoning ingredients: salt, black pepper, herbs, garlic, and olive oil (see herb note). I always use salt first so it really can sink into the meat.
  • After seasoning, fold roast in half (if using deboned roast; otherwise no fold or roll necessary) and secure with butcher or kitchen twice and wrap tightly with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to rest.
  • Allow meat to absorb flavorings for a minimum of 6 hours or up to overnight.
  • Before cooking, unwrap roast and allow the roast to come to room temperature for about 45 minutes.
  • In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • While the oven is preheating, begin browning the meat on the stove top. Coat the bottom of a large pan with olive oil and brown the roast on all sides on the stove top. Time to browning will vary depending on power of burner. You'll just need a little color on the roast.
  • Prepare to oven roast the meat. Add carrots, celery, onion and wine to a roasting pan, and immediately transfer the roast on top of vegetables.
  • Roasting time will vary according to weight of your roast (guideline is 20 min per pound uncovered; I covered mine so the juices accumulated and didn't burn off and mine was finished in about 15 minutes per pound, which totaled 1 hour for a 4 pound roast). Finished temperature should read 145 degrees F.
  • Alternatively, the meat can be cooked in the slow cooker (suggested slow cooker time is 2 to 4 hours on low; check meat early for finished cooked temperature of 145 degrees F.)
  • After the meat is cooked, allow it to cool for 10 minutes and then slice very thinly.
  • While the meat is cooking, prepare the broccoli rabe.

For the broccoli rabe:

  • Rinse the broccoli rabe thoroughly and break or cut about ½ inch from the ends, which can be very tough.
  • Fill a large pot (big enough to cover broccoli rabe with water), add water and salt (1 teaspoon per quart of water), and bring to a boil.
  • When the water is boiling, submerge the broccoli rabe and cook for about 1.5 to 2 minutes, until just tender.
  • In a medium-sized frying pan, saute red pepper flakes and 1 clove of minced garlic in olive oil until fragrant.
  • Add the cooked broccoli rabe, toss only until flavored, and set aside until you are ready to assemble the sandwiches.

For the au jus:

  • After the pork has been removed from the pan and add chicken broth to the drippings.
  • Strain the au jus, place in a medium sized saute pan, and heat until warmed.
  • Taste and adjust salt and pepper, to taste

To assemble the sandwiches

  • Add the sliced pork to the warmed au jus (ensure the au jus is not too hot or your meat will continue to cook). Slice rolls or baguette
  • To make sandwiches, layer bread with provolone cheese (on bottom), followed by a pile of hot sliced or shredded pork in the au jus, and top with the broccoli rabe and peppers.


  • HERBS: Herbs that are traditionally used include any mixture of parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme. Adjust seasonings to your own tastes. 
  • Use the right cut of meat - buy boneless pork loin roast (which is different than pork tenderloin, and commonly confused)
  • Do NOT, I repeat do not overcook! Overcooking pork is a common problem and it pretty much ruins the meal. One of the highlights of this sandwich is stuffing it with juicy and tender meat.
  • Pork loin is considered cooked at 145 F
  • Read more about finished pork temperature and the effects of carryover temperature (ie, meat will continue cooking 5 to 10 degrees after removed from oven).
  • Add tasty toppings! Commonly used toppings for Philadelphia roast pork include provolone cheese, broccoli rabe, and peppers (hot or roasted bell or both!)
  • If you aren't a fan of broccoli rabe, or can't find it in your local market, you can always skip it or use other greens like some garlic-flavored spinach.
  • The bread! It must be good, and fresh! I love Liscio's bread and also Sarcone's. There is a lot of good bread in the Philadelphia area!


    Calories: 339kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 1167mg | Potassium: 240mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 3234IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 322mg | Iron: 11mg