Sandwich of the Week: Rocket Pig’s Rocket Pig Sandwich

This week’s sandwich features spicy, smoked pork shoulder
Rocket Pig
Arthur Bovino

The pork-centric Rocket Pig Sandwich from Rocket Pig in New York City

Rocket Pig (To the tune of Rocket Man with apologies to Elton John):
And I think it's gonna be a long, long time
Till touch down brings me round again to find
I'm not the pig they think I am at home
Oh no, no, no I'm a rocket pig
Rocket pig smoking out his fat up here alone

Swiss Chef Ralf Kuettel of Trestle on Tenth opened a little brick wall-enclosed one hit wonder sandwich shop around the corner from Trestle, on 24th street in Manhattan called, inexplicably, Rocket Pig.

The space consists of a couple of counters, no seats, and a glass box warming gorgeous hunks of fatty, luxuriant pork shoulder (that enjoys a brine bath before its smoky spa treatment.) The black crusted pork is thickly hand sliced to order, placed gingerly on a fresh ciabatta roll (I'm guessing from Sullivan St. Bakery down the block), and slathered with a deep, rich sweet red onion jam, mustard sauce, and Rocket Pig hot sauce for some added heat – the sandwich comes with a homemade pickle on the side.

The place will inevitably draw comparisons to Sarah Jenkins' Porchetta sandwich shop in the East Village. Although both sandwiches feature same animal, this is an entirely different beast but equally delicious. You could take your sandwich to eat on the nearby High Line, but if you choose to hang around the shop don't miss the oyster/charcuterie/cheese selection.

Start with the daily oyster selection. I had a half dozen of the beau soleils from New Brunswick, made even better when alternating slurps of oyster liquor with a dry white mineral-tasting Zierflander wine from Austria. Being Swiss, Chef Ralf knows his cheeses and meats. I picked some of my favorite hard cow milk Swiss farm cheeses: etivaz, appenzeller and a shaved tete de moine to mix and match with the famous Swiss air-dried beef and ham locally known as bundnerfleisch and speck, respectively, and the Swiss version of beef jerky, a hunter's sausage called landjager.

So launch yourself and lift-off to Rocket Pig. Ralf will take you to the moon, Mars and beyond.

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