Time to get unhealthy on you all, but man is it worth it. And that is how all unhealthy meals should be. Having regrets about a meal that either tastes like sh*t or makes you feel like sh*t are simply not worth the calories. Pass them over and make room for this. And a fair warning for the next few posts: more cheese and something fried is coming your way. It's September, the summer of discipline is over (even if summer isn't officially over) and I'm ready for heartier meals.

The star of this dish is the hatch chile. It has a super short season, which is ending any day now so run to your store and snatch 'em up while you can. The fact that they are readily available outside of New Mexico now is a cause for celebration and if you haven't had them or cooked with them before, I beg you to try them. They have a distinctive flavor and just enough heat to bring something unique to a dish without killing the inside of your mouth. There's no such thing as pepper overload in our house, so I'm going to throw them in everything imaginable while I can.

~serves 4 with a lot of leftover pork
For the pork: 
4-5 lb pork shoulder, netting or twine removed
2 Tb kosher salt
3 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 Tb good chile powder
10 garlic cloves, smashed
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
24-32 oz medium to dark beer
3 Tb apple cider vinegar

For the rest: 
6 or so hatch chiles
4 ciabatta rolls or sliced ciabatta
8 oz jack cheese, sliced
softened salted butter

The night before you plan to serve the dish, combine all of the ingredients in a slow-cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours.
Alternatively, season the meat with the salt, pepper and chile powder. In a large dutch oven, heat 1 Tb of vegetable oil until hot and sear all sides until brown.
Add the garlic, onions and dark beer, place a tight-fitting lid on top and simmer the meat for 3-4 hours on low heat until the meat falls apart.
When the meat is cooked using either method, remove the meat to a cutting board and strain the liquid from the solids, reserving both.
Shred the meat, removing large pieces of fat and place in a bowl with the strained solids. Strain the fat from the liquid and add about a cup or so of the liquid with 3 Tb of apple cider vinegar. Set aside.

For the peppers:
Broil the peppers on both sides until roasted and blackened. Set aside to cool.
Once cooled, peel the skin and remove the inner seeds. Set aside.

For the panini:
Lay the bread on a plate or board. Layer the pulled pork (tossing with extra apple cider vinegar, if you wish), about one roasted hatch chile (I like two) and 2 ounces of jack cheese per sandwich. Place another slice of bread on top and spread a little salted butter on both sides of the sandwich.
Using a panini press, cook the sandwich until grill marks show and the cheese is nice and gooey.
Serve hot with a side of slaw, hot sauce and a paper towel.


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