Dempster’s #DIYSandwich

Round 1: Pulling the Pork

Last updated on February 21st, 2021 at 09:26 pm

If one thing unifies my friends and me, it’s food. Sarah’s always said that I merely eat to live—I don’t salivate at the thought of delicious meals, but let’s get one thing straight—I know delicious food when I taste it!

Since becoming a parent, I don’t get out much. Save a birthday party, I spent March largely as a shut-in, wavering from my routine of work, home and church only for trips to the parents and the dentist. While the days of luxurious ice cream and dining at 350 metres are behind me for now, it doesn’t mean I can’t eat tasty food at home!

This year, Dempster’s challenged me to change my thinking on the sandwich, seeing whether I could eat them for dinner instead of lunch! Though it’s the last thing I’d expect on a plate to finish a long day, what is a sandwich really but a stack of deliciousness between two slices of bread?

So with my limited culinary skills, there was only one place to find a recipe that would make for amazing sandwich fare—the Internet. More specifically, Epicurious, the one-stop-shop for leaving your taste buds senseless! Without further ado, let’s drive into a pork sandwich that’ll knock your socks off!!!

Hot Slow-Roasted Pork, Onion, and Mozzarella Sandwiches

I AM NOT A FOODIE: The #DIYSandwich, Round 1—Pulling the Pork—Ingredients


  • 9 lbs pork shoulder
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 1½ teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, ground in mortar with pestle or spice grinder
  • A teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound onions, halved, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 pound red bell peppers, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
  • ½ pound green bell peppers, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
  • 1 package Dempster’s Deluxe White Hamburger Buns
  • 1½ pounds fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

For pork:

Chop garlic on work surface. Sprinkle with 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt and mince until paste forms. Transfer paste to small bowl; mix in parsley and next 7 ingredients. Using small sharp knife, make 20 evenly spaced 1-inch-long, 2-inch-deep slits in pork. Stuff seasoning mixture into slits. Sprinkle outside of pork with salt and pepper. Let stand 1 hour for seasonings to penetrate.

Place pork in slow cooker on low for 7 hours.

Pour leftover juices from roasting pan into 4-cup measuring cup. Spoon off fat. If necessary, add enough water to degreased juices to measure 2 cups. Stir 2 tablespoons juices and cornstarch in small saucepan until cornstarch dissolves; whisk in remaining juices and vinegar. Whisk over medium heat until sauce boils and thickens, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For vegetables:

Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and all peppers; sauté until vegetables are tender and brown, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Arrange Dempster’s Deluxe White Hamburger Bun bottoms on work surface; mound with warm pork and drizzle with sauce. Cover with cheese, vegetables, and bun tops. Serve warm.

Do-ahead tip:

The pork, sauce, and vegetables can be made one day ahead. Cover and refrigerate everything separately. Before serving, reheat pork, covered, in 350°F oven about 40 minutes; rewarm sauce and vegetables over medium heat.

Born and Bread to be Fed Instead!

I AM NOT A FOODIE: The #DIYSandwich, Round 1—Pulling the Pork—The Final Pulled Pork Sandwich
The Hot Slow-Roasted Pork, Onion, and Mozzarella Sandwich in all its magnificence!

So if you’re looking for a delicious sandwich to eat—or have a stellar recipe to share yourself—you should consider, Maple Leaf Foods’ new site for sharing recipes and connecting with other Canadian chefs who’re doing the same! You can feel free to learn more there, or even discover more about the Dempster’s DIY Sandwich challenge on their siteTwitter or Instagram!

If you’re at the day’s end and you don’t know what’s for dinner, consider the highly underrated sandwich! It can be delicious, nutritious, and rival just about any dish that doesn’t involve any bread. They’re versatile, portable and all sorts of filling—the sandwich. It’s time to give it another shot.

The second logo for Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad

[Disclaimer: Maple Leaf Foods got in touch with me to write some posts on their DIY Sandwich brand! Though the work’s paid, the opinions are all mine—and the sandwich? Truly delicious! Enjoy!]

By Casey E. Palmer

Husband. Father. Storyteller.

Calling the Great White North his home, Casey Palmer the Canadian Dad spend his free time in pursuit of the greatest content possible.

Thousand-word blog posts? Snapshots from life? Sketches and podcasts and more—he's more than just a dad blogger; he's working to change what's expected of the parenting creators of the world.

It's about so much more than just our kids.

When Casey's not creating, he's busy parenting, adventuring, trying to be a good husband and making the most of his life!

Casey lives in Toronto, Ontario.

8 replies on “Dempster’s #DIYSandwich”

Curious; did you add the vegetables cold? I’ve never been one for warm veggies aside from say Onions & Peppers on a Steak Sandwich. I would think cold lettuce and tomato would be a good contrast to the warm bread/pork/cheese.

I don’t think there were actually any additional vegetables except for the sautéed onions and peppers, so no cold vegetables added to the mix. Still ridiculously delicious when combined, though! The temperature offset would work, but I almost wonder whether cold, watery vegetables would only dilute the flavour?

You….cooked?! That looks so good. And props for making your own BBQ-type sauce (correct me if I’m wrong lol) – BBQ sauce from the store has an inhumane amount of sugar. Sugar ninjas if you will.

Props to you! Moar food posts from Chez Casey, pls.

Just because I don’t cook doesn’t mean I can’t — but this was largely Sarah’s machination. Our kitchen’s loaded with tons of tools and they helped to make the process a whole lot easier. I think we made about three meals out of this 🙂

I’d expect a number of these posts over the course of the year — and yes, the more you can create at home, the better!

Well, it was a big hit! Since we don’t do sandwiches, I made a ton of peppers and onions to serve on top of the meat. My daughter liked the sauce; my husband thought the meat didn’t need it (and he was right; I bought fatty pork and there wasn’t anything remotely dry that needed to be sauced up.) Thanks for sharing!

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