Six Sensational Sandwiches to Make Now
Did the concept of eating a slab or meat between two slices of bread really originate with the English nobleman John Montagu so he could spend more time at the card table? Or did the Fourth Earl of Sandwich, his official title, simply have a good spin doctor who celebrated Montagu’s gambling-friendly convenience food in an eighteenth-century London guidebook? Either way, the sandwich has become one of the world’s most beloved foods, and any person in good culinary standing should know how to make exemplary ones. Here are several nominees:
Steven’s hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, is known not only for its crab and sweet corn, but for its pit beef—chargrilled top round, cooked rare to medium-rare, and piled on rolls or white bread with a dollop of horseradish sauce, aka, tiger sauce. In the latest season of his TV show, Project Fire (shot near Baltimore), Steven ups the ante by subbing prime rib for top round and adding sliced ham and turkey. It’s a spectacular combination. But don’t just take our word for it.
Necessity is the mother of invention. Like Mexico’s nachos and Buffalo’s now-famous chicken wings, Uruguay’s signature sandwich was cobbled together in 1940 at the Punta del Esta restaurant El Mejillón when a customer asked for goat meat late in the evening service. (Chivito means “little goat.”) Not having kid on hand, owner Antonio Carbonaro built a jaw-stretching tower of steak, bacon, cheese, eggs, and vegetables that will satisfy even the most voracious appetites. (For a vegetarian version, see Steven’s latest book, How to Grill Vegetables.)
Our friend, Rob Baas, passed away last year. But our former fire wrangler and enthusiastic recipe tester made his mark on our close-knit barbecue community. One of his contributions was this epic sandwich. Baby backs are indirectly grilled until exceedingly tender. Then the bones are removed (Rob shared his trick for doing that easily) and the slab is served on a country-style baguette with barbecue sauce, onions, and dill pickles. One sandwich serves 2 to 3 hungry people, especially when accompanied by sides like baked beans and/or potato salad.
German immigrants brought their love of pork and mustard to the Carolinas, a combination that took the American South by storm. This preparation is super simple, but triumph lies in the details, like crisping the pork skin over the fire and buttering and toasting the buns.
5. The Cubano
This might be the best pork sandwich south of the Carolinas. The Cubano (and its cousin, the Medianoche or “midnight sandwich”) owes its distinction to a quadruple blast of flavor in the form of garlicky roast pork, smoked ham, pungent Gruyère cheese, and tangy pickles. Lots of mustard, too. Authentic Cuban bread can be hard to find outside of Miami, but feel free to substitute a hoagie roll, Italian bread, or a baguette. If you don’t own a charcoal or gas grill, this sandwich can be adapted to a contact (panini) grill or a skillet.
Pastrami bacon was originally created by Billy Durney, the owner of Hometown BBQ in Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY. In this recipe, strips of pastrami bacon are used to make the ultimate BLT sandwich. Advance planning is required for the home-cured bacon. But the results are so worth it, especially when sun-ripened tomatoes are in season.