Wiltshire roast ham with homemade ragu & basil
For all its faults, London does a few things very well, and right now, food’s definitely one of them. The throng of tiny, amazing pop-ups, residencies and street food collectives springing up all over the capital means you can’t duck down an alley for a piss without bumping into someone looking to sell you some epic hand-made or home-made grub, along with a locally brewed beer. Frankly, it’s awesome.
This butty’s inspired, in part, by a girlfriend-impressing trip to Forza Win, the Pizza Pilgrims’ sold-out rooftop supper club in Spittalfields. At Forza, as the precursor to their wafer thin, perfectly cooked Neopolitan pizzas, they serve ragu as a starter. Not the heavy, dark, everything-including-the-kitchen-sink variety that every man in Britain confidently claims to be the master of, but rather the light, elegant, authentically Italian version.
Of course, this has inspired imitation on my part, and following a fairly good punt at an homage to Forza’s triumphant pasta dish, there’s been an abundance of leftover ragu in the fridge. In this butty, the slow-cooked mixture of ground beef, crumbled sausagemeat, tomato, celery, onion and carrot plays a supporting role to some thick-cut roast ham underneath, and a fragrant basil salad above. On un-toasted bread, served with a little mustard, finely grated parmesan and ground pepper, it’s one of the most flavoursome cold sandwiches that’s been served up on The Butty, without any semblance of a doubt.
Leftovers always make for good sandwiches, but when they build on something that was great in the first place, then they’re even better. Next time you knock it out of the park in the kitchen at dinner time, stash away a little bit for tomorrow. It’ll be even better between a couple of bits of bread at lunchtime the next day.