I mentioned previously that I’d been on a bit of a mid-March binge down at the bountiful wonderland of Borough Market, and came away with a wallet-damaging sack of sandwich fodder, including some seriously choice bits of British charcuterie from Cannon & Cannon. Having hacked up some of their epic fennel salami, this butty was all about the chorizo.
Using up the last of the sourdough, I opted for a bit of a kicker – given I’d be stuffing my face with this bad boy on my birthday, I figured a well-buttered triple-decker was a fair reward. On the bottom bunk, I laid down some super-thin slices of the super-gamey wild venison chorizo, and decided to add some of the English chorizo too, just for a little extra spice and flavour. On top of this went some red onion jam, aimed at tempering the smokey venison, as well as the ingredient on the other side of the middle slice – potted rabbit. I scored this little tub of mashed bunny from another stall at the market (PottedGame.com, no less), and having had some spread across a slice of buttered sourdough toast, reckoned the wild rabbit was a good match for the deer sausage down below. On the upper deck, a good handful of thinly sliced red onion and peppery rocket sealed the deal, leaving a sweet, peppery finish to the veritable hunter’s lodge of a butty below.
So, there you go – another Borough Butty, stuffed full of British finery. Happy Easter to you, and a happy (belated) birthday to me…
With a good half of yesterday’s foray into the world of baking still lying un-touched in the bread bin, I decided to do a hot sandwich for dinner tonight, using something ridiculous that I’d picked up in the supermarket. Now, I know I’m never the world’s biggest advocate of the big grocers, when you see a couple of lovely-looking pheasant breasts sitting vacuum packed for £2, it’s hard to say no. After all, I am a Scotsman, and we have stereotypes to maintain.
So, I pan fried the little buggers with some red wine and red onion, letting the sauce reduce and soak up all the gamey flavour from the bird. When finished, I toasted a few slices of the white loaf to help them stand up to the saucy filling, and emptied the pan into a pair of butties without any other garnish. One of the heartiest fillings I’ve knocked together – for such a small bird, the meat’s crammed with flavour, and the reduced red wine and onion sauce makes it something I’d recommend for the dinner table, rather than the lunchbox. Who says sandwiches just have to be for lunch anyway?!
Roast topside of beef
The more I write, the more you’ll become aware of the range of things about sandwiches in the UK that get my goat – few figure higher in this illustrious list than the clammy, tasteless sheets of woe that come packaged as supermarket roast beef slices. A fond favourite of the cold finger buffet, pre-cut roast beef is amongst the most disappointing sandwich fillings out there, in stark contrast to the beefy heaven of its namesake, the Sunday roast. So, is this post about me taking my nemesis by the throat, and wrestling it into something mind bending? Not a bloody chance. No, this is about making a roast beef sandwich worth of its title, and to do that, I’m going back to square one.
First things first – the meat. Given this whole idea came from a moment of impotent fury in front of the cold meat aisle in my local supermarket, it was there I bought the cut of meat for my roast. Boo, hiss, I know, but I would say that having done a little searching, I’ve found a local butcher with a good reputation (Godfrey’s of Highbury), so I won’t be buying my meat in a plastic tub again, if it can be avoided. That said, this was a cracking little cut of beef with just enough fat, and really nice marbling throughout the 500g of flesh. Keeping things simple, I added a good pinch of salt, a hearty grind of black pepper, and about a tablespoon’s worth of dried oregano on the top, and stuck it in the oven for about 40 minutes.
What comes out the other side is proper roast beef – rare in the middle, moist as hell and damn tasty (as confirmed by my flatmate, who shared in the bounty of a freshly cooked roast). There’s enough in this half kilo to make two days’ worth of sandwiches if you have a sharp knife, and a good appetite. In this case, I’ve cut the beef a little thicker than I would normally, and served it on freshly toasted slices of wholemeal, seeded bread. On top, there’s a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce, as well as some thick red onion rings and British lettuce (round, not iceberg). Lastly, I’ve put a thin layer of chilli and ginger relish under the top slice, just to give things a little sweet/spicy kick.
Tuna mayo - Mk. II
After my tuna salad double-decker the other day, I couldn’t help but feel there was still something more I could do with the ubiquitous fish butty. Tonight, I ended up working late, and as a result, didn’t get a chance to do the proper shop I’d hoped for, and decided now was as good a time as any to take a stab at the tuna-two-slice.
This time out, there’s no mustard involved. Instead, I diced a dried red chilli with a few spring onions (they don’t really have much of an oniony kick, just a nice fresh taste), and plonked them in with the tuna mayo mix – the whole lot was seasoned with a good amount of black pepper, oregano and a glug of balsamic vinegar. On top, I sliced a little bit of red onion (same big rings as before), and chucked in a handful of crunchy salad. The bread’s a particularly vast example of the white bloomer that my local baker does – toasted to avoid the classic mayo-related stodge of this filling, but with a little extra scrape of the white stuff under the top slice to avoid the upper half being too dry.
Tasting the tuna, it’s got a bit more of an interesting flavour than the previous version, and with the better bread, this should be a clear winner over the Mk I… as long as I remember some chewing gum for afters.
Spiced tuna mayo
Decided to tackle a stalwart of my school days – tuna mayo. People so often make an absolute hash of this sandwich – white bread, too much mayo – it turns into a soggy hell at the drop of a hat.
To avoid this, I’ve gone for pre-toasted wholemeal, which should hold up better against the moist tuna mayo. I’ve also been a little more sparing with the mayo in the mix, and added a little mustard and pepper to give it a bit more kick. The baker insists on pre-slicing their brown loaf into wafer thin sheets, so I’ve gone double decker too – tuna, red onion and mixed salad downstairs, cucumber and tomato up top.
Oh, and one more thing – I HATE the little specks of red onion you often get in a tuna sandwich, so it’s big, wide onion rings in this chap.
Pan-fried paprika pork & red onion
The sandwich that started it all. This is the Genesis butty.
Paprika and basil rubbed pork fillet, pan fried with soy sauce and red wine, served on lightly toasted sesame bloomer with sliced red onion, frisée lettuce and mustard mayonnaise.