I LOVE a good sandwich – really I do. Doesn’t matter what the filling is really as long as it’s interesting. I’m not really a cheese and tomato kind of gal unless its uber fresh mozarella on sunblushed tomatoes with basil and balsamic vinegar on a toasted artisan ciabatta. Pretentious I know, but I think that sandwiches deserve as much time and attention over as a roast dinner. Just as an experiment, today and tomorrow I will post up two new takes on classic sandwich combo’s – one easy, one that requires a little effort! Why not try them for yourself as a treat! The West Cork Pastra-Ham-i is more of an assemblage than a recipe but why should that matter when it tastes so flippin’ tasty!
The classic New York Pastrami Sandwich is, quite frankly and hands down, my favourite all time sandwich. When I visited NYC in 2008, it was the only thing on my mind. I may have eaten more than one!
In Cork City, there is a traditional way of preserving beef in a heady mix of spices. Traditionally it is cooked in and around the Christmas and/or New Year festivities and is simply known as Spiced Beef. Any good butcher worth their salt (pardon the pun) will have their own particular take on the recipe, but at the heart of it all is a really good quality piece of beef. Because of its growing popularity it is now, mercifully, available in many places all throughout the year. If I was cooking my own spiced beef, I would venture into M J O’Neills in Clonakilty and purchase my uncooked beef there. But, in the interests of reality and the fact that it isn’t yet Christmas, I have included a little cheat here that, thankfully, doesn’t skimp on quality or flavour. Ready cooked Spiced Beef courtesy of Tom Durcan Meats of the English Market in Cork City is available in Supervalu stores all over the country now and is the absoultely perfect quick, easy and super tasty substitute for the pastrami in my take on the New York classic. The cucumber pickle is a nice fresh substitute to the salty pickle whilst the hot mustard still gives you the “POW” you would expect as you bite into the sandwich. The accompaniement to this of some absolutely fabulous and local West Cork / Cork produce makes this a super tasty sarnie!
A fresh loaf of Rye bread. I use Scally’s of Clonakilty hand made rye bread.
Hot mustard – the hotter the better.
Fresh butter. I have used Glenilen Butter (Drimoleague, West Cork)
Sliced cooked ham from the bone – I have used a lovely local one from Scally’s of Clonakilty.
Sliced cooked Spiced Beef (a Cork speciality) – I have used the award winning spiced beef from Tom Durcan Meats at the English Markert in Cork City.
Fresh salad leaves – I have used Thornhill Organic (Skibbereen) aromatic leaves as they include some nice peppery mustard leaves.
Cucumber pickle – I have used Follain pickle (Ballyvourney, Co Cork)
Method / Assemblage (for one sandwich):
Cut two slices of the rye bread and toast.
While still warm, spread a generous layer of Glenilen butter so it melts into the bread.
Layer at least 3 slices of the spiced beef on the bread.
Dot on the beef with the hot mustard.
Layer 2 slices of the cooked ham.
Dot on the ham with the cucumber pickle.
Place a generous handful of the salad leaves on top the ham and finish off with the second piece of toasted rye bread.
Cut in half and Enjoy!
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