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Bread and Meat, the making of a savoury sandwich

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Franko's picture
Franko

Bread and Meat, the making of a savoury sandwich

We don't see a lot of posts on sandwiches on this forum, which I'm sure is what most of use our daily bread for. I thought it'd be fun to do something a little different by including a procedure on the meat that went into this particular favourite sandwich of mine.

Yesterday morning I mixed ciabatta dough for ciabatta buns or ciabattini in order to make one of my all time favourite sandwiches, the porchetta sandwich. Ciabatta is a bread I seldom make for sandwiches but when I've have the time to make porchetta I can't think of another bread I'd rather put it on. Hamelman's Ciabatta with Biga was the formula used, scaling it out to make about a kilo of dough to work with. It's the first time I've used this formula for Ciabatta but certainly not the last as it makes a very nice dough that's relatively easy to handle, and has an excellent aroma and flavour once baked. The ciabattini were scaled at 105 grams per, the remainder of the dough was used for a smallish loaf that I'll use for a sub sandwich.

The crumb is soft and moist, with no large holes, perfect for soaking up the flavours of the lightly smoked porchetta and any other condiments I might add, which is usually a peperoncini or two, some thin slices of provolone and a drizzle of good olive oil.

Although this version of porchetta is not close to an authentic one where the pork shoulder is stuffed with a sausage type filling from other parts of the animal along with various other ingredients, it is quick and easy to prepare and has plenty of flavour.

The recipe I used as a reference point is Mario Battali's which can be found here , but I just made a blend of olive oil and the herbs and spices he suggests (and some he doesn't) in a food processor, rather than make the sausage type filling this time. The herb and oil paste is then spread over the pork that's been cut in such a way that it can laid flat and then be rolled up and tied.

Once rolled and tied it was rubbed with sea salt and a generous amount of black pepper, placed in a zip-lock bag and liberally doused with white wine. It marinated in the fridge for four days, being turned once a day to ensure all of it was exposed to the wine over the course of marination. The day before cooking it was removed from the marinade and dried off, then wrapped in a double layer of cheese cloth and put back in the fridge to dry overnight. The next day the meat was cooked in a hot smoker for two hours at 220F using a very light smoke of oak wood. It's not essential that the meat be smoked. It can be made with just a conventional oven, but a bit of smoke adds a lot to the overall flavour.

Before going to the oven after initial 2 hour smoking

After that it went into the oven for 2 more hours at 250F or until the internal temperature read 170F. After 5-10 minutes out of the oven it was wrapped in saran and allowed to cool down slowly before being placed in the fridge overnight. The meat is savoury and succulent with a bit of crunch from the fat that has turned to cracklings over the long cooking time. Redolent of garlic, fennel seed and rosemary, with some heat from the black pepper and a few chili flakes that were included in the seasoning, it packs an incredible amount of flavour into the 2 or 3 slices I used to make the sandwich in the photos below.

The sandwich is best if the meat and bread are warmed first before it's eaten and I'll usually put the cheese on the meat while its warming to melt it slightly. While it's not a true porchetta or porchetta sandwich in the authentic sense , it does make a very satisfying lunchtime snack.

Happy eating,

Franko

 

Comments

cranbo's picture
cranbo

mouth...is...watering....

two of my favorite things together, pork and bread. Nicely done!

Franko's picture
Franko

Wow from me too cranbo! I just posted this less than a minute or two ago.

Thanks very much and happy you liked it.

Franko

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Porchetta was one of the local specialties I neglected to try when we were in Bologna this Spring! So much good food, but we restricted ourselves to three meals a day ... not counting espressi and pastries mid-morning and the traditional 4 pm gelato.

I guess I'm going to have to make it at home. Your sandwich photos are certainly inspiring.

David

Franko's picture
Franko

It really was delicious David!

In fact I'm looking forward to another one for lunch tomorrow.

I don't know if you have a smoker or not, but if you do the same set up as Glenn did with his Weber and pastrami back in the pickle/pastrami thread we had going, it's well worth the effort.

Thanks for your comments David and I'm very pleased you found some inspiration from the post.

Franko

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

So much good food, but we restricted ourselves to three meals a day ... not counting espressi and pastries mid-morning and the traditional 4 pm gelato.

Hahaha - a foodie's idea of temperance! Hope you didn't feel too "restricted", David! BTW, I empathise - I impose similar privations on myself whenever I'm away. When travelling, well, you just gotta!

Franko, that opening pic has me drooling! What a magnificent sanger, perfectly captured! Phoaaarrr!

Cheers!
Ross

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks Ross!

All I can say about the opening pic is it's a darn good thing I took it when I did because moments later that sandwich vanished. :^) Cheers Ross!

Franko

 

Syd's picture
Syd

Looks delicious Franko.  Thanks for the detailing the whole process. :)

Best,

Syd

Franko's picture
Franko

I don't know about you Syd, but I find I'll fall into a rut when it comes to sandwiches, opting for ham & Swiss, roast beef, or tomato and lettuce with variations of all 3 more often than not. The porchetta sandwich is a tasty reminder that there are so many more interesting possibilities available.

Thanks for your comments Syd, they are always appreciated!

Franko

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

died and went to Porchetta Sandwich Heaven!  OMG!  on  Gorgeous Ciabatta rolls, yet!  Lovely, crumb and crust!

Your photos look like a magazine post.  

This is my favorite way to see bread posted...about to be eaten with the works!  Great post, baking and cooking, Franko!

Sylvia 

Franko's picture
Franko

Well Sylvia, I hope you're still with us so you can do a porchetta in the WFO sometime. ;^)

I think we're kindred spirits when it comes to food, judging by the amazing looking meats, bread and pastries you post on regularly. Like you, I really enjoy seeing how folks are using the breads that they make, as it brings a richer, more interesting content to a post... IMO.

Thanks so much for your wonderful comments and compliments on the bread, meat, and the post in general.

All the best,

Franko

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I never have considered myself much of a cook but, have always loved to bake and eat.  I do simple roasts of meat...but would like to try maybe, maybe sometime, a prochetta...all those fillings wrapped up inside look so very delicious and I do love pork roasts.  I have a leg of lamb in the freezer that I better do pretty soon...hopefully wfo.  Today I had to put the oven under it's rain cover.

Sylvia 

 

Franko's picture
Franko

This is pretty easy to make Sylvia, but if the meat cutting part is a hangup just tell your butcher how you want it cut. From that point on it's just a matter of making the herb and spice paste and putting it on the meat and rolling it up like a jelly roll. I trussed this one, but could have secured it with bamboo skewers as an alternative way. From there on it's dead easy and a natural piece of meat to do in your WFO.

The rain is here as well Sylvia, but I think yours will pass sooner than what we have in store.

Franko

varda's picture
varda

My sister has been bugging me since I built my oven to use it as a smoker, but I have no idea how.   Any clues?   Oh and your sandwiches look amazing.   Great post.  -Varda

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Varda,

Thank you for the compliments on the sandwich!

Re: using aWFO as a smoker

First let me say I've never used a WFO as a smoker so it may not be as easy as I think it should be. However, I have been using a smoker of one type or another for over twenty years and there are some things I can tell you that may help you with your oven to let you smoke food in it, and smoke cooking in general . There are 2 kinds of smoking, hot and cold. BBQ ribs or brisket is an example of hot smoking , whereas lox is the most common example of the cold method. Using your WFO you'd most likely be doing a hot smoke where the temperature range is between 150F & 220F. I try for somewhere in the 190F-200F area for most protein foods, and 150-160 for vegetables such as tomatoes. I can't see firing your oven just for the sake of smoking something, but if you're doing a bread in it , you could use the residual heat of the oven as it's cooling to generate a little smoke. Most of the time it really doesn't take a lot of smoke to impart  flavour to your food. The porchetta was smoked with.. I'd guess less than 2-3oz of oak. Larger portions need more smoke but not much more. Better to under-smoke than go overboard.

How to generate smoke. Probably the cheapest and easiest way is put some soaked wood chips in an old frying pan and place it on the floor of the hot oven or on some coals if the floor isn't hot enough. I'd use something that's not too heavy or thick on the bottom like cast iron, just a cheapo steel or aluminum pan will do. Next you need to get whatever it is your smoking above the source of smoke so that it penetrates the entire food surface evenly. If you put  4 bricks in the oven so that their standing on one end and lay a screen or a BBQ grill with your food on it between the bricks with the smoke source directly underneath or close by, this should work as well as anything.  I've no idea how well your oven draws and vents, so this is something you'd have to experiment with to get the optimum situation. You might try partially covering the chimney to let the smoke escape slowly.  You need enough oxygen present to allow the wood to smolder and enough air circulation to draw the smoke into the food. You might want to leave the door off the oven until the wood is smoldering well and you have a steady stream of smoke being generated and then put the door back on. It's OK if smoke seeps out slowly, that's what you want, a slow steady stream of smoke being drawn into and across the food. As far as the types of food you could do really depends on how quickly your oven loses heat. To do a decent Kansas City or Memphis style rack of ribs it takes 6 hours@ 190-200F +- depending on ambient temps and an almost constant stream of smoke.  A Texas brisket on the other hand can go as long as 24 hours and sometimes longer than that. If you're just looking to put a little smoke flavour in your food, an hour or two will do it and then just finish the cooking in a conventional oven, or off to one side of the heat in a BBQ.

Wood chips are usually available at sporting-goods/outdoor stores and most likely Walmart or some other big-box retailer as well. Usually these woods are used with these foods --  hickory/pork, mesquite/beef, and  fruit wood (apple, cherry) or oak with poultry and some fish. Here on the West Coast salmon is almost always smoked over alder. It helps to soak the chips in water before they go in the hot pan so that they smolder and produce more smoke rather than burning off in a flash.

There are some food safety concerns to be aware of with cooking proteins at low temperatures. Curing the meat with a dry rub of salt, sugar, and various herbs and spices is the most common method of curing for BBQ, but you can also brine the food. Here's a recipe for a basic all purpose brine from Michael Ruhlman & Brian Polcyn's book 'Charcuterie'

4 liters water

225 grams kosher salt

125 grams sugar

optional seasonings as desired

Combine all ingredients and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until chilled. Note: never re-use brine for another brining. Discard after a single use.

By all means get a book on smoking food, or research it on the web before you smoke anything. Food safety should always be first and foremost when doing this type of cooking. I don't mean to scare you off trying it. I've never gotten sick from it and I personally don't know anyone who has either but there's definitely a potential for it if you don't follow basic guidelines.

I hope some of this helps, but if you have other questions I'll try to answer them for you.

Franko

varda's picture
varda

Franko,   Thanks so much for your detailed answer.   I think this sounds doable, perhaps not right now as I will be putting my oven to bed for the winter soon, but in the spring.   The temperature you are talking about seems to maintain for quite awhile if the oven has been properly fired.   This will certainly trigger urgent consultations with my sister.   Thanks again!  -Varda

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Franko,

Mouth watering photos!  You captured so much in your simple photos showing your skill as a photographer as well as a baker and a chef!  Almost makes me want to try making cibatta one more time....

Janet

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks Janet !

Lucky for me that digital cameras were invented as I can't claim any skill at photography other than recognizing what's the best of a bad lot of photos. As for being a Chef, I'm about 7-8 years shy of training, let alone qualifying for that distinction, but I appreciate your compliment nonetheless. Hamelman's bread formulae are solid and reliable every single time I've used them, so if you want to try it one more time, get 'Bread' if you don't already own it, and digest the chapter on ' Breads Made with Yeasted Pre-Ferments. Jeffrey Hamelman explains all the crucial aspects of yeasted preferments very clearly, spending lots of time with how the various pre-ferments effect dough performance.

Thanks so much for your compliments on the post Janet, they are greatly appreciated!

Franko

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Franko,

Thanks for the recommend on 'Bread'.  I do have it and refer to it often but I bake with whole freshly ground grains only and haven't gotten skilled enough to adjust his to ones using whole grains.  I am tinkering away but get discouraged so I am going slowly.

 Cibatta is one type of bread that doesn't like whole grains.  I have tried numerous times.  Great floavor but flat as a pancake.  When kids want cibatta I head out to Whole Foods where I can buy it freshly baked loaf for about $2.00. 

Janet

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Janet,

I've tried doing a WW Ciabatta as well. They were'nt flat, but they weren't Ciabatta either. If I ever make any headway on that quest I'll make sure to pass it on to you.

Franko

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Franco,

Thanks!  My youngest just turned 15 so I figure 3 more years at home before ???? so that gives YOU a 3 year time frame to solve MY problem :-)

Janet

P.S.  But who pays attention to years.....there is a revolving door to our home and our 21 year old keeps coming back through it....so 3 years isn't chiseled into stone.   Don't want to apply too much pressure on your generous offer to keep me posted :-)

Franko's picture
Franko

No worries Janet, I'm accustomed to working with changing timetables and pressure. Then again there's no guarantee I will make any headway. Maybe the thing to do is get your son or daughter interested in baking and they can solve the problem for the both of us. :^)

Franko

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Franc,

Had to chuckle at your idea that maybe one of my kids might get interested in baking.....21 yr. old....eats only fast food....18 yr old...ballerina.....will only bake brownies or other sweet treats that include chocolate......15 yr. old......tolerates me asking him about different flavors/textures in the loaves I bake....just barely.....he just wants something that won't rip when he spreads peanut butter on it!

Their interest is minimal though they spend their time in MY kitchen dancing around my sd cultures and rising doughs share 'their' dining room table......who knows what the future will bring.  I am not holding my breath. :-D  If anything, I may be planting seeds....but my passion for this just presented itself without any exposure to baking as a child at all....and I came upon this late in life....so I may have a long wait and, realistically, I could die waiting.....:-)

Janet

 

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Janet,

Food has become pretty popular in the culture of young adults these days, much more so than it was for us , so you never know. You may very well be "planting seeds" that will begin to grow sooner than you think. Five years ago my step-daughter lived on Kraft Dinner and shake and bake chicken. Now she cooks entire meals for her partner and herself and frequently calls either her Mom or I for  a how-to on various cooking techniques. Never thought I'd see the day!

Franko

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

:-)

ehanner's picture
ehanner

As I read your post Franko I have my pork smoking in a slightly different form. Never-less, I expect a nice meat sandwich to follow. I'll have to try the porchetta. Yours looks delicious.Your ciabatta rolls are perfect for this application. I've never made ciabatta with the huge open holes. I just can't seem to make it work. Yours look more functional as a sandwich bread. Great post as usual!

I've always found myself being motivated to make breads that go well with the meats I make or buy. I agree we should show more of the meat preparations on our posts here. I'll follow your lead and try to do more in that area.

Eric

 

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks Eric!

This stuff is so tasty Eric, I'd put it right alongside your pastrami on the 1-10 flavour scale. Speaking of pastrami.. it's me that's following your lead from when you posted Smoked Pastrami-A reason to Bake Deli Rye.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/24258/smoked-pastramia-reason-bake-deli-rye

That post got me started on doing different kinds of home cured meats and pate, sausages, bacon etc. It also got me thinking it would fun to post some food along with the breads from time to time, just for some contrast. Lead on my friend!

Thanks again Eric, I'm really glad you enjoyed the post.

Franko

wally's picture
wally

Franko - we used to make ciabattinis at work for dinner rolls - smaller than yours, but what a fantastic, easy roll!

You are right (and perceptive) - most of the breads we bake end up as sandwiches, and along with crumb shots, it would be nice to see the end product.

The pork looks fabulous, as do the rolls. Folks should note that ciabatinnis as opposed to ciabatta, usually don't have a very open crumb structure. Very different handling in shaping that yields something more like what you'd expect in a hamburger bun.

Thanks for sharing a good bake and meal!

Larry

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Larry,

You've gotta love a roll that tastes as good as these and no shaping involved, particularly from a commercial production standpoint, I agree totally. Imagine if you had a sheeter with a cutting roller similar to a doughnut cutter but for ciabattini, how many restaurants you could supply with rolls and not break a sweat.

I've never been a big fan of the wide open crumb. I realize it's what's expected in a Ciabatta, why I'm not sure, as I don't feel it improves the eating quality in any significant way, but that's just my own opinion.

The porchetta is pretty darn tasty, that's for sure. The ciabatinni absorb so much of it's flavour into the crumb it's just one of those natural pairings of bread and meat that occur every so often.

Thanks for your compliments on the buns and porchetta Larry! It's always an honour to hear from another working baker that they liked what I made. Many thanks!

Franko

 

 

wally's picture
wally

Franko, we actually did supply a restaurant with 1.5 oz ciabattini rolls.  We'd throw them in a dough cutter that made 36 pieces and then just fill a parchment lined sheet pan.  Easy, easy, and nice tasting rolls.  Now if we could have done a sandwich sized roll like yours.....

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Larry,

We have one of those auto divider/rounder bun lines in our shop that puts them out 4 at a time , but the shape is all wrong for what you want in these buns. That's why I was thinking about the sheeter and a roller cutter with rectangular cutting shapes. Back when we made do-nuts, the sheeter with a roller cutter was what we used for cutting them out and it did a huge volume in short order, the only drawback was the amount of scrap left over.

Franko

cubfan4ever's picture
cubfan4ever

mouth watering... OMG... looks amazing.

I fancy myself a decent smoker and an up and coming bread baker.  Challenge accepted!  Well, accepted to myself anyways.  I will post the outcome.

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks cubfan!

The smoking part of this meat is pretty minimal really. I just wanted to approximate what it would be like had it been cooked over an open wood fire, as was originally done in Italy. Have fun making and eating this, and I look forward to seeing your results.

Best Wishes,

Franko

bnom's picture
bnom

I did something very similar last month. However I cooked it entirely in the BBQ...low heat and used Quince tree trimmings for the smoke. Gorgeous color and excellent flavor. For the filling I highly recommend adding fresh lemon zest to the mix. It balances the rich flavors beautifully. I used the mock porchetta recipe in the ZUni cookbook as a guide (though she slowly roasts hers).

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks for the excellent suggestion of including lemon zest! Why I didn't think of it when I had some nice lemon confit that I could have used I have no idea, but I'll remember it for next time.

Thanks bnom!

Franko

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Franko,
mmmmmmm that looks wonderful - so much hard work to make that, and what a pay off!
:^) from breadsong

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi breadsong,

This is the kind of "hard work" I'd like to do more of, but it's probably best if I just keep it on an occasional basis. The last of it was used as a topping for pizza the other night, but unfortunately I don't have any pictures to show you. It smelled so good when I took it out of the oven I had other priorities in mind ...if you know what I mean.:^) Thanks for your compliments as always!

Franko