Britain may have little in the way of national dishes but, if you’re pressed to choose, the humble sandwich would surely come out on top, just above the roast dinner. But whereas the latter requires prep, skill and plenty of time, sandwiches are quick, functional, portable and adaptable – the most desirable succour for the time-poor yet hungry man.
It seems, however, that we have fallen out of love with the time-honoured bread-filling-bread formula. A recent study* found that 70% of UK workers feel stuck in a lunchtime rut of endless ham sandwiches, with 40% admitting to feeling jealous of colleagues who opt for more inspiring options. It’s this sentiment that’s partly to blame for the recent proliferation of takeaway grain bowls and superfood salads, which promise to liberate us from cheese-and-pickle purgatory for £9.50 a pop.
But there’s another, more satisfying way out of the rut. By remixing your fillings, you can upgrade your sandwich with fresh flavours and nutrients by the fistful. Layer energising carbs, lean proteins and colourful veg – and the sarnie, bap, roll or bagel can become a perfect fit for any meal plan.
So, leave the lentils in the Tupperware, please. And grab some napkins.
SUNDAY SAVIOUR PB&J
By Max Halley at Max’s Sandwich
• Sourdough bread, 2 slices
• Crunchy peanut butter, 2tsp
• Smoked bacon, 6 slices
• Jalapeños, 1tbsp, sliced
For the bacon
• Pork belly, 2.5kg, deboned, skin on
• Rosemary, 2 sprigs
• Curing salt, 100g
• Caster sugar, 50g
• Bay leaves, 3
• Black peppercorns, 1tbsp
1/ Bacon’s delicious salts and amino acids will bring you back to life. Buy it from your butcher, or, if you’re feeling fancy, prep it yourself. Blitz the curing ingredients – rosemary is a natural mental sharpener – then tip into a resealable polythene bag with the pork, squeezing the air out.
2/ And now we wait. Refrigerate your meat for five days, massaging in the spices
daily and pouring out any liquid. After that, rinse, then leave to dry for three days
on a hook in a cool place, such as the garage.
3/ Ready for your PB&J? Slice and fry the meat, spread your peanut butter on the bread, and layer with bacon and vitamin C-rich jalapeños for rehydrating electrolytes. Then get messy.
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