Thursday, September 22, 2016

Roast Pork Horseshoe Sandwich!

     The Famous Horseshoe Sandwich!
     The Horseshoe Sandwich is gourmet specialty that was created at a famous hotel in Springfield Illinois sometime back in the 1920's.  There is a bit of a debate as to who created the original Horseshoe Sandwich, but as the old story goes, a dishwasher at the old Leland Hotel gets the nod.
     In modern times, the Horseshoe Sandwich is now served at diners and sandwich shops all over the Southern Illinois region.  The Horseshoe is basically an open face sandwich topped with French Fries and cheese sauce.  A Horseshoe Sandwich can be made with any kind of meat.  Burger, beer batter fish, roast meat, sausage, deli meat, eggs and even vegetables can be used to make a Horseshoe Sandwich.

     Roast Pork:
     This recipe yields enough for 2 Horseshoe Sandwiches.
     The meat portion for a Horseshoe Sandwich should be a hearty 6 to 8 ounce portion.  Deli style roast pork loaf is okay, but fresh roasted pork is much better.
     Step 1:  Select a 12 to 14 ounce piece of pork shoulder roast.
     Season with sea salt and black pepper.
     Step 2:  Place the pork shoulder on a wire screen roasting rack on a roasting pan.
     Slow roast the pork shoulder in a 300ºF oven till it is fully cooked and tender.
     Keep the roasted pork warm on a stove top.

     Cheese Sauce:
     This recipe yields about 1 3/4 cups.  (2 portions)  
     The cheese sauce for the original Horseshoe Sandwich is claimed to be a secret recipe.  In modern times, "Secret Cheese Sauce" usually means the sauce is made with canned Cheese Whiz.  A better sauce than Whiz can be made from scratch.   
     Step 1:  Heat a sauce pot over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
     Add an equal amount of flour while constantly stirring.  (The roux should look shiny, not caky.)
     Constantly stir till the roux becomes a white color, with very little hazelnut aroma.
     Step 2:  Add 1 3/4 cups of milk while whisking.
     Add 1/4 cup of cream.
     Bring the sauce to a simmer.
     Stir occasionally as the sauce heats and thickens.
     Step 3:  Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of Dijon Mustard.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of ground anatto.
     Add 1 pinch of Spanish Paprika.
     Add 2 pinches of sea salt and black pepper.
     Gently simmer and reduce till the sauce is a thin consistency that can coat a spoon.  (The volume should be about 1 1/2 cups.
     Step 4:  Add 1/4 cup of grated Romano Cheese.  
     Add 1/4 cup of grated White Cheddar Cheese.
     Stir till the cheese melts into the sauce.
     Keep the sauce warm over very low heat or in a 135ºF bain marie.  Add a splash of milk if the sauce becomes too thick.

     French Fries:
     This recipe yields 2 portions.
     Step 1:  Heat 6" of vegetable frying oil in a high sided pot to 360ºF.
     Step 2:  Cut a 10 ounce russet potato into long 3/8" thick potato sticks.
     Step 3:  Place a few of the potato sticks in the hot oil at a time, till they are all in the pot.
     Fry the potatoes till they just start to become tender and so they are still white in color.
     Step 4:  Use a fryer net to place the fries on a wire screen roasting rack over a drip pan.
     Let the french fries cool to room temperature.
     Step 5:  Place the French Fries in the hot oil a second time.
     Fry till the potatoes are crispy golden brown.
     Step 6:  Use a fryer net to place the fries on the wire screen roasting rack over a drip pan to drain off any excess oil.
     Season the fries with sea salt.
     Keep the French Fries warm on a stove top.

     Roast Pork Horseshoe Sandwich:
     This recipe yields 1 hearty sandwich.
     Step 1:  Brush 2 slices of sandwich bread with melted unsalted butter.
     Place the bread on a griddle set to medium/medium low heat.
     Grill till both sides are toasted golden brown.
     Place the 2 pieces of toast side by side on the center of a plate.
     Step 2:  Thin slice 6 to 8 ounces of the roasted pork shoulder.
     Mound the sliced pork shoulder on the toast.
     Step 3:  Mound 1 portion of French Fries on the roasted pork and toast.
     Step 4:  Pour a generous amount of the Cheese Sauce over the french fries and open face sandwich.  (About 3/4 cup)
     Sprinkle 1 pinch of Spanish Paprika over the cheese sauce.
     Garnish with Italian Parsley sprigs.

     A big hearty Horseshoe Sandwich!

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