It’s not wildly inaccurate to suggest that the period in the middle of the day when you pause momentarily from your work tasks to deliver sustenance to your body is sometimes the highlight of your work day. Amirite?
And while that joy is often achieved by outsourcing that task to a third party (a cafe), that high can be enhanced by nailing a meal you prepared yourself at home.
Chapter seven of Matty Matheson: Home Style Cookery, the recently released cookbook by the rambunctious Canadian chef and TV star, is simply called “sandwiches”, and it has a number of options for adding jazz to the lunch-time staple.
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The Submarine is inspired by the Italian-style sandwiches available in New York delis and bodegas and is a hefty two-hander with three cured meats, cheese, a bit of bite from thinly sliced onion and two types of chilli. You wouldn’t call it an every-day sandwich, sure, but it could be the one you eat on Wednesday to help get you through the trudge of your work week.
“This is just a perfect assorted sub: a couple of cold cuts, a couple of slices of cheese, a lot of shaved onions, iceberg, some peppers, and oil and vinegar – the way it should be,” writes the chef famous for his boisterous Viceland cooking shows It’s Suppertime and Dead Set on Life, hearty dude food, and give-no-shits candour.
While it’s heavy on the protein, the crisp iceberg lettuce and the juicy tomatoes are there to add crunch and moisture, and the vinegar helps cut through it all. Matheson calls it "the perfect sandwich".
Home Style Cookery is Matheson's second cookbook and features 135 of his favourite recipes – from pantry staples (breads, stocks and pickles) and party dishes (dips, fried foods and grilled meats) to weeknight go-tos (stews, pastas, salads) and special-occasion show stoppers (roasts, smoked meats and desserts).
Matty Matheson’s Submarine
Preparation time: 15 minutes
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp dried oregano
1⁄3 cup white vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
2⁄3 cup sliced lengthwise roasted red peppers (capsicum)
1⁄3 cup white onion, thinly sliced
1⁄4 cup roasted jalapeño chilli, thinly sliced
1⁄4 cup pickled hot peppers
1 cup iceberg lettuce, shredded
2 sesame seed rolls
200g mortadella, thinly sliced
200g soppressata, thinly sliced
200g capicola, thinly sliced
100g mozzarella cheese, sliced
1 tomato, thinly sliced
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
In a small bowl, combine the garlic powder, basil, oregano and vinegar and aggressively whisk in the olive oil to make a vinaigrette.
In a medium bowl, combine the roasted red peppers, white onion, jalapeño and pickled hot peppers. Add the vinaigrette and stir until completely incorporated. Taste for seasoning and add salt. Then toss with the shredded iceberg lettuce.
Place the sesame-seed rolls on a baking sheet and cut the top centre of the roll out. In the bottom part of the bun, put a layer of mortadella, then a layer of soppressata, then a layer of capicola. Repeat with another layer of all three. Place the cheese over the meat. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper and place them on top of the cheese. Add the onion-lettuce salad on top of the tomatoes, then cut in half.
Matty Matheson Home Style Cookery by Matty Matheson is by Abrams Books and distributed by Thames & Hudson Australia. It's $49.99 and out now. Buy it here.