This sandwich has a little bit of everything and while it may seem there is too much going on the flavors compliment each other in such a great way.
I made my way to the farmers market and picked up some pancetta and then brought it home then sliced it up in order to lightly cook it. This is an easy way for me to salt something without having to add a bunch of extra salt, also the fat that is rendered off in the small saute pan worked out to be the starter for my vegetables along with a little help from some duck fat. You might as why would I take an expensive piece of pancetta and do this to it. I say, it’s been done a billion times so don’t think I’m the crazy one.
While the vegetables (onion, bell pepper, pickled shallots) were sweating I added some yellow pickled mustard seeds to the mix. I wanted to see how they would react to higher heat than what I used to pickle them. They took on a little of the flavor from the fat which too me in a different direction for the next time I use these in a dish. The mushrooms were added towards the latter part of the sweating process in order for them not to be mushy.
The pancetta was removed earlier in the process and I placed it over some chopped kalamata olives. I think it’s best to have the salty stuff at the bottom of the sandwich because it allows your tongue to have that initial salt taste then as you chew the other flavors develop. The kalamata olives were in a standard bottle with red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil with a salty brine so this salty pairing was perfect for the bottom layer of sandwich.
The vegetables were finished so I placed them on top of the pancetta/olive layer then added some Beecher’s flagship cheese then placed the sandwiches in the oven under broil to melt the cheese. When I removed them I placed a few quick pickled cucumbers on top to give a crunch to the sandwich when eating. I think crunch is important for a sandwich like this.
When I make a sandwich like this again I will most likely make the bread myself. The bread really didn’t stand out the way it should have in order to make the entire sandwich great. I will chop the pancetta smaller and spread it out on the top and bottom of the sandwich in order to highlight it more. It wasn’t lost but it certainly could have been better presented. I think next time I will use pancetta rounds instead of choosing the flat pancetta.