Chileans have a soft spot for sandwiches and on top of their list, is the lomito, dubbed the unofficial national dish. Each of these mighty sandwiches can be 10 cm tall, filled with about 250 g of hand-shaved pork loin, half an avocado, a layer of sauerkraut, and plenty of mayonnaise (globally, Chile is the third largest capita consumer of mayonnaise). Other additions include cheese and tomatoes. Start this recipe a day ahead to brine the pork.
- 1.5 kg rindless, boneless, thick end of pork loin
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 330 ml German lager
- ½ tsp dill or caraway seeds
- 4 cloves
- ½ tsp white peppercorns
- 6 panini bread rolls
- 300 g Port-Salut or mild fontina cheese (see Note), thinly sliced
- 3 avocados, mashed
- sliced jalapeños, sliced tomatoes (optional), mild sauerkraut, green chilli sauce (optional), German wholegrain mustard and mayonnaise, to serve
Pork brining solution
- 250 g (1 cup) table salt
- 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
- ½ tsp celery seeds (see Note)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp dried marjoram or oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 4 juniper berries (see Note)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To make brining solution, place salt in a 5 litre non-reactive bowl, add 1litre boiling water and stir until salt dissolves. Add 3 litres cold water and the remaining ingredients. Refrigerate until completely cold. Add pork, ensuring it is fully immersed, then refrigerate for 12 hours. (Do not brine pork for more than 12 hours or it will absorb too much salt.) Drain and pat pork dry with paper towel.
Preheat oven to 150°C. Heat oil in a large, heavy-based, ovenproof saucepan over medium–high heat. Add pork and cook, turning, for 5 minutes or until browned all over. Add carrot, celery, bay leaves, beer, dill seeds, cloves, peppercorns and enough water to completely cover. Cover surface with a sheet of baking paper, then cover with a lid. Transfer pan to oven and cook for 2 hours or until pork is tender and cooked through. Transfer pork to a bowl, pour over half the liquid and cool to room temperature.
Increase oven to 180°C. Warm bread rolls in the oven for 5 minutes, then cut in half horizontally. Layer cheese on top half, then heat in oven for 5 minutes or until it melts.
Meanwhile, spread avocado over the base of each roll and top with jalapeños. Remove pork from the cooking liquid and, using a sharp carving knife, slice as thinly as possible*. Divide among rolls. Top with tomatoes, if using, sauerkraut and chilli sauce, if using. Spread mustard and mayonnaise over melted cheese, then sandwich lomito and serve immediately.
• Port-Salut and fontina, available from delis and cheese shops, are the closest equivalents in terms of flavour to mantecoso cheese, which is traditionally used for lomitos.
• Celery seeds and juniper berries are available from selected supermarkets and delis.
• Refrigerate leftover pork in liquid for up to 4 days.
• Drink James Squire 'The Chancer’ Golden Ale ($4, 345 ml)
As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 10, pg57
Photography by John Laurie