Here’s a behind-the-scenes peek at Gilt Taste meeting.
Francis Lam: “People! We need more sandwiches to consider for Sandwich Week!”
Ruth Reichl: “How about—yummmm…—that 4505 Meats breakfast sandwich?”
Jen Pelka falls out of a chair. “IT’S AMAZING!” she says, hitting the ground.
So this seemed like one we had to get in here. 4505 Meats is a butcher shop in San Francisco run by Ryan Farr, so obviously they have a leg up on most home sandwichiers when it comes to the meat they have lying around. But even without their wonderful maple-bacon breakfast sausage (which, full disclosure, we sell), their sandwich instincts are top-notch, and we’ll walk you through how to make an awesome version with ingredients of your choice.
The 4505 Meats Breakfast Sandwich consists of maple-bacon sausage with cheese with a runny fried egg and pepper cress on a crisp-griddled house-made pecorino brioche bun. No one would ever accuse this nasty boy of being restrained and refined, but what we love about it is its smart use of cheese and greens. That is, instead of using something sharp and acidic to cut through all the richness, Ryan goes instead for the crisp, fresh, green pepperiness of cress. (He uses a great, sharp peppercress, but you can use watercress or arugula.) And letting the cheese brown a bit gives it a wonderful chewy crispness. In our version, we like to amp that up by fusing the cheese to the bun.
4505 Meats Maple Sausage Breakfast Sandwich
Adapted from 4505 Meats
Makes 1 sandwich
1 soft bun, split
4 tablespoons grated pecorino cheese, divided
¼ pound breakfast sausage
Maple syrup, to taste
1 slice Gruyere or similar cheese
1 handful peppery greens, like peppercress, watercress, or wild arugula
Butter, as needed
Salt and pepper, to taste
Get your bun hot and cheesy: Heat a well-seasoned cast-iron griddle or pan (or use a nonstick sauté pan) over medium heat. Add the pecorino cheese in two piles, each the width of the bun, with two small pats of butter. When the cheese appears to melt, set the bun halves on top of the cheese, simultaneously toasting the bun and crisping the cheese. When the bread is golden brown and crisp, remove with a spatula and rest, cheese-side-up.
Cook sausage: Wipe off the pan with a paper towel. Sear the sausage until nicely browned on both sides and about half-cooked through. Drizzle a little maple syrup on top. “That’s when the sky opens up and the angels sing,” Ryan says. Top with Gruyere. When the sausage is cooked and the cheese is melty, remove and set on bun.
Put an egg on it: If there’s enough sausage fat to slick the pan, crack the egg and fry it until the whites are set but the yolk is runny. (If there’s not enough fat, add a pat of butter.) Season with salt and pepper, and add it to the sandwich.
Green it: Top the egg with greens, the top bun, and go for it! As Ryan says, “It should be messy: The egg should be oozing, the bun’s a little flaky, the cheese is stringy and everything sticks a little bit.”
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