We are SUPER EXCITED to welcome the Eat This Food team, our Tasty Tuesday contributors for the month of October! Headed up by chief food enthusiast Pat Breen, with photographer Sean Fennessy and designer Jess Lillico, these guys know a thing or two about making, photographing and sharing great food. They're kicking things off today with a modern spin on an old school favourite - the great Australian toasted sanga!
The perfect melty cheese. It just may be the most vital component in constructing that dream toasted sanga. The one that melts and oozes, honest to goodness, never escaping from your excited clutch. This is the jaffle we all aspire to meet at some point, whether it be lunch, a late afternoon pick me up, or a 3am munch on a SANGA. Friends for only a moment, but sure to leave you yearning for more. And thankfully, the first time is not always the best! The jaffle journey is never over.
There’s a stall at the Queen Vic Market called Curds and Whey that sells, among other products, giant bricks of glossy golden butter from Warrnambool that staff portion with wire cheese cutters and wrap in greaseproof paper. Butter that far outdoes any supermarket variety in both quality and price. Also displayed here on butcher’s hooks are long blobs of cheese imported from Italy, preserved in wax, dangling like Christmas baubles. Blobs of baby provolone that lend themselves most excellently to the jaws of a Breville sandwich press.
Baby provolone and sriracha chili sauce. Food by Pat Breen, photos by Sean Fennessy
And herein lies the key to this cheeky lunchtime feast. The perfect melty cheese! Slow roasted pork belly makes for solid protein foundation. And once you’ve added cheese and sauce, you’d be hard pressed to go wrong. Bread is also important; Tip Top white loaf is pretty much the perfect size for the standard Breville toasty press. Unfortunately the artisan baking scene is yet to produce a loaf of suitable size and shape for the Breville.
And for the finale, a sweet and salty milkshake, guaranteed to dance all over your taste buds.
(Note: Just a friendly pointer, the pork in this recipe takes a few hours to prepare. Unless you want to be waiting all day for your toastie, we suggest getting organised the day or evening before.)
For the jaffle:
Tip Top white bread
1kg of pork belly, skin off
250g baby provolone, thinly sliced
Apple jam or sriracha chili sauce
For the salt caramel shake:
130g caster sugar
1 tbsp glucose
⅔ cup thickened cream
20g unsalted butter
1 tsp salt
Food by Pat Breen, photos by Sean Fennessy
For the pork belly, take 1/4 cup of salt and 1/4 cup of sugar and rub all over the pork. Place in the fridge, wrap in clingfilm and leave for 4-5 hours. Once ready, preheat your oven to 150°C and cook for around three hours, fat side up, basting the meat in its own juices every 45 minutes or so. For the last 20 minutes, turn the oven up as high as it will go, and blast caramelise the outside. Once cooled, slice evenly in preparation for the jaffle.
Assemble your jaffle as you would a sandwich. It’s really up to you, sandwiches are a very personal thing. Take inspiration from apple jam, or sriracha chili sauce. Extra cheese is good. Get the Breville nice and hot, and use plenty of melted butter to paint the inside of the toaster using a pastry brush. Cook it up well.
To make the salt caramel, heat the sugar and glucose in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium high heat. As soon as the sugar begins to melt, start moving the sugar in the pot with a heat proof utensil. Cook until the caramel is a deep amber colour. Once this is done remove the pot from the heat and add the salt and cream slowly, incorporating well. It will bubble up, so be careful. Hot sugar is not forgiving, one bit!
Once the mix is smooth, pour through a mesh strainer and add the butter. It should be smooth, intensely sweet with an underlying salty kick. It will set once it cools, so bring it back to life using a microwave or a bain-marie when you need to use it.
To make the shake: Take a tablespoon or more of this magical mixture, and blend well with icy cold milk using a milkshake shaker, or even just a spoon.
For more inspired recipes from this talented trio, head to the Eat This Food blog!
Mmmmm melted cheese. Food by Pat Breen, photos by Sean Fennessy