Fishing trip sandwich

Published Nov 20th 2012

Long ago we had a blog thread here on GFF about the World's Greatest Sandwich. I'm not saying that this sandwich is it, but it has gone down well on many a fishing trip.


Step 1 - bread - I prefer home baked, but you can buy. But do NOT buy sandwich \\\
Step 1 - bread
Step 2 - mustard - Again we have restrictions. It says mustard and not some lame spread. Mustard! See the text for details.
Step 2 - mustard
Step 3 - lettuce - I like Iceberg, but most lettuce will do fine. You can mix with some romaine salad for a little bitter sting.
Step 3 - lettuce
Step 4 - ham - Again restrictions: air dried and/or smoked. And cut from a pig, not mashed together with enzymes in some machine, please...
Step 4 - ham
Step 5 - tomatoes - Washed and sliced
Step 5 - tomatoes
Step 6 - be generous - But not overly so. The bread is the main meal, the lettuce and tomatoes the base and the ham is the treat
Step 6 - be generous
Step 7 - leek - You can use what you have: leek, onion, spring onion, chives. Cut it in paper thin slices.
Step 7 - leek
Step 8 - the accent - Add a bit of the leeks/onions and season with a bit of salt and freshly ground pepper
Step 8 - the accent
Step 9 - lid on - Close your sandwiches with the second loaf of bread. Press down lightly to set it.
Step 9 - lid on
Step 10 - half - Cut the sandwiches in half if they are large.
Step 10 - half
Step 11 - wrap - Wrap in paper. Greaseproof paper made for wrapping is the best
Step 11 - wrap
Step 12 - viola! - Wrapped and ready to pack.
Step 12 - viola!
Step 13 - side dishes - I like a bit of fresh vegetables on the side, here cucumber and carrots.
Step 13 - side dishes
Step 14 - two servings - Enough to keep a couple of grown men happy round lunchtime.
Step 14 - two servings
Back in 2004 fellow GFF partner Bob Petti and I had a small sandwich battle on our blog. It was about the World's Greatest Sandwich and Europe's Greatest Sandwich. The sandwiches were Bob's and my own bids on sandwiches to devour on your "working-from-home" days.

This step-by-step "sandwich pattern" is kind of a continuation and expansion of that thread. I have often been the one that has been designated to make sandwiches for my driver on fishing trips. Only fair if you ask me: I get picked up and the driver is relieved of having to make a lunch pack, which is mostly welcome, especially on early morning trips.

The proof of the pudding...

Most of my sandwiches/lunch packs is a variation of the theme sketched here. Most Danes will make open sandwiches and use what we call rye bread - a very dark and dense bread baked on a sour dough - but I like to do my sandwiches on wheat bread that I bake myself.
The ham is usually the central ingredient, but sometimes I use sausage or other types of cold cut meat like leftovers from a roast or what I have in the fridge.

I bake my own bread, and whenever I have home made bread, that's what I use. If I have to buy, I buy at a baker and get something like a Filone or Ciabatta, which is Italian bread with a great crust and a very good texture.
Do not, I repeat: DO NOT buy some flimsy, sliced wheat bread in a plastic bag! That has very little to do with real bread, and will not allow you to cut thick slices, which is a must to get a good sandwich where the bread is the main ingredient.
And square, white sandwich bread...? Don't mention the war!

Home baked

The ham I use is real ham, meaning that it's meat cut from a pig, and not some chemist's wet dream of enzymes and whatever was left over from an obscure meat production.
I prefer air dried ham, either Spanish or Italian, but both Danes and Germans can also make really good ham, smoked or dried or both. The southern European stuff is usually dark, cut in paper thin slices and very tasty. Pay what it costs. It's worth it.
You can use boiled ham, but get something with good taste, true meat structure and a ham that has been smoked - with smoke from a fire (yes, they do use artificial smoke flavor for many hams!).
Should you want to make your sandwich more fishy, consider a good smoked salmon (wild, not farmed!), a smoked trout or a smoked halibut (a real delicacy with its very lean, white meat) in stead of the ham. The rest can be kept as described here.

The other critical ingredient is mustard. Stay clear of all kinds of spreads, whips and what-nots! Real mustard is basically made from ground mustard seeds, water and maybe some sugar, lemon/vinegar and spices. It's tasty and healthy and doesn't contain a gram of added fat.
I "make my own" in the sense that I mix a jar of French Dijon mustard (strong beyond comparison) with a jar of mild, sweet mustard. I sometimes add a tablespoon of honey or brown sugar if I want more sweetness. The result is very tasty, but won't burn your nose like a pure Dijon.

The process


Making a sandwich shouldn't require much instruction. Cut the bread in generous slices, spread som mustard on each slice, add whatever you like - lettuce, ham, bacon, sausage, cheese, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, onion, pickle, jalapenos. Not it all, but a suitable and balanced selection. Remember that the bread and the vegetables is the meal. The meat is the treat!
Sprinkle with a bit of salt and freshly ground black pepper and put the second slice of bread on top, press a bit and you are set.

Side dishes, desert
I like to add a little extra, typically some raw vegetables. Some cucumber, carrots, cherry tomatoes or some other supplement that's not already in the sandwich.
I also like to bring some peanuts, hazelnuts or almonds and maybe some dried fruit like dried apricots or just simple raisins.

Should your fridge contain a piece of chocolate or should a muffin have hidden itself somewhere, it's not the worst thing you can finish your lunch with.

User comments
GFF staff comment
From: Martin Joergensen · martin·at·  Link
Submitted November 26th 2012


I have cut away the butter and the cheese in most of my sandwiches. Trying to avoid saturated fat is good for your health it's said... I sometimes add cheese, but mostly don't.


From: pacho - Full name and email anonymized  Link
Submitted November 26th 2012

Where is the cheese????

GFF staff comment
From: Martin Joergensen · martin·at·  Link
Submitted November 22nd 2012


While I certainly respect your opinion on the positions of the mustard and the lettuce, I personally think it matters very little... Once you (read: I) start chewing it's just tasty! ;-)


From: Gail - Full name and email anonymized  Link
Submitted November 22nd 2012

I'm thinkin that the ham should be snuggled right up next to the mustard.....then the lettuce, etc. Mustard and lettuce are not the best taste-sensory mates.

From: Edward Null · e.null·at·  Link
Submitted November 20th 2012

I take my first trout trip the day after Thanksgiving--this Friday. I'll have this in mind when I make my lunch. Thanks, Martin!

GFF staff comment
From: Martin Joergensen · martin·at·  Link
Submitted November 20th 2012


Cutting down on the butter here. I love the stuff, but mustard is actually tastier and more healthy. And Coleman's...? Fine for certain things, but I prefer food that's not painful to eat! ;-)


From: Paul Slaney · paulslaney·at·  Link
Submitted November 20th 2012

mnnnnn! sounds good, but what about the butter? And I'll send you a pot of Colemans you pussy!

hope your keeping well mate ;-)


GFF staff comment
From: Martin Joergensen · martin·at·  Link
Submitted November 20th 2012


I've been in the US and Canada and seen what's available, and I'll bet you that almost any local supermarket or grocery can supply decent ingredients for a sandwich like this - apart from the bread probably. But as I say: water, salt, yeast and flour and you're well on the way. It's easy, healthy and tasty. A little kneading and a lot of time and home made bread is bound to come out better than anything from a plastic bag.
Good ham can be found, just pay what it costs. Lettuce and tomatoes no problem. A good mustard has to be there somewhere. Onions, leeks, avocados, pickle, jalapenos or whatever you fancy. It should be easily available.

I'm sure it's possible.


From: Bob Kenly · rkenly·at·  Link
Submitted November 20th 2012

Except for the big cities with extensive European ethnic populations the vast majority of America is sadly lacking in many of the desired ingredients. While I was in the Army, stationed in Germany (1953-1956) many of the food stuffs we had came directly from Denmark and always remarked how good things tasted, especially the ham. Thank you for giving me a peek into your life.

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