Food • December 2015
Ian Flitcroft is the author of Oh Come All Ye Tasteful: The foodie’s guide to a millionaire’s Christmas feast. Here he presents his decadent and festive take on the classic
The Club Sandwich is the king of the sandwich world. It’s one step up from the classic BLT, which is, in turn, a posh bacon butty. It’s a comfort blanket of a meal, perfect for moments alone when travelling.
I had my most memorable Club Sandwich at a guesthouse on an island off the coast of Panama. The temperature was tropical as I gazed out across the Pacific Ocean, while the glass of red wine I’d been served was chilled to within a degree of freezing. The familiar Club Sandwich was the thing that made me feel quite at home.
For a decadent, seasonal variation on the Club Sandwich, I’d upgrade the humble bacon and chicken, pep up the mayonnaise and do away with the cocktail stick. Holding the whole thing together with a red ribbon would turn it into a proper Christmas present.
Ingredients (makes one sandwich)
1 boneless pheasant breast, skin still attached
4 slices of wild boar back bacon (RK Palfrey in Newport, Wales is a magnificent source)
3 slices of raisin-and-walnut bread, lightly toasted
1 freshly sliced tomato
2 leaves romaine lettuce
1 large fig, thinly sliced
2 tbsp mayonnaise with a twist of ground black pepper and a pinch of lemon zest
For the glaze:
2 tbsp Armagnac
4 tbsp light brown sugar
1 heaped tbsp fresh cranberries
1 tsp orange zest
Photograph by Callum Flitcroft
1. Make the glaze by mixing the ingredients in a small pan over a medium heat until reduced to a syrupy consistency. Once ready, remove the cranberries and keep for later.
2. Season the pheasant breast and coat in the glaze. Then pan-fry over a medium heat in a mixture of oil and butter for around three minutes on each side.
3. Grill the bacon until crispy.
4. Spread the bottom piece of bread with a generous layer of mayonnaise. Make the first sandwich layer from the wild boar bacon, tomato and lettuce, plus a few of the cranberries from the glaze.
5. Add the second piece of bread then build the top layer of the sandwich with thin slices of the pheasant breast, figs, lettuce and the rest of the cranberries. Spread the final piece of bread with mayonnaise and use it to top the sandwich.
6. Slice diagonally into four triangles before reassembling. Wrap with a red velvet ribbon, tied into a large bow and labelled with a small gold card. In true Alice in Wonderland style, this label should simply say ‘Eat Me’.
Ian’s book, Oh Come All Ye Tasteful: The foodie’s guide to a millionaire’s Christmas feast (£9.99, Paperbooks), is out now