It is time to end the posting drought. We have been in our new apartment for about 2 weeks, and the boxes are slowly getting unpacked and making their way down to the recycling bin. I can finally sit down to write a post without too much guilt about all the other things needing to get done.
There was a Vietnamese sandwich shop around the corner from our old apartment. The Bánh mì sandwiches were delicious. They were on this great crusty French bread, and included a meat of your choosing topped with cilantro, hot sauce, and strips of pickled carrots and cucumbers. The one down side to the sandwiches was that the meat was of dubious quality. I usually ordered the number one which had spicy ground meat and "pâté". What kind of meat? I'm not sure. I just closed my eyes, and enjoyed the great flavor. I figured it was ok for the occasional treat.
We no longer have a Vietnamese sandwich shop around the corner, so we decided to create Bánh mì inspired sandwiches at home with superior quality ingredients. We started with pasture raised ground lamb and seasoned it with chopped garlic, cilantro and celery. After letting it rest, I cooked some as oblong patties and the rest as meatballs. We were really pleased with the results. Here is our recipe:
Vietnamese Inspired Sandwiches
1 lb ground lamb
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 small bunch of cilantro, stems removed
1 rib of celery, chopped
1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
1 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
Combine the lamb, garlic, 1/2 the cilantro and celery. Let stand for at least an hour in the fridge to let flavors combine. Shape the meat into patties or meatballs. Heat a skillet and coat the pan with a small amount of oil. Cook patties or meatballs until browned on all sides. Serve on French bread with the rest of the cilantro, carrots, hot sauce and mayo.
We served ours with some oven roasted acorn squash and brussels sprouts.