As it is passover, you might think it is a little bit odd that i am writing a sandwich blog. I mean, I can’t bread, or anything with leavening. One would think that this is a sandwich eater’s version of hell, but the idea of hell has a little debate in the Jewish tradition. I personally think of Passover (Pesach) as one of the greatest times in history…
So lets have a little history lesson…. in around 1400 bce the jews were slaves in Egypt. There were a bunch of plagues and after the 10th one, the Pharoah decided to let the Jews go. Off they went into the hot hot desert, but due to the time constraints, they didn’t have time to let their bread rise. They had to bake their bread on their backs, called it matzah, and went off to go wander around in the desert for about 40 years.
So what does this have to do with sandwiches? The original sandwich was a direct result of passover. Fact. Hillel said make a sandwich, by taking the pascal lamb, the maror (reminder of bitter tears of slavery), the bitter herbs, and the charoset (a sweet mixture of apples, honey, nuts and wine: representing the mortar used to build the pyramids). You put them together between the Matzah pieces and you make a sandwich.
Ok, so it sounds like what some might call a sandwich, but where are the sauces? The juices of the lamb, the wine, and the juices from the apples come together to make a sauce. In fact, you have 3 natural sauces that mix together to create the perfect blend of sweet, savory, and hot.
Makings of a Matzah Sandwich
The original Hillel Sandwich
In this particular sandwich, I made 2 versions…. the first of which i did not take a picture of. It was cold lamb, thinly sliced, with a glob of horseradish, some parsley, and some charoset. I put it on matzah, and it was very dry. It was not the best sandwich I had ever had for sure.
In the sandwich pictured, I put the lamb au jus, made of soy, worchestershire, garic, and a little wine. I then steamed the spinach with garlic, minced up some fresh horseradish, and made a fresh batch of charoset with cinnamon and fresh nutmeg, and added a sprig of fresh rosemary. The jus soaked in just enough to the matzah to make it not as crunchy, and the meat was super tender. I was really impressed. I realized this year that the only thing that would have made this sandwich better would have been freshly made matzah, that was just a little bit chewy.
La Shana Haba’ah la sandwich 🙂