First frosty mornings of the year have arrived and ’tis the season for comfort food – A hot pulled meat sandwich smothered in a sweet, sticky, slightly spicy sauce.
What’s in a name?
Po’ Boy – A traditional hot sandwich from Louisiana of either fried seafood or shredded meat in a sloppy sauce served on a long crusty bread roll.
Butty – A slang word for a sandwich in parts of the UK, again the contents are hot and they are placed between 2 slices of bread. Most commonly a chip butty (i.e French fries / frites) or bacon butty.
It is also a South Wales Valley phrase for a friend or mate!
The origin of the Po’Boy started “In 1922, brothers Bennie and Clovis Martin quit their jobs as New Orleans streetcar conductors and opened a coffee shop in the city’s historic French Market ….”
when in 1929 there was a major strike and the community came out in support of the strikers and “as former streetcar conductors, the brothers also lent their support, announcing that they would feed any hungry striker who could not afford to pay.”
(cited from a post by Susan Waggoner August 2015 on www.ForknPlate.com)
The South Wales Valleys are tight-knit communities with an industrial heritage that have also seen their fair share of strikes, so the word butty seemed a good one to use to describe this dish.
The meat traditionally used in a Po’ boy is usually a tough cut of beef slow cooked until it falls off the bone and is easily shredded. Wales is renowned for it’s lamb, but the delicate flavour of this meat, I didn’t think would work well in a Po’ Boy type sandwich, so I decided on Mutton – meat from a 3 year old sheep that is known to be a lot tougher.
And so the Mutton Po’ Butty with a Cherry & Fig BBQ Sauce* was born.
I cooked the mutton in a sous vide for 3 days at 60 degrees centigrade (140 Fahrenheit).
Building Blocks for the BBQ Sauce
Fresh Cherry Juice
Fresh Fig Juice
Sprig of Rosemary
Dark Muscovado Sugar
A Dash of Welsh Wildflower Honey
NJP (NotJustPots) Tomato Ketchup**
Chilli Powder to taste.
Take the first 4 ingredients and simmer until reduced by about half. In another pan simmer the remaining ingredients until reduced by the same amount.
Combine both together.
I added a final step of simmering to thicken, as I wanted quite a thick BBQ sauce to toss the mutton in.
Serve on a homemade brioche bun.
BTW we live close to a really good authentic smoke house called The Hang Fire Southern Kitchen in Barry, South Wales, where the provenance of their food is really important to them. Check out their story here https://hangfiresmokehouse.com/about-us/ – and if you ever get a chance to visit they make an awesome Shrimp Po’Boy!
*BBQ sauce adapted from http://www.finecooking.com/recipe/smoked-lamb-ribs-with-rosemary-and-fig-barbecue-sauce
**Recipe to follow in Store Cupboard Essentials