Nobody knows how SPAM is made, but I think we can figure it out.
*For best results, start the SPAM the day before you want to serve.*
Prep Time: 40 minutes plus overnight
Cook Time: 1-2 hours
3 pounds (1.3kg) boneless pork Boston butt, cut into thin strips
1 ½ pounds (680g) smoked ham, cut into thin strips
⅓ pound (150g) prosciutto di Parma, cut into thin strips
1 pound (450g) pork fatback, cut into thin strips
¼ cup (40g) Kosher salt
1 ½ tablespoons (23g) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons (12g) nutritional yeast, ground fine into a powder
2 1/2 tablespoons (28g) potato starch
1 1/2 tablespoons (13g) corn starch
1/2 teaspoon (1g) bay leaf powder
1 teaspoon (4g) Prague Powder #1
1/2 cup (120ml) ice water
Pass the pork butt, smoked ham, prosciutto and fatback through a meat grinder. Once all the meat is ground, add the ground meat back into the grinder to go through one more time and become a very fine grind. Alternatively you can use a food processor but you will have to do that in many batches so as not to overprocess the meat.
Add the finely ground meat to a large bowl and knead for about 1 minute or until tacky and emulsified.
In a medium bowl whisk together the salt, sugar, nutritional yeast, potato starch, corn starch, bay leaf powder and Prague powder. Pour in the water and continue to whisk until evenly combined.
Divide the meat between two 9x5-inch loaf pans, only adding enough meat to fill the loaf pans ¾ of the way up. Press on the top of the meat to ensure there are no air pockets.
To cook the SPAM by sous vide, place the loaf pan in a sous vide bag and seal with the vacuum sealer, making sure the bag is suctioned directly to the surface of the meat. Set a large water bath to 175℉ / 79℃.
Cook both SPAMS in the sous vide bath for 2 hours. Remove from water, place an empty loaf pan on top of the meat and place something heavy on top of it to weigh the meat down. Refrigerate overnight or until the meat is pressed and set.
To cook in the oven, preheat the oven to 300℉ / 204℃. In a large baking dish or a deep hotel pan, carefully pour enough boiling water to create a 1-inch hot bath. Place the loaf pans in the water, cover with foil and bake for 45-60 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and press in the same way as the sous vide method and cool completely.
Use a spatula or butter knife to release the edges of the meat from the pan. Invert onto a cutting board to release.
Set a medium skillet over medium heat and spray with oil to coat. Once the oil is hot and starting to smoke, add as many slices of meat as you’d like and sear for 2 -3 minutes or until golden brown. Flip and sear for another 1-2 minutes or until warmed through and crispy on second side.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
1/2 cup (110g) mayonnaise
3 cloves garlic, grated
1 1/2 teaspoons (2.5g) aleppo pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste
Unsalted butter, to taste
8 slices crusty bread, cut to desired thickness
1-2 heirloom tomatoes, cut into ½-inch thick slices
1 head butter lettuce, root removed and leaves separated
8-12 slices seared homemade SPAM, (see recipe above for searing instructions)
In a small bowl whisk together the mayo, garlic, aleppo, salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Heat a small skillet over medium high heat and melt enough butter to coat the pan. Toast the bread slices, 1-2 minutes per side, or until crispy and golden brown. Flip and repeat on the second side. Repeat with the remaining slices of toast, adding more butter to the pan as needed.
Season the tomato slices with salt to taste.
Generously spread some of the aleppo mayo on one side of bread, top that with the seasoned tomatoes, a few slices of butter lettuce, and 2-3 slices seared homemade SPAM. Brush the top piece of toast with the aleppo mayo and place on the sandwich. Repeat making the remaining sandwiches and serve immediately.