A slightly chilled Pinot Noir would match nicely with these sandwiches – tasty, easy-to-make treats on an NFL playoffs weekend.
If you prefer white wine, opt for a well chilled Chardonnay.
This recipe yields 12 servings.
HAM & CHEESE SANDWICHES WITH MELTED ONIONS
* 1/2 cup mayonnaise
* 1/3 cup chili sauce
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
* 2 loaves Italian bread, 1-lb. each
* 1/2-lb. Grueyere cheese, thinly sliced
* 1 cup melted onions from ham (see accompanying recipe)
* 2-lbs. beer-braised ham, thinly sliced (see accompanying recipe)
1. Up to several hours before serving, cut tops off bread loaves, about one-third of the way down the bread. Use fingers to hollow out bottom of the bread and to remove a little of the inside top bread.
2. Mix mayonnaise, chili sauce and cilantro in a small bowl.
3. Smear mayonnaise sauce on inside bottoms and tops of the breads. Arrange a layer of the cheese slices on the bottoms.
4. Top each with half of the onions and a thick layer of ham slices.
5. Top with another layer of the remaining cheese.
6. Place the tops of the bread in place, and wrap each loaf in heavy-duty foil. You may refrigerate up to two hours, if desired.
7. Shortly before serving, heat oven to 375 degrees. Put wrapped bread loaves on a baking sheet. Bake until thoroughly heated and cheese is melted (about 40 minutes).
8. Cool slightly in the foil. Cut into large wedges and serve.
BEER-BRAISED HAM WITH MELTED ONIONS
Prepare this recipe in conjunction with the Ham and Cheese Sandwiches.
* 3 large sweet onions, halved and cut into wedges
* 1 bottle (12-oz.) pilsner-style beer
* 3 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
* 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
* 1 small fully-cooked ham (about 8 to 9-lbs.)
1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Mix onions, beer, mustard, brown sugar and pepper in bottom of a large roasting pan, spreading onions in an even layer over the bottom.
2. Place the ham, cut side down, over the onions. Cover tightly with heavy-duty foil, and bake until heated through (about 2 hours).
3. Remove ham to a cutting board, and cover with foil.
4. Place roasting pan over medium-high heat, and cook, stirring regularly, to reduce pan juices and glaze the onions (about 25 minutes). Set aside and cool.
5. Thinly slice the ham, to be used with the onions in preparing the sandwiches (see accompanying recipe).