Someone should smack me. In my excitement of developing and executing a special banh mi recipe that I could share with my group of food blogger friends, I sort of forgot to leave a sample at home for my husband. I should also confess that because I was running short on time, I also asked him to “run to the nearest Vietnamese bakery” for me (before having his morning coffee), so I could 1) sport authentic baguettes, and 2) get out the door in time. Who does that?!
Let me say now that this isn’t typical banh mi. This is an autumn variation, made specifically to incorporate an apple. There’s no pâté, no daikon, no carrots. Instead, this one starts out with a layer of garlic confit. Kind of like duck confit, but with garlic. Then there’s a spread of freshly made mayonnaise (thank you backyard chickens!), followed by a generous helping of pork belly that was braised in caramel, fish sauce, shallots, and more garlic. On top of that, there is julienned apple and red cabbage, and to finish, a sprinkling of cilantro leaves. All of this sandwiched in an authentic Vietnamese baguette; light, airy, crispy, and mandatory.
I’m pleased to report that my platter was a success. I’m also not surprised that this morning, I had my morning coffee withheld from me until I promised to make it up to my dear, patient, loving and kind husband. As soon as this post goes live, I am making another trip to the market. For brunch today, banh mi sandwiches: round two. Doors open at 11AM.
Source: Rustic Garden Bistro, with special thanks and recognition to the White on Rice Couple for reference of the caramel sauce and pork belly cooking methods, and also to Thomas Keller for his garlic confit and oil recipe (p. 266, Ad Hoc at Home).
But wait – there’s more!