I have this sandwich I make that I think is pretty good, except that I have a problem with it falling apart.

Basically I take sliced salami, sliced pepperoni, (precooked) bacon, and banana peppers and throw them into a food processor to grind it up fairly ground up but not pasty.

I then put it in a skillet with some olive oil and brown/crisp it a little and then I add some red wine vinegar and black pepper to taste and set aside.

Then I take a loaf of french bread (there's this "everything" french bread at my local store that has "everything" seasoning on top of it, which I like to use, vs. plain french bread). I cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out some of the inside of the bread.

I squirt some horseradish sauce on the bottom side, then add a layer of sliced sharp chedder and pepper jack cheese. Then I add heap of the meat mix, and finally top with another layer of sliced sharp chedder and pepper jack cheese.

I then butter the skillet and press the sandwich on the skillet on each side for about a minute (like a cubano).

So this is one of my favorite sandwiches to make, and I think it's yummy! The problem is it's a little bit of a pain to eat, because there really isn't anything binding the meat together.

So I've been trying to figure out what I can do to make it not fall apart. The first thing I tried is to shred/grate the cheese and mix it in with the meat. Unfortunately, that doesn't work. I assume it's because of the olive oil and vinegar, but I haven't tried outright removing them, as it's a crucial part of the flavor I'm going for.

Next time I get a chance to make this sandwich, I was thinking maybe I would try browning the meat without adding the oil/vinegar, and instead sprinkle them on the top while building the sandwich. I figure this might help, but I'm not entirely sure it will completely help, since these meats are a bit fatty in their own right.

I was also thinking I could go the route of making it a patty (like making a hamburger patty), where I mix an egg and some breadcrumbs and cook it as a patty. I'm not so sure I really want to do that though. I'm not outright opposed to it, but I already feel like the flavor is where I want it, so I'd like to avoid throwing new flavors into the mix (though admittedly, eggs and breadcrumbs are fairly neutral).

But I'm also not sure I dig the idea of a patty for this sandwich in general. I like the mouth feels of heaping mass of chopped meat, and I actually don't mind if there's some amount of "fall apartness". I just really want to reduce it a bit somehow.

I'm certainly down for experimenting but I'm not by any means even fractionally rich, so I can only indulge in this pleasure about once a month or so, so I was hoping I could maybe see if anybody else out there might have any ideas?

If you got this far, thanks for reading my TL;DR!

6 Answers 6


What I did to solve my problem was I made a thick cheese sauce with some of the pepperjack/sharp cheddar (grated some of it, coated in corn starch, melted in a little bit of milk), and mixed that into the meat mix, just enough cheese sauce to bind it, just enough to make the meat start sticking together (and I reduced amount of sliced cheese on top and bottom to make up for the addition of cheese in the meat). Worked pretty well for me!


Your binding challenge can be solved by:

  • Julienne cut your meats so they are stringy and tangle together (but not too compact).
  • Take most, not all the cheese from top and bottom layers and mix with the stringy meat (cheese becoming your binder intertwined in the meat.
  • Put the meat and cheese in the oven to get a jump-start on the cheese to melt
  • Finish the Cubano style grilling on your sandwich.

Side note: Some caramelized, stringy onions, mixed with the meat will be a binder and give additional flavor.
P.S. I like your recipe and am going to try it out myself!


Take a Mozzarella cheese ball and break apart about 2 inch sections. Take enough that you think is going to be enough for how much meat you would like for your sandwich. Put the ingredients of meat and cheese together in a food processor. Grind together and then cook or sear the patties. The cheese should melt well enough to hold all of the meat with it, and then put it on your bread while all of the ingredients are hot and cheese is melted.

  • 2
    There is no Mozzarella n OP's recipe.....
    – Stephie
    May 7, 2016 at 20:06
  • I think @theonlymo is suggesting adding the cheese. I'm going to edit it to be more clear. Please edit it again or roll back to the original if I get anything wrong, theonlymo, and welcome to Seasoned Advice!
    – Jolenealaska
    May 8, 2016 at 4:55

Sandwich sounds wonderful. I would add some roasted red peppers & sundried tomato to make the flavor even more complex! To hold it together, I would make multiple layers of cheeses with the ground meats sprinkled between each layer. Another possibility could be to put the ground, fried meats in an "envelope" made out of thinly sliced prosciutto.

Using the TG on the uncooked, but cured meats, could work. But, if you you tried to glue the fried meats, their protein will probably have been altered too much, by the heat, for the TG to work.

The other thing to consider is that their is really no reason to grind the meats & peppers. Thin slices can still be sauteed with the olive oil & wine and scrambled together. An egg could even be mixed in to make a sort of omelet. This could be placed in between the bread and cheese.

Still another idea is to make this sandwich in a "sandwich maker" A/K/A a "sandwich press" with creates sandwich packets and toasts the outside.


You can bind proteins using transglutaminase (otherwise known as meat glue). You could grind your pepperoni, salami, and bacon, mix with transglutanimase, roll into a roulade using plastic. Once it is set, you will be able to slice it. You could then build your sandwich. You will lose that ground meat feel, but it won't fall apart.


Egg makes for a great binder? Either toss in one egg when yer blending and proceed as usual or make into a patty, might need to add some bread crumbs.

  • The OP (original post, aka question) indicated: "I was also thinking I could go the route of making it a patty (like making a hamburger patty), where I mix an egg and some breadcrumbs and cook it as a patty. I'm not so sure I really want to do that though."
    – elbrant
    Feb 19, 2019 at 2:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.