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How To Make The Muffuletta: The Ultimate Boxing Day Sandwich

Meet the 'Muffuletta', a Boxing Day treat here to save you from your leftovers.

As the potato piles up and the salad starts to wilt, it's not time to give up on your precious leftovers just yet. In fact, I'd argue that a post-Christmas feast is even better than the big day itself.

It can be overwhelming peering into your big, cavernous fridge and seeing nothing but Tupperware tubs, but it would be a crying shame to let all that good food go to waste.

A muffuletta sandwich is the easiest and most downright delicious way to get through those abundant Boxing Day leftovers. It's a breeze to make, and heaven to gobble down.

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Most of us tend to go a bit overboard when it comes to cooking for friends and family during the festive season.

So, what on earth is a 'muffuletta'?

The muffuletta is a popular Italian-American sandwich first invented in New Orleans in 1906. Sicilian immigrants created the sandwich by filling 'muffuletta bread' with cold deli meats, olive oil, and a random assortment of antipasti-style foods.

Essentially, if you can find it in a deli, you can find it on this bread.

They found that the longer the ingredients sit and blend, the better the sandwich tastes. This, and the fact that you can stuff it with practically anything, is what makes the muffuletta a Boxing Day dream.

Last year, Sydney cafe A1 Canteen saw customers lined up around the corner when they introduced their own $18 version of the sandwich to their menu. This sandwich is in hot demand, and you likely already own everything you need to make it yourself.

How to make a muffuletta sandwich

What sets this sandwich apart from your standard Hangover Hot Chip Roll is the bread. A large loaf of ciabatta is what you're after here. Sourdough also works but it has to be soft.

Slice the top of the bread bowl then hollow it out - think of it like a cob loaf you later slice into pieces. A muffuletta has its contents nestled inside the bread, as opposed to whacked in the middle between two slices like a normal sandwich.

How exactly you assemble your muffuletta is largely dependent on whatever it is you have in your fridge. But there is a recommended order to it all.

Generously smear the bread with olive oil and whatever saucy concoction you served up yesterday - cranberry sauce and apple sauce are best. Relish too, if you like it extra savoury.

After this, you can absolutely go to town. The best thing about this sandwich is how well it adapts to whatever it is you have to munch your way through before the New Year.

For the best sandwich stuffing, here's a simple guide:

Note that it requires little consistency throughout. For example, one 'meaty' layer can be ham, and the next can be chicken.

  • Something meaty (sliced meat or chicken)
  • Something vegie (press down on your potatoes, pumpkins, etc)
  • Something smeary (anything from stuffing, to cranberry sauce, gravy, etc)
  • Something cheesy (Swiss is best)
  • Something leafy (spinach, cabbage - whatever you've got)
  • Repeat until you've reached the top

Top it all off with whatever saucy situation you started it with, add a dash of olive oil, then place the bread lid back on top.

For maximum, harmonious goodness, wrap the loaf tightly and place it in the fridge for a couple of hours. To compact it, gently push it all together with your hands. Or better yet, wedge it into a bowl.

To serve, cut the bun into vertical slices - thick enough that it stays together, thin enough that you don't dislocate your jaw on this whopper of a sandwich.

The muffuletta is simple, indulgent and absolutely fabulous. And best of all, It's the very best way to get through that mountain of food that awaits you.

Featured Image: Instagram (a1canteen)