Danish open-sandwiches are more than just a sandwich with different kinds of cold cuts and condiments such as mustard, mayonnaise and pickles. First, a Danish open-face sandwich doesn’t have two pieces of bread, second, and the most important thing is they have very specific and time-tested combinations of food that are not be contested or fooled with. In this recipe that follows, the Danes use seasoned lard with herbs. Yes, lard as strange as it may seem. The Danes are a pork eating nation and there are more pigs in Denmark than people. Not only are there many recipes with pork, but the fat of the pig is also used. If you prefer not to use pig’s fat, butter or a lettuce leaf can us used. The recipe follows here. Another thing that is unique for this sandwich is jellied consommé. Both garnishes are simple and both are a vital part of many open-face sandwiches. This week’s sandwich is made with salami, one of the most frequently sold cold cuts in Denmark.
Salami with Seasoned Lard and Herbs and Jellied Consommé
4 slices of bread spread with seasoned lard with herbs (recipe below) or butter
8-12 thin slices of good salami
4 slices of jellied Consommé (recipe below)
12-16 slices of raw white or red onion
To assemble, place 2-3 slices of salami on each piece of buttered bread and arrange slices of onion on top. Place a slice of jellied consommé in the middle and garnish with cress.
Seasoned Lard with Herbs
Lard is an acquired taste and many Danes like to spread a piece of rye bread with it and sprinkle salt on it. I didn’t like lard when I first came to Denmark. Now I really like it and prefer it to butter in many of the open-face recipes. The lard that is used in this recipe is the fat from a pig. You may not be able to find it in the supermarket or at the butcher. If they have pork in the market or at your butcher, they will have pig’s fat. Just ask. It doesn’t cost much or he may even give it to you free.
10 oz. pure lard, pig’s fat
2 onions, minced
1 tsp. dried thyme
salt and coarsely ground pepper
1 bay leaf
1 apple with peel, finely grated on the coarse side of a grating iron
Melt lard in a large skillet and brown onions together with thyme, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Add grated apple and simmer together with onions 30 minutes. Pour seasoned lard in a bowl and let it be almost cold before covering and placing in the refrigerator.
Jellied Consommé or Aspic
1½ cup of strong, clear consommé
1 package (1 oz.) powdered gelatin
Port wine (optlional)
Heat consommé and sprinkle with powdered gelatin. When the gelatin is dissolved, add a little port wine. Pour into one large or several small molds. Refrigerate to thicken. To serve, loosen jellied consommé around the edges. Dip mold a second in boiling water and unmold jellied consommé. Slice (in strips) to serve. It can also be diced.