Introduction: The Rausch Family Hoagies
A sandwich, sub, or grinder can mean anything. A hoagie, cannot. To me a hoagie is a very specific type of sandwich and there is very little room for interpretation. Actually, there's no room. A hoagie is a hoagie and anything else is not a hoagie.
My dad learned to make hoagies from his family while growing up outside Philadelphia. The hoagies he made as I grew up are pretty much the same as what he grew up with (minus onions).
These hoagies are delicious fresh, they're even better after they've been sitting for a day and all the juices permeate the Italian bread. My husband thought I was crazy the first time I made hoagies and said he had to wait like an hour or so before eating and that they're better the next day. He later admitted I was right :)
1 loaf of Italian bread (the big fluffy supermarket kind)
Ham (3/4-1lb, sliced thin)
Hard Salami (1/2-3/4lb, sliced thin)
Provolone cheese (1/2-3/4lb sliced thin)
1-2 tbs Sea salt*
1/4-1/2 cup Olive oil*
1-2 tbs Oregano*
*to taste, as I don't generally measure.
Step 1: Tomatoes
Before you do anything, clean and slice (and dice if you prefer) the tomatoes. In a bowl, add 1/2-1 tbs of sea salt and 1/4 cup of olive oil and mix together. Add the tomatoes and coat them well. Let the tomatoes marinate for at least 30 minutes.
It might seem like an unnecessary step, but doing this really brings out flavor.
Step 2: Bread Prep
Slice the bread length wise and then use clean fingers to press gentle dimples into both sides. Drizzle both sides of the bread with olive oil and oregano. How much olive oil and oregano is a matter of preference---I don't like oregano, at all, but a hoagie isn't a hoagie without it so I tend to take a light hand with it.
Step 3: Veggies
Add the tomatoes (and all the juices from the bowl) and the lettuce to the bottom side half of the bread. My dad says he puts on as much tomatoes as he can. Add additional salt as needed.
Step 4: Meats & Cheese
Layer 6 slices of provolone on one side of the bread and 10 slices of salami on the other. Then on the side with cheese add 10 slices of salami, and on the side with salami add 6 slices of cheese. On one side (I usually do the bottom) add 2-5 slices of ham.
This probably doesn't really matter much, but it's what my dad does and so it's what I do.
Step 5: Cut & Wrap
Carefully put the top half of the hoagie onto the bottom and press down gently.
1 hoagie can last my husband and I a couple days, so I generally cut the hoagie into 2-3" wide pieces and wrap each piece individually (and tightly) in plastic wrap.
Whatever we are not eating immediately goes into the fridge. If you can stand the wait, I highly recommend wrapping all of the pieces and letting the sandwich "marinate" for a little bit. It sounds ridiculous but it really is delicious.
Second Prize in the
Sandwich Challenge 2020