After months of bot being allowed to eat rare red meat, I´m craving a burger bigtime. But I think burgers are best left to professionals, and are best had in greasy, smoky places, and I´m not about to take my precious new baby there, yet, lest he come back smeared with ketchup. A good home alternative? A Pepito.Ask for a pepito anywhere in Spain and you will be given a steak sandwich.
If you´re lucky, it will be a thin, juicy paillard type thing, and the oil and meat juices will soak into good, crunchy bread. If you´re not , which is more often the case, you will receive a slab of grey cardboard hunkering between two slabs of nothing bread.
This is sad. This is not the sort of sandwich one wants as the namesake for a son and heir. It is a sad testament to the terrible lack of imagination most of Spain gives it sandwiches.
To my mind, a proper pepito should have something sharp, like mustard or horseradish. Something crunchy, like cornichons. Greens, like ruccola. Butter, if J isn´t looking. And some slippery onions, either just made, or in the lovely form of onion jam.
As for the meat, I favour a thick steak, salted, then marinated overnight in whatever´s around. This time it was olive oil, two smashed cloves of garlic, a sprinkling of thyme, a splash of sherry and some fish sauce, but anything goes.
Sear it so it´s black outside and pink within, let it rest while you assemble the sandwiches on a good fresh baguette, and open a couple of beers. Slice the meat thin, and sneak a few slices as you put it inside the bread.
You´ll have to agree that this is a beautiful thing, and I for one would be more than glad to share a name with it.