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It all tastes better between bread...


John-Paul Moloney

Enjoy. Click for more photos

How to make a pie sandwich

A step-by-step guide to constructing the perfect pie sandwich. Photo: Karleen Minney

They say you should live by a code. It’s probably less important that you eat by one, but some of us do.

I have three simple tenets that govern how I eat, and none would impress a dietitian.

Back in the office my pie sandwich was met with derision, but I sensed a little hungry intrigue. 

Number 1. Never order the same meal as your wife. If she can’t finish hers, you want to be trying something different when you helpfully lean over with your fork.

The pie sandwich... conquerer of a two-pie hunger at about half the cost and calories.

The pie sandwich... conquerer of a two-pie hunger at about half the cost and calories. Photo: Karleen Minney

Number 2. Always order the duck. You won’t regret it.

Number 3 is the controversial one.  It is that if it tastes good, it tastes better between bread.

Now I don’t mean literally anything. As my wife points out, I’m not likely to order a tiramisu sandwich (or am I?).

But most savoury food items I’m likely to encounter around lunchtime can be happily consumed between bread.

The classic demonstration of this ‘bread theory’ is the chip butty.

Whether hot chips, or salt and vinegar crisps, when properly arranged between slices of fresh white bread, they are raised to a higher plane.

The same is true for freshly peeled prawns. Yes, they’re great on their own, but I defy anyone who isn’t allergic to not enjoy every bite of a fresh prawns and white bread sandwich.

For me, bread theory took hold in school. Bread is the friend of the financially constrained teenager, the seafood extender of the canteen.

Having been what you might generously call ‘‘a growing lad’’, and with the plausible excuse of needing some size to play front row, I thrived on lunches of baked goods served between baked goods.

My mates and I would look up at the canteen menu board, see chicken-corn roll and immediately think chicken-corn roll in a bun.

Sausage roll? No, sausage roll in a bun!

And of course there was the enduring favourite, the pie sandwich, conquerer of a two-pie hunger at about half the cost and calories.

At the time it seemed a normal enough way to eat.  At least we weren’t like the girls at the school across the road eating Wagon Wheels on a roll.

But out in the grown-up world bread theory is little understood.

Years ago the staff at the bakery around the corner from the newsroom looked at me like I had a parrot on my head the first time I asked for a pie sandwich.

And when I went around on Wednesday to order one for this story there was an amusing standoff when they thought I ordered ‘‘five sandwiches’’. But we got there.

Back in the office my pie sandwich was met with derision, but I sensed a little hungry intrigue.

People started talking about their own strange sandwich preferences, or those that have horrified them.

Beetroot and banana, lettuce and honey, avocado and vegemite, even apple and vegemite.

Now I’m no Elvis, but they all sound a little dull, and, dare I say it this Healthy Weight Week, good for you.

Many lunchtimes back in my uni days I used to assemble a monstrous sandwich combo of curried egg, ham, hot chips and sweet chilli sauce.

You’re probably reeling in horror, but the way I’d describe that sandwich is all kinds of delicious.

Alas, that was a time when regular footy training and a faster metabolism let me get away with such a thing.

These days I have colleagues calculating the calorie count of my pie sandwich (746 calories, which I’m told would take me 70 minutes running at 9km/h  to burn off) and showing me news stories about obese Brits addicted to pork pie sandwiches.

Tasty as it is, the pie sandwich has become one of those things I tell my kids are "sometimes foods".

Are you a fan of the pie sandwich too? Do you have another favourite 'between bread' special? Share your culinary secrets below.

20 comments so far

  • Who'd bother trying to "impress a dietician" ? They are a waste of space.

    Date and time
    January 24, 2013, 11:48AM
    • The dietician quoted Laura Jean lacks credibility from her comments.

      Quote:- As for the combination of curried egg, ham, chips and sweet chilli sauce on a sandwich, Ms Jean said "heart-attack material" comes to mind.

      "You've got a high intake of saturated fat from the chips and the ham. A high kilojoule intake from the combination of egg, ham, chips and bread. And it's probably best not to even start calculating the sodium content," she said." -:

      This would be far less heart attack material than the pie sandwich.
      Ham, either off the bone or processed as slices is similar in fat and saturated fats as the pie. Chips are almost always cooked in vegetable oils very low in saturated fats. Pie casing uses saturated fats. The combination of curried eggs, ham and chips is likely to be high in protein, more balanced and lower overall kilojoules/calories and saturated fats than your standard meat pie.

      Quantum of Solace
      Date and time
      January 25, 2013, 9:25AM
    • Exactly right. How much fat is there in one or two slices of ham ? It is not the density in the particular food that matters, it is the total amount you eat.

      Date and time
      January 25, 2013, 11:11AM
  • Hot BBQ Chicken, hot chips, and fresh white bread with thick butter. Normally I can't touch white bread, and never use butter on sandwiches, but when combined with the chicken and chips, it all melts into a hot oily mess that reminds me of lunches by the beach as a kid.

    Date and time
    January 24, 2013, 11:59AM

      Date and time
      January 24, 2013, 12:01PM
      • Still utilising the lessons learnt at Eddies?

        Date and time
        January 24, 2013, 12:12PM
        • When I was in high school in the late 60's & early 70's, the sausage roll on a buttered roll was favourite. It cost a total of 10 cents (6c for the sausage roll, 3c for the buttered roll & 1c for sauce) and kept me going all afternoon!

          I rediscovered them again a few years ago and they're even better now!

          Date and time
          January 24, 2013, 12:22PM
          • I agree DM - sausage roll in a buttered bread roll was all the go in schools in Melbourne's north

            Date and time
            January 24, 2013, 12:33PM
            • Lots of things taste terrific in a sandwich. prawns, chips, roast pork, BBQ chicken and duck. I can't help myself sometimes when I get fresh chips. Fish cakes - home made and those milk bar things, scallops, I could go on. My sandwich secret is vegemite and onion. Just butter and spread vegemite and top with raw slices of onion. You are missing out if you do not try it. Very healthy and a good late night snack.

              Most disgusting is what my partner does - Cadbury chocolate on fresh white bread. Yuk. But we both love baked bean sandwiches on fresh white bread. Best sandwich experience ever was when I was a kid in the 70's and I had this "salt beef" sandwich. Hot salty beef on thick buttered bread. Still looking for another one..... - where did it go? One more thing. next time you have a burger or steak sandwich, say "no sauce". You will never go back.

              Penrith, NSW
              Date and time
              January 24, 2013, 12:37PM
              • Fish FIngers, BBQ sauce and mayonnaise sandwich. Winner

                Date and time
                January 24, 2013, 12:57PM

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