Serranito or pork and serrano ham sandwich from Seville is basically a sandwich filled with slices of fresh tomato, pork loin fillets, Spanish cured ham (serrano ham) and fried green Italian pepper. This sandwich is said to originate in the ancient city of Seville, capital of the Autonomous Community of Andalusia, in southern Spain.
This Sevillano sandwich may have seen the light for the first time around the 70`s but little is known of its origins, indeed. We know that it was a chain of bars named Echate pa´ya —meaning to move over or lie down— which patented and gave it its name serranito, which was the nickname of the owner, an Andalusian novillero.
Although the original recipe only carries the ingredients mentioned above, today you can find many variants that may include an omelet, sauces like mayonnaise, aioli or mojo picón —a hot sauce from the Canary Islands— and chicken fillets instead of the traditional pork loin… You can find even a vegan version, believe it or not!
We will keep this southern Spanish sandwich simple and will use the most traditional fillings. Last but not least, we recommend you to serve it with a crispy but tender handful of French fries as a garnish, just as the tradition dictates.
- 4 green Italian peppers
- 8 thin pork loin fillets
- 4 small baguettes
- 8 or 12 slices of Spanish cured ham
- 4 fresh tomatoes, sliced
- Olive oil for frying
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Heat some olive oil in a skillet or frying pan, add the green Italian peppers, cover with a lid and stir-fry at medium-low temperature until charred. If you like you can use a fryer instead of the skillet.
- Use tongs to turn the peppers over so that they are browned on all sides. Remove the fried peppers from the skillet with tongs and let them rest in a colander or on kitchen paper in order to get rid of the excess oil.
- Put the peppers in a bag or a bowl, cover with a paper film and let cool a bit. Take the stems, piths, seeds and peels out and set aside.
- Rub some olive oil over all sides of the pork fillets, fry them in a very, very hot grill pan previously sprinkled with salt. Turn them around as soon as the fillets begin to ooze their juices out. Grill them just enough to lose their raw edge on either side. Let the meat rest for a while before making the sandwiches.
- To assemble the “serranito” sandwich open each baguette in half, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil, place two or three fresh tomato slices, cover them with a couple of loin fillets and, on top of these, lay two slices of serrano ham.
- Lastly, crown the whole with a fried Italian pepper, close the sandwich and serve it along some French fries.
Tips for a perfect pork sandwich from Seville or serranito
- There are two types of bread suitable for making this luscious bocadillo: “Viena andaluza” and “mollete”. The first one, being “Andalusian Vienna” its literal translation, is an oval-shaped and golden-crust bread with spongy, tender and white crumb, while the other, also an oval-shaped bread, has a soft white crumb and crust due to its short baking time.
- We are aware that it is difficult to find that kind of bread outside of Andalusia, therefore we preferred to make our flavorful sandwiches with small baguettes.
- It is up to you whether to peel the tomatoes or not. You can also substitute it for finely grated fresh tomatoes.
- A good quality Serrano ham would be a great choice for this sandwich, in other words, there is no need to buy a pata negra or Iberico Spanish cured ham.
- You can roast the peppers instead of frying them, just like we did in our roasted salad with cod (esgarraet).
- Finally, try adding an omelet to the filling, the sandwich will become softer in flavor and absolutely delicious.
Now, you can make your own serranito pork sandwich at home and enjoy one of the most famous fares from Sevilla, a stunning city famous for the wide variety of tapas offered by its bars. Do not forget to serve some glasses of very cold beer too, and, if you fancy it, several bowls with an assortment of sauces.