What is panes con pavo?
Panes con pavo or pan con chumpe is a typical Salvadoran sandwich.
Its name literally means “turkey bread”. This seemingly simple little sandwich is actually as ambitious to prepare as the famous Thanksgiving turkey, but the effort will be rewarded with its unique taste. The turkey, whose reputation is to be a dry poultry, in taste and texture, is instead particularly tender and tasty in this Salvadoran recipe. The salsita (sauce) prepared for the sandwich is one of the keys to the success of this recipe. The large amount of raw and pickled vegetables also brings a lot of lightness and freshness to this sandwich.
How to make panes con pavo
Preparing a panes con pavo requires a little organization and time to complete many of the steps. The vegetables should be cut in julienne, blanched in boiling water and pickled in vinegar. This process makes it possible to obtain crisp vegetables, rich in vitamins. It also helps preserve their pretty colors.
The sauce is then prepared by roasting vegetables on a baking sheet. These vegetables are mixed with spices and chicken broth. Hence the beautiful texture and rich taste of this sauce. The turkey is brushed with lime juice, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and butter, then seasoned and baked in a chompipera (a kind of oval covered roasting pot). It is then bathed with its juice and sauce regularly until it is very tender.
Then comes the assembly of the sandwich where the turkey is cut and a few pieces are placed inside the cut rolls. The sauce is drizzled on top again and the pickled and raw vegetables are added. You can add a little more sauce to season the vegetables and enjoy immediately. The recipe is such that it is better to make a large amount of sandwiches for all the guests.
What is the origin of panes con pavo?
Turkeys were already domesticated in large numbers by the Aztecs and the neighboring populations of this part of the globe, well before the arrival of the Europeans.
Because of the ancient origin of turkey farming, its consumption is ubiquitous in Central America and it is traditionally prepared in a chompipera, a typical Salvadorian cooking utensil close to a slow cooker and invariably used for the preparation of the turkey (which explains its large dimensions). Once cooked, the turkey can be enjoyed as is, in sandwiches or stewed in a sauce.
What are the health benefits of panes con pavo?
Turkey meat contains little fat, it is even less caloric than chicken and its powerful taste, similar to that of game birds makes it a very interesting poultry. With a low fat and calorie content, it is a food of choice to be favored in case of cardiovascular diseases.
This sandwich also contains a lot of raw and pickled vegetables. Vinegar is excellent for digestion and a balanced diet, while raw vegetables are rich in vitamins. This sandwich is beautiful and nourishing. It is a well balanced meal, provided you do not have too much of the sauce.
What are the other versions of panes con pavo?
Meat sandwiches are very popular in South America. There is a large number of them and each culture prepares these sandwiches with the country’s favorite meat. Thus, there are sandwiches made from pork, chicken, beef or turkey. To mention a few, you will find Mexican torta ahogada, the Brazilian bauru, the Chilean chacarero, the Uruguayan chivito, the cubano from Cuba and many others.
Meat-based sandwiches are also a great way to accommodate leftovers from a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal. Enjoy!
- 1 turkey (about 10 to 12 lb)
- 3 limes
- 5 tablespoons butter , melted
- 3 tablespoons sweet mustard
- ½ cup Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cabbage , shredded
- 1 onion , thinly sliced
- 1 carrot , cut into thin julienne
- ½ cup white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 green hot pepper cut into julienne
- 1 green bell pepper cut into julienne
- 2 teaspoons salvadoreño relajo (Salvadoran spice blend)
- 12 tomatoes
- 1 green bell pepper
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 (5 oz) can tomato paste
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 8 tablespoons butter , melted
- ½ cup corn starch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 20 French bread rolls
- Lettuce , finely chopped
- Tomatoes , sliced
- Radish , sliced
- Pickled gherkins
- Chompipera (oval roasting pot)
- Boil a large amount of salt water in a pot.
- When the water begins to boil, add the cabbage, onion, carrot and blanch for just 30 seconds.
- Immediately drain and place the vegetables in a large bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water to stop the cooking.
- When the vegetables are cold, drain again and place in a jar. Add the vinegar, water, bell pepper, hot pepper and oregano. Season with salt and pepper.
- Refrigerate for 6 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 250 F.
- On the baking sheet, place the tomatoes, green bell pepper, onion and garlic with their skin.
- Roast in the oven until the skin of the tomatoes and green pepper is blistered. This can take about an hour.
- Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Peel the garlic and the onion.
- Peel and seed the tomatoes and green pepper.
Mix everything with the tomato paste until obtaining a homogeneous mixture.
- Pour this sauce into a large saucepan and mix with the chicken broth.
- Add the Salvadoreño relajo (Salvadoran spice blend) and corn starch dissolved in the hot melted butter. Season with black pepper and mix well.
- Cook the sauce over low heat for 15 minutes. Set aside.
- Wash the turkey well with clean water. Then, pat dry with a cloth or paper towel and sprinkle it with lime juice, making sure to cover the whole turkey.
- Spread the lime juice all over the turkey with both hands.
- Wait 2 minutes and pat dry the turkey again.
- Mix the mustard, Worcestershire sauce and butter and spread with a brush over the entire turkey, inside and out. Season with pepper.
- To cook the turkey in the oven, the ideal is to use a "chompipera", a special oven pot with a rack at the bottom typical in El Salvador. If you do not have one, you can use an oval roasting pot with a lid.
- Pour 2 ladles of sauce at the bottom of the pot.
- Place the turkey on the rack and pour two more ladles on the turkey.
- Marinate for 30 minutes.
- Turn on the oven at 350 F (without preheating).
- Bake the turkey for 2h30, drizzling with the remaining sauce every 30 to 40 minutes, until the turkey is tender.
- If the sauce reduces too much, add boiling water during cooking if necessary. There must be some remaining sauce at the end of cooking.
- Cut the rolls.
- Slice the turkey into medium sized pieces and place some pieces inside the bun.
- Pour a tablespoon of sauce over the turkey and add the lettuce, watercress, gherkin, radish, and tomato. Also add a few pickled vegetables.
- Add a tablespoon of sauce again on top.