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(Photography by Luke Mathot)

Chef Sandwich: Bruno Davaillon’s Banh Mi

Chefs in Dallas are known for their ability to make magic using simple ingredients, but we wanted to know what, exactly, makes them tick. What sandwich could they eat over and over again? We asked them to make a sandwich and give us the recipe for it.

Bruno Davaillon, executive chef of Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, adds distinctive French twist to a popular French-inspired Vietnamese sandwich.

While banh mi sandwiches are a popular choice for quick, on-the-go meals, chef Davaillon version is a little more refined. Unless you have brined and cooked pork belly on hand, this recipe will take four days of preparation, three of which are dedicated to just the pork belly. You can, of course, buy already made pork belly, but when chef Davaillon tells you to brine it, you brine it.

The result is complete departure from its cousin; a sandwich so rich and so full of flavor that you will have forgotten that four days have passed since taking on this banh mi recipe.

A man of few words, chef Davaillon has this to say about his creation:

“It’s a sandwich full of umami, spice (jalapeño & sriracha), richness (foie & pork belly), freshness (herbs & veggies), and acid (pickling). It’s a popular sandwich and this is my twist with French influence.”

Banh mi with foie gras spread and sriracha vinaigrette (makes 4 sandwiches)

Sandwich ingredients:

2 lb        Pork belly

4 oz        Foie gras terrine (available at Central Market)

4             Parker house rolls

1             Carrot; peeled and julienned

4              Red radish; shaved

2              Celery stalks; peeled and julienned

2  oz        Daikon; peeled and julienned

2  oz       Red onion; peeled and sliced

1  tbsp    Fresh mint

2  tbsp    Fresh cilantro

1  tbsp    Thai basil

Pork belly brine and cooking ingredients:

1   qt   water

2 ½  tbsp  Salt

1 ½  tbsp  Sugar

½    Cinnamon stick

2      Clove

½    Jalapeno

2     Arbol chile

1     branch Fresh thyme

½  tbsp Dry oregano

2    Garlic cloves; crushed

2    Shallots; peeled and sliced

Pork belly brine and cooking preparation:

Boil all ingredients for 5 minutes. Cool down on ice. Cover pork belly and leave in brine for 3 days in refrigerator. After 3 days, drain the belly and dry it on a paper towel. Place it on metal rack over a sheet pan and cook it for 3 hours in oven at 250 F. When cooked, let it cool down.  Slice the pork belly half-inch thick pieces and reserve.

Sriracha vinaigrette:

2 tbsp  Sriracha

2 tbsp  Lime juice

1 tsp Chopped ginger

½ Garlic clove minced

2  tbsp Grapeseed oil

Sriracha vinaigrette preparation:

Combine all ingredients together in mixing bowl. Season with salt.

Sandwich Preparation:

1.       In a sauté pan, sear the pork belly slices to a golden crispy texture on both sides.

2.       Slice roll in half. Season vegetables with sriracha vinaigrette and salt. Add fresh herbs. Spread the foie gras terrine on the bottom roll.

3.       Place crispy belly, cover with mix season vegetables and finish with top of bun.

Lonny Alfred is a former D Magazine intern with a penchant for hole in the walls, pork buns, and anything Korean.