It’s difficult to overemphasize the excellence of a good Monte Cristo. It’s the perfect balance of flavors, textures, and aesthetics. The salty ham, rich cheese, and sweet jam make for the ultimate pub sandwich.
The addition of a crunchy coating and wild game elevates the experience even further. I used venison for this dish, but it’d also work with ham from a bear or hog. You can create your ham with Steven Rinella’s recipe in the “MeatEater Fish and Game Cookbook” or Danielle Prewett’s recipe on our website.
Time to make
1/2 lb. sliced ham (1/4-inch thick)
6 slices white sandwich bread
8 slices Swiss cheese
4 cups crushed cornflakes
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
Fruit jam for dipping
Also works with
- Preheat a deep fryer to 350 degrees. Canola oil, peanut oil, or anything with a high smoke point works best.
- Cut the bread, ham slices, and Swiss cheese into uniform squares that are all the same size. Stack the pieces of the sandwich neatly as follows: bread, cheese, ham, cheese, bread, cheese, ham, cheese, bread. Stacking the layers in this manner allows the cheese to help hold each layer together. Give the sandwich a slight press and set to chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Combine the bread flour, eggs, milk, salt, and baking powder in a bowl and vigorously whisk until a smooth batter forms. The use of bread flour and eggs will make sure that there’s enough protein content in the batter to create a barrier against the oil. This will make a crispy exterior, rather than an oil-soaked one.
- Place the corn flakes into a bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Try to keep the pieces uniform—not too fine, not too coarse. The crushed corn flakes will adhere to the batter and add that perfect flaky crunch.
- When the oil is heated, pull out the chilled sandwiches and prepare the dipping stations. Carefully and quickly dip each sandwich into batter, then coat in cornflakes. Make sure the entire sandwich is covered. Then carefully place each sandwich into the deep fryer and fry for about 5 minutes, or until they’re golden brown. Place the cooked sandwiches on a wire cooling rack, not paper towels. This will ensure that the exterior stays crisp, elevated from any oil.
- Let the sandwiches cool for a few minutes and serve with jam. A tart jam like raspberry, plum, or cherry will help cut through the richness of the sandwich.