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Copycat Primanti Brothers Sandwich Recipe


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Anyone who has spent time in Pittsburgh probably has heard of Primanti Bros. The historic sandwich shop has been making its trademark fried-potatoes-and-coleslaw-topped sandwich since 1933.
Food Category:    Sandwiches
Cuisine Origin:    Northeastern
    • Servings:8
    • Nutrition facts:787 calories27.3 grams fat
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  • For the slaw:
  • 1 pound (about half of a medium-size head) green cabbage, shredded or finely chopped (about 6 cups)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For the twice-fried potatoes:
  • 6 to 8 large (4 to 5 pounds) russet potatoes, washed well
  • 8 cups vegetable oil, for frying
  • Kosher salt
  • For the meat and cheese:
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds spicy, thinly sliced capicola ham
  • 8 thin slices provolone cheese (about 5 ounces)
  • For assembly:
  • 4 vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into 16 thin slices
  • 16 large slices of soft Italian bread (18 ounces total)


  • For the slaw: Combine the cabbage, sugar, salt and celery seed in a colander set over a medium bowl. Let stand at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours; the cabbage will be wilted (about 4 cups total). Discard the draining liquid in the bowl; rinse and dry the bowl, then transfer the wilted cabbage to the bowl. Add the oil and vinegar; toss to coat. Season with pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Oven to 200°F. Line baking sheets with paper towels. Cut unpeeled potatoes lengthwise into 1/4 inch sticks. In batches, in colander rinse potatoes in cold water to remove starch; spread potatoes on the paper towels; pat dry. Heat oil in large heavy pot over medium-high heat to 320°F. Fry the potatoes in 4 batches; 2 to 4 minutes each. Stir often, until soft and cooked through but still pale. Return oil to 320°F between batches; use a thermometer.
  • Transfer potatoes to the lined baking sheets. Increase oil to 375°F. Cook the fries a second time, in 4 batches, 2 to 3 minutes each, until fries are crisp and golden brown. Transfer to the lined baking sheets. Salt lightly; keep warm in oven.
  • For the meat and cheese: Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Have ready a large baking sheet. Separate the ham slices and add to the skillet, turning them as needed until the slices are warmed through. Transfer the slices to the baking sheet, creating 8 equal portions. Top each with a slice of provolone cheese. Place in the oven (along with the fries) just until the cheese has melted. For assembly: Place the portions of cheese-topped ham on 8 bread slices. Top with a large handful of the warm fries, then pile about 1/2 cup of the slaw on each portion. Garnish with 2 tomato slices for each portion; use the remaining 8 pieces of bread to finish each sandwich. Serve warm.
Primanti Brothers
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