There are some days when you just need a salty, cheesy breakfast sandwich, and the Pork Roll Egg and Cheese Sandwich is one of the best! It is a New Jersey staple that can be found at diners across the state, but it is also simple to prepare at home!
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Americans across the nation know how delightful the combination of salty pork and yolky eggs can be, especially when combined with buttery toast! But unless you are from New Jersey, you may not have been introduced to their version of this delicious meal. Let me tell you, it is worth a try!
We made the Pork Roll Egg and Cheese Sandwich for our New Jersey state dinner. Well, we actually made this one a brunch.
For the next several days my son asked for this sandwich for breakfast. He was sad when we ran out of pork roll! I am already considering another order!
What is Pork Roll?
Pork roll is cured pork that has a blend of spices, salt, and sugar. It looks similar to bologna and spam, but pork roll fans would argue these pork products could not be more different.
Pork roll has a bold sweet and salty flavor that is perfectly designed to be enjoyed as a breakfast sandwich.
As the name of the sandwich suggests, in order to make a Pork Roll Egg and Cheese sandwich you have to have pork roll, egg, and cheese.
Pork roll is an ingredient that is most commonly found in the New Jersey area, but it is available to order online for those of us who cannot get it local.
American cheese is the traditional cheese used for this sandwich, but you can substitute your favorite cheese. I think it would be delicious with pepper jack! Just slice the cheese thinly so that it can melt without the egg overcooking.
For an authentic pork roll egg and cheese sandwich, make it on a toasted Kaiser bun! Though even the most loyal New Jerseyan can be found enjoying this sandwich with a different type of bread. I'll share some other ideas for buns at the end of this post.
How to Keep Pork Roll From Puffing
The heat from the griddle will cause the center to puff up and make a little dome. This keeps the center from browning.
To prevent that from happening, just cut little slits around the pork roll. 4 slits seems to be the magic number.
How to Cook Pork Roll
Pork roll should be cooked over medium-high heat. This will allow it to brown and caramelize without drying out the meat.
It takes about 3 minutes for one side to brown.
At that point, flip the slices over and cook the other side until they are browned as well.
How to Cook an Over Easy Egg
It is best to cook the egg and the pork roll in separate pans, or you could also cook them in the same pan one after the other. That's because the pork should be cooked on medium-high heat, but the egg needs to be cooked on medium-low.
Cooking on a lower heat will allow the egg whites to cook thoroughly without getting crusty and brown on the bottom.
Once you have melted your butter, crack your eggs into your pan.
Leave them perfectly still for 2 minutes, cooking on medium-low heat.
Pour a little bit of water into the pan around the eggs and place a lid on the pan. The water will evaporate creating steam. Doing this allows the top of the eggs to cook without having to flip your eggs and risk breaking the yolk.
These eggs will cook for a total of 3 minutes, start to finish. For the last 30 seconds of cooking, top them with cheese and place the lid back on the pan so that the cheese can melt.
Don't forget to season with salt and pepper!
Assembling the Sandwich
Put the sandwich together in this order:
- The bottom of a toasted Kaiser roll
- Pork roll slices
- Egg and cheese
- The top of a toasted Kaiser roll
Okay, it really doesn't matter what order you put it in. You do you. But that's how I made my sandwiches!
Other Breakfast Recipes You May Enjoy
- This first one isn't really a breakfast recipe, but this sandwich would pair fantastically with these Truffle Fries!
- Sausage Green Chile Breakfast Casserole
- Sausage Gravy
- Gooey Butter Coffee Cake
Frequently Asked Questions
Pork roll is a fully cooked meat. However, it is not meant to be eaten cold. Frying the pork roll brings out the best flavor from the meat.
Pork roll sandwiches can also be made using bagels, English muffins, and even croissants!
In New Jersey, the most common topping for the sandwich is ketchup! But I love it with dijon mustard, and my husband prefers his sandwich with some Frank's hot sauce.
Let me know how you like this recipe by leaving a review! And follow along on Instagram @stateofdinner for behind-the-scenes and to be among the first to know when new recipes post!
Pork Roll Egg and Cheese SandwichRecipe by:
- 16 slices pork roll (12 ounces)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 4 Kaiser rolls
- 4 large eggs
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 slices American cheese
- Split Kaiser buns and butter each half. Toast to your desired doneness and set aside.
- Score 4 cuts into pork roll slices to keep them from puffing while cooking.
- With medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter on a large skillet or griddle. Place the pork roll slices onto the buttered skillet and cook for 3 minutes, then flip the slices and cook an additional 3 minutes, or a total of 6 minutes.
- Place 4 pork roll slices onto each of the bottom toasted buns.
- Using medium-low heat, melt an additional tablespoon of butter. Crack eggs into the skillet and cook for about 2 minutes. Salt and pepper the eggs, then pour about 2 tablespoons of water around the outside of the eggs. Cover with a lid for 30 seconds.
- Remove the lid and add a slice of cheese onto each egg. Replace the lid and cook an additional 30 seconds to melt the cheese. The total cook time of the egg should be 3 minutes to allow for the yolk to still be runny. Cook longer if you prefer your yolk cooked through.
- Place one egg on top of each set of pork roll. Finish with the top Kaiser roll and serve immediately.
We left the NJ in 2004 and missed our favorite breakfast sandwich for a couple of years. But then we found out that Pork Roll can be purchased at BJ's wholesale clubs for about $30.00 for a 6 pound roll. We get ours in Jacksonville Florida. You can take the girl out of Jersey but you can't take the Jersey out of the girl,
That is fantastic that you have found it locally! We don't have a BJ's here in Dallas. I haven't found it at Costco or any of our local grocery stores.
H Neil Morris
I'm a North Jersey native, but thanks in part to the whims of the Secretary of the Navy, I've resided in 9 different states, and the District of Columbia.
I can report that wherever I have lived in the US, I have never had difficulty finding Taylor Pork Roll in my local grocery store.
Time spent overseas was another issue entirely...
How lucky you are to have been able to enjoy pork roll no matter where you lived! It's so interesting to me that in a large metroplex like Dallas I haven't been able to find it. Surely there is a local gem that carries it, but I haven't found it yet.
I’ve been eating Taylor’s Ham pork roll my entire life,I’m currently 63 years old,growing up in Rockville Maryland. This iconic pork roll shaped my early food tastes and was always in the fridge waiting to be sliced and fried up and assembled into a cavernous array of sandwiches. I think having grown up with it I’m more adapted to its salty ting and yang compared to those late comers that don’t appreciate it. This sandwich is what breakfast on the go or a leisurely sit down meal is all about.
That is so cool, Scott! It truly is a classic sandwich. I bet you have great memories of enjoying pork roll!
I am from New Jersey and grew up on pork roll! This looks exactly like how I remember them! I can't wait to try the recipe.
Thanks, Jacqueline! Please let me know what you think of the recipe!