Donald Link, head chef at New Orleans butcher shop and restaurant Cochon Butcher, is a man who takes his sandwiches seriously. Particularly close to his heart is the muffuletta (moof-uh-leh-ta), a massive sandwich of meat, cheese, and tangy vegetable relish on a round sesame roll that has been a cornerstone of Crescent City cuisine for more than a century.
“I have two problems with most muffulettas,” he says. “They have too much bread, and the meat is cheap.” Link opened Butcher with the goal of making the best muffuletta in New Orleans, a goal akin to that of making the best cheese steak in Philly, or the best crab cake in Baltimore. Prioritizing quality, Link and his team built their sandwich with meat cured in-house, fresh giardiniera, and bread from a favorite local bakery.
Though Cochon Butcher may not have the history of, say, Central Grocery, where the muffuletta was invented in 1906, Link’s well-crafted take on the sandwich has earned raves from customers and critics alike. And you don’t need to go all the way to Louisiana to try it. With his recipe, you can bring a hearty taste of New Orleans to your game-day festivities.