Chef's Kitchen: Catcher and the Rye signature sandwich

By Melissa Eichman, Reporter
Last Updated: Wednesday, March 01, 2017, 10:51 AM EST

Chef James Russo from Catcher and the Rye in Palm Harbor takes us inside the Chef's Kitchen to make the restaurant's signature sandwich: the appropriately named "Catcher and the Rye."


Choice angus ribeye loin rubbed with:

  • 1 cup fresh garlic
  • 8 oz Vidalia onion
  • 3 oz fresh thyme
  • 3 oz Catcher’s spice rub: Cumin, smoked paprika, onion, thyme, coriander, garlic, chili powder

Pork loin rubbed with:

  • 3 oz Catcher's spice rub (see above)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Cooking the meats

Ribeye loin

Allow dry-rubbed steak loin to rest overnight, then roast in an oven to lowest setting, no higher than 200 degrees for six to eight hours. Keep a large, shallow pan of water under the rib eye loin to maintain moisture, Check internal temperature to reach no higher than 120 degrees.

Pull from oven and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes before slicing to preserve natural juices.

Slow-smoked pork loin:

  1. Generously rub pork loin with Catcher’s spices and brown sugar; allow to rest overnight
  2. Fire smoker to no higher than 250 degrees and smoke pork loins for at least four hours using applewood chips.
  3. Pull loins from smoker and place in braising pan, then cover loins with mixture of 1 cup Hard Apple Cider, 1 cup apple juice, and ¼ cup BBQ sauce

Roast uncovered in oven: set at 350 degrees for about thirty minutes until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Pull pan from oven and allow pork loin to rest in natural juices while cooling.

Assembling the sandwich

  1. Toast marble rye bread
  2. Coat each slice of bread with BBQ sauce
  3. Layer with rib eye, whiskey candied bacon, pork loin
  4. Add coleslaw (see recipe below)


  • 1 quart shredded green cabbage
  • 1 quart shredded Napa cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup julienne scallions

Coleslaw dressing:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup apple juice
  • 1Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • ½ tsp white pepper

Garnish with pickles and serve over a stack of tater tots.