Anyone who has lived in or visited Upstate, NY in the summertime will know exactly what I mean when I say the word “Spiedie.” For those of you that have never heard this unique term, be prepared to have your taste buds blown. This “Spiedie Sandwich” recipe is one of the easiest and most delicious ways to use your grill this summer.
A Spiedie (pronounced SPEE-dee) is just another fancy term for marinated meat, specifically, meat that has been cubed, marinated, grilled, and served on a slice of good Italian bread. This dish has been a tradition in Upstate, NY for as long as people can remember and is thought to have been brought over by the Italians that immigrated to the area.
The Spiedie, originally considered a “poor man’s food” by its founders, has become anything but. Many Upstaters have found ways to take this staple to the next level, creating some extravagant and gourmet recipes. One native, in particular, has made the Spiedie his life’s work.
The Rob Salamida Co., owned by none other than Rob Salamida, started when 16-year-old Rob began selling charcoal-grilled Spiedie sandwiches at the NYS Fair. His small stand took off and has developed into an empire that extends its reaches all over the country.
Salamida’s company has made it their mission to make the famous “Spiedie Sauce” available to the public. The marinade, a simple mixture of oil, vinegar, and Italian herbs and spices, has been bottled in small batches at their site in Binghamton, NY since 1976.
The original State Fair marinade can be found all over the country in stores such as Wegmans, Publix, Kroger’s, Walmart, BJ’s, Weis, and many more. Their signature marinade and all of their other sauces can also be found on their website and shipped anywhere in the country.
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Andrew Salamida, a student at Cornell’s Dyson school of Business and future owner of the Rob Salamida Spiedie Co., to learn just how to make the perfect Spiedie Sandwich.
So roll up your sleeves and start your grill, because we have some Spiedies to make.
Salamida Spiedie Sandwich
- Prep Time: 24-72 hours
- Cook Time: 10-12 minutes
- Total Time: 24-72 hours
- Servings: 6
Cut the meat into 1 inch cubes and place in a plastic bag or large sealed container. Shake and pour 1 bottle of the marinade over the meat, mix well, cover, and let marinate for at least 24 hours. You want to make sure the meat is fully submerged and that you stir the mixture once or twice during this process.
#SpoonTip: The “magic marinating time” is up to three days, but don’t let it marinate for longer than this because the meat will become too acidic in flavor.
Remove the meat from the marinade and skewer with the wooden skewers. Make sure to soak the skewers in water at least 2 hours before you add the meat. This will prevent the skewers from catching fire or burning on the grill.
#Spoon Tip: You can use metal skewers to eliminate the pre-soaking step if you wish.
Place the skewers on the grill at medium-heat, rotating accordingly for about 10-12 minutes. When grilling, it is all about achieving a nice sear on each side.
Salamida suggests rotating the skewers three times to create three sides of “sear” if you can. Depending on the thickness of the meat, 4-5 minutes on each side will be enough to ensure the meat is cooked thoroughly.
#SpoonTip: This is a great time to add additional flavor and seasoning. Salamida suggests basting with fresh marinade. He also suggests adding the Italian Seasoning blend throughout, especially when you first put the meat on the grill and as soon as you take it off.
Once a good sear has been achieved on each side, remove the skewers from the grill. To create the sandwich, simply take one slice of your good Italian bread, place the meat on the bread, and remove the skewer while gripping the meat with the bread.
Adding condiments to the sandwich is highly discouraged. It is suggested that you eat this sandwich as is, but you can add additional marinade as a sauce or other sub sauces if you desire.