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Taylor Ham – New Jersey’s Own Mystery Meat – Episode 101

By Patrick

If your from mid to North Jersey you know what Taylor Ham is and if your not well here is your introduction to it- Now don’t dismay the rest of you have Pork Roll which in theory is a similar product but it is not the same- Taylor Ham is what unites us from Jersey against the rest of the country- It is the twinkle in our eye when we order a Taylor Ham, egg & cheese on a roll in a diner in North Carolina, Florida or New York and someone gets up and yells “where in Jersey you from?”

  • Michelle


  • Michelle

    Taylor ham, cow sphincter…we don’t have such things in Seattle. Is it similar to Canadian Bacon? Looking forward to the upcoming recipes. Hopefully, you had the courtesy to open the windows and air the house out before Mrs. Kahuna came home. I had many food aversions when I was preggo, so I totally understand why she might come after you with the frying pan!

  • zonk

    Hey Kahuna

    Congratulations on your swim team!

    Our local mystery meat is something called a Donair, its a spicy meat sandwich on a pita bread with a sweet sauce, onions & tomatoes (made with canned milk & vinegar and garlic). It’s kinda like a gyro.

    You can make it at home, but normally get it at pizza shop, and lord know what’s really in it. It’s cooked on a spit for hours. Best eaten after a six pack, at about 1;30 AM, best eaten in a bathtub or outdoors. Usually prudent not to stray too far from a washroom if you have never been to the pizza shop before….

    Not very compatible with pregnant wives… but I bet the Big Kahuna would like them, and recomend a wine to go with it.

    If you want to try making one here’s a sample recipe:

    Donair Sauce
    (adapted from King of Donair)

    2/3 cup canned evaporated milk
    2/3 cup sugar
    1/4 cup white vinegar
    1/2 tsp garlic powder
    Stir canned milk, sugar and garlic powder until sugar is dissolved. Add vinegar and continue mixing. The quicker you add the vinegar and the less you mix (I usually give the spoon 3 or 4 turns around the bowl), the thicker the sauce will be. Let sauce sit for at least one hour in refrigerator before using. Eventually (hours to days later), the sauce may start to separate. DO NOT STIR IT. Simply skim the thick sauce off the top. It tastes fine, despite the appearance that all the vinigar has seeped out of it.

    You should be able to get thick sauce simply by following the instructions in the top recipe. I can get mine a bit thicker than yogurt. Occasionally, I blow it and stir too much and the sauce gets thin again. If your sauce is not thick enough (I like spoons to stand up in it) follow the recipe below. It is my new favorite.

    Alternate SUPER-THICK Sauce Recipe (confirmed to be excellent)

    2/3 cup canned sweetened condensed milk
    1/4 cup white vinegar
    1/2 tsp garlic powder
    Follow the same instructions as above, except that you really need to stir for a long time to get the condensed milk and vinigar mixed properly. Do not be alarmed. Stirring this recipe for a long time will not make it thin. Leave set for a few minutes and you will be able to turn the bowl upside down and none of it will pour out.
    Please note, the amount of sauce provided in this recipe will likely last two servings at most (if used properly). I find that the sauce can be made in larger batches and survives an unnaturally long time in the fridge.

    Donair Meat
    (adapted from Derek’s Place)

    3 pounds lean hamburger (triple ground*)
    3/4 cup bread crumbs
    2 tsp pepper
    1-2 tsp cayenne red pepper (depending on your taste)
    1 1/2 tsp oregano
    3 tsp paprika
    2 tsp onion powder
    1 tsp garlic powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    *Try to get your butcher to run the meat through the grinder a few times. A food processor will do the trick also.

    Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Knead for 20 minutes. Shape into two tightly formed loaves. Bake on broiler pan for 2 to 2 1/2 hours at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Cool loaves and slice into thick slabs. Meat can be frozen for future use. If (like me) you are not fortunate enough to own your own rotary-stick-cooker thing like the ones in the good shops, you may find that the inner parts of the loaf are not browned enough. This can be remedied by re-heating the meat in a frying pan. This browns it nicely and gives it that slightly chewier texture.


    Heat donair meat in a frying pan. Dip a pita bread in water and fry in frying pan to soften (this is VERY important). Place a generous amount of sauce on bread. Top with meat, chopped onions and tomatoes and finish off with lots more sauce. Put on some old clothes, then roll up or serve open face on a plate. Utensils are strictly forbidden.


    Donair Sub
    If you do not have pita bread, you could try the Donair Sub, which is all the above plus some mozzarella cheese placed on a submarine bun and baked for a few minutes (until cheese melts a bit).

    Donair Pizza
    Grate a bit of mozzarella cheese onto a pizza crust (this will help bind the toppings to the dry crust). Top with loads of donair meat, tomatoes, onions and then more cheese. Bake in oven until cooked to your desired meltiness. Pour cold or room temperature sauce onto each slice before you eat it. The combo of hot pizza with cool donair sauce is very pleasing.

    If you can’t seem to get your sauce really thick, you might try putting the sauce on the crust first. This will ruin the hot pizza/cold sauce sensation, but will be easier to eat.

    some pictures at

  • Suzanne Vara


    I am so happy you brought this to light as folks here think I am nuts when I speak of such mystery meat.

    The best part of the video is the car. I loved it!

  • castello

    Better than Spam? Why are you listening to The Bee Gees in your car? Can’t wait to see you pull a Travolta on us.
    Another Kahuna on the way! Congrats.
    Zonk, are you Greek? that sure looks like a Gyro. Did they really make a Dominos version?

  • Nonna

    And yes, we did have Taylor Ham (usually in roll form). Prhaps we were through eating it before you recovered from your hangover!

  • Nonna

    Spam too, sliced almost all the way through with pineapple slices in between, then baked in oven.

  • zonk

    Nonna: that’s funny

    castello: not Greek, more like a Geek, without skills

  • maria

    I am from north jersey and now i live in south jersey and we do have it here they just say pork roll egg and cheese. But all the people from north jersey are moving down so you here alot more people asking for it as taylor ham.

  • ErieWineGuy

    Gotta try that Taylor Ham!

    I guess the Erie, PA area has a mystery meat – Ox Roast sandwiches. Kind of like a beef on wic.

    Beef round roast done in an au jus, on a Kaiser roll with ketchup and horseradish. Fantastic!

    Perfect at summer picnics.


    I am going to have to make a road trip to get one of the sandy's that sounds good


    I am going to have to make a road trip to get one of the sandy’s that sounds good

  • Wonzee

    Your video on Taylor Ham aka taylor pork roll really hit home. I’ve been a Northern Jersey transplant to the midwest for 40 yearsand baby they don’t have this wonderful product. We have alot of Hogs but no Taylor Ham. I have been dyng to get some. I would be so thankful if you would email me a site where I could get a roll or two. It would make the Xmas season complete. Thanks!!rnrnWonzeern


    Hey Wonzee- so sorry for not getting back to you on this but let me know if you still need some Taylor Ham- I have a few places to get it shipped- Yeah it is just not the same when I travel and can not get my Taylor Ham- Little Kahuna2 loves the stuff too-

  • Erfman1

    I haven’t lived in Jersey since 82 and I miss Taylor ham, everytime I go back I have to have that same sandwich and I bring a couple boxes home with me (IL)n


    Yeah it is great we just went through a pound this weekend as it is a staple of the Heidleburger. I think Taylor Ham is the single biggest thing that people miss when they leave NJ

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  • Hugo F. Melo

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