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The Hercules Hoagie or Giant Sub

30 Serving 6 foot Submarine Sandwich
The Hercules Hoagie

This impressive 6 foot sandwich will feed around 25 people at a cost of around $3 per person (2005) if you shop carefully for your meats and cheese.

Order the 6 foot bread from your deli or bakery. In 2005, the bread costs about $20 plus a refundable fee for the board it comes on. Pick up the bread on the day you plan to serve and make this. It is a 2 person construction, as it takes 4 hands to lift the top bread off and on without breaking. Unless one has a walk-in type cooler to store the sandwich, it is safest to refrigerate all the ingredients separately and to prepare the sandwich just before serving time. It takes me about 15 minutes to assemble if all the vegetables and pickles are sliced, drained, bagged and chilled the day before.
For 100 people, you might make 4- 1 Italian, one roast beef or ham and cheese, one meatball or sliced chicken or chicken/ tuna salad, and one All American (bologna, salami, etc with cheese).
If you are not making it at the site, you need a vehicle suitable for transporting a 6 foot sandwich. It will fit into a van.

1 (6 foot) bread (Italian) whole
4 pounds deli thin slice meats (roast beef, ham, turkey, salami, pastrami, bologna, etc.)
OR about 70 meatballs
OR 3 1/2 quarts meat or tuna salad
2 pounds assorted sliced cheese, thin 1 ounce slices
2 heads of iceberg lettuce, knife shredded
1 quart mayonnaise or 2-3 cups olive oil
1 1/2 pounds sweet onions, white or red, very thin sliced
1 1/2 pounds bell pepper, very thinly sliced
3 pounds (6 large) tomatoes thin sliced and drained
1 quart jar of kosher dills, mild pickle pepper rings, or other pickled veggies, thin sliced
1 pound sliced or chopped olives, black or green, drained
1/3 cup quality vinegar PLUS 1/3 cup olive oil, shaken together
salt, pepper
3/4 cup mustard
30 extra long toothpicks or bamboo skewers
optional: serve extra mustard, ketchup, mayo and a quart of pickles along side

Lay the bread on a long table on the board. Slice bread top off with a serrated knife. One person holds the bread and the other slicec. Spread the bottom half of the bread with mayonnaise or plain olive oil and the top half with mustard. Then layer in the meats, next the cheeses, mixing if you are using several types. Then layer the onions, peppers, tomatoes, olives, lettuce and pickles. Sprinkle on the mixed oil and red vinegar, then salt and pepper to taste.

Using 4 hands, carefully place on top half of bread to cover. Use 30 long wooden bamboo skewers or very long toothpicks to secure sections of the sandwich together- you can garnish each pick with a whole olive. Cut the individual pieces with the serrated knife, but don't break up the appearance of the loaf.

Plan to buy the cold cuts ahead of time on sale. Most cold cuts freeze well for 1 to 2 months. I take them out of the freezer the day before into the refrigerator to thaw. I also slice the vegetables the day before or the early morning of, using a food processor or slicer. Vegetables are then stored in plastic storage bags with a few ice cubes and drained the morning I plan to make the sandwich.