It’s kind of similar to spam and is a delicious salty, meat that tastes great crisped up and added to this breakfast sandwich with American cheese and egg on a kaiser roll.
Only people from New Jersey know what Taylor Ham (otherwise known as pork roll) is and everyone else is missing out! While it can be found in some deli’s in New York or Pennsylvania it is typically found in New Jersey. Not only is it the best hangover cure; a Taylor ham, egg and cheese is also the best breakfast sandwich ever (ok I may be biased because I grew up there).
Since apparently it seems to be only a New Jersey phenomena, when I went to college in California I would have my mom bring it with her when she came to visit.
It’s kind of similar to spam and is a delicious salty, meat that tastes great crisped up and added to this breakfast sandwich with American cheese and egg on a kaiser roll. It was originally called “Taylor’s Prepared Ham” by it’s creator, John Tyler though he was forced to omit “ham” due to changing definitions by the FDA changing the name to “pork roll”.
So Taylor Ham or Pork Roll?
Taylor ham and pork roll are the same thing. What you call it depends on where in New Jersey you live:
North Jersey = Taylor ham
South Jersey (and Philadelphia) = pork roll
Key Ingredients in This Recipe
Taylor ham – Taylor ham or pork roll is a processed pork product made with a mixture of spices and a salt and sugar cure with a flavor most comparable to Spam. It’s served cut into thick slices like Canadian bacon. Some grocery stores like Bristol Farms and Wegmans carry packaged Taylor ham though it has to be hand sliced. If you are in NJ then I recommend stopping at your local deli and asking them to slice it for you. The slices should be fairly thick, not shaved.
American cheese – American cheese may be processed but it is a classic on a breakfast sandwich like this one. It has superior melting ability and texture.
Eggs – When it comes to cooking eggs for breakfast sandwiches, I opt to cook them over medium rather than over easy or sunny side up, so the yolk is more jammy than runny and it doesn’t get as messy. Another option is to break the yolk just as the whites are set and right before you give the egg a flip, so the yolk remains jammy but doesn’t spurt out when you bite into the biscuit!
Kaiser roll – A kaiser roll, also called a Vienna roll or a hard roll is a deli-style roll typically used for breakfast sandwiches. These crusty, round rolls have a plush interior. They come plain or with poppy or sesame seeds. I cut them in half and toast them in a bit of butter before assembling the sandwiches.
How to Make a Taylor Ham, Egg & Cheese
Score the Taylor ham Score the edges of the pork roll slices in 4 places. This will keep the slices flat and prevent them from curling as they cook.
Pan-fry Taylor ham. Heat a large sauté pan or griddle over medium-high heat. Add the Taylor Ham slices in one layer and brown on both sides, about 2 minutes on each side.
Toast rolls. While the ham cooks, toast the Kaiser rolls. To toast the rolls spread butter on each side of the roll. Place rolls butter side down on the griddle. Cook until toasted, about 2 minutes.
Add Taylor ham to roll. Once the Taylor Ham is browned, place 3 pieces on top of each toasted roll. Reduce the heat to medium-low and crack the eggs onto the cooking surface.
Fry eggs and add cheese. Cook the egg over easy and once flipped, immediately place a slice of American cheese on each egg so that it melts.
Assemble sandwich. After the eggs are done, place each egg on top of the Taylor ham.
Serve. To serve, season with salt, pepper and serve with ketchup if desired. Close each sandwich, then cut each breakfast sandwich in half and serve.
Tips and Tricks for This Recipe
You can always substitute the kaiser rolls for bagels! While heartier, a Taylor ham, egg and cheese is great on an everything bagel!
Scoring the Taylor ham before adding it to the pan keeps the slices flat as they cook and prevents them from curling up. This way they remain flat as they are added to the breakfast sandwich.
Other Recipes to Try
If you enjoy this Taylor ham, egg and cheese sandwich recipe, I recommend checking out some of these other breakfast sandwich ideas: