I really, really, really dislike cold sandwiches. There’s really no way to put it gently. The mushy bread, and all sorts of cold filling makes it really unpleasant for me. Hot sandwiches, on the other hand…hot sandwiches are something I can get down with. Anything with flavorful, warm ingredients accompanied by crunchy, crusty bread is definitely on my good side!
To start with, there are a few things to know about this recipe:
- It isn’t fast if you do it all by hand, but it will definitely pay off. You can always thinly slice the meat using a food processor attachment, or even buy it pre-made if your grocer or butcher offers it, but I prefer to pick a hunk of good meat with little fat to slice thinly and marinate.
- If you’re in a hurry, or just looking for an easy way to tweak the recipe, use leftovers! Flavorful pot roast, leftover grilled chicken or even steak, provided your knife is sharp enough to slice it thinly, would be amazing flavor additions
- Don’t skip the roasted garlic spread. I swear, it will make these sandwiches SO much better (although they’re pretty good as-is, better is always better, right?)
- Although you can use toasted French bread, or even regular sandwich bread for this recipe, a lightly-flavored artisan bread, with a thick crust and rugged crumb, will do these sandwiches their best for taste and presentation. M and I just headed to our local QFC and picked up a nice rosemary and olive oil loaf from their “artisan” line. It was great!
- This recipe serves two (very hungry) college students, but you can easily double it for family meal night.
More than anything else, don’t be afraid to experiment. Sandwiches are meant to be delicious and hold whatever’s in the fridge. Make use of leftovers and change this up to form whatever amazing sandwich you can think of!
Shaved beef sandwiches
8 oz eye of round roast, completely frozen
1 medium yellow onion
2 large crimini mushrooms, cleaned
1 clove garlic
2 reserved cloves of garlic from my amazing roasted garlic recipe
2 tbsp sour cream (I used fat free and it was great)
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
Lettuce, tomato and cucumber for topping (optional)
Cayenne, paprika, salt and pepper to taste
First things first: take your roast out and let it thaw on the counter for about an hour and a half. When it’s just beginning to sweat, where the outer layer of meat is softened but the inside is still frozen solid, take a sharp knife and begin shaving. I know it’s a tedious process, but the end result is well worth it. Each shaving should be thin enough that you can see light through it. Yes, you read that right. Good food takes time.
Once you’ve shaved the entire hunk of beef, place the shavings into a bowl with one tablespoon of olive oil, and spices to taste. Toss it all, cover with plastic wrap, and let it sit while you finish everything else.
Cut the crimini in half horizontally, so that they’re flat hunks of mushroom patty. In a ridged skillet, or in your panini-maker, place the mushrooms with about half of the remaining olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and allow to cook. Turn over once they’re rather browned on the bottom. While they cook, cut the onion into 1/2 inch slabs, as if you were making onion rings. If the pan is big enough, add them in with the mushrooms. Drizzle some olive oil and salt over them, and allow them to cook until they have nice blackened grill marks, or are a caramelized brown.
In the meanwhile, cut two thick slabs of bread from your loaf (ours were about 2 1/2 inches wide.) Turn them on their sides, so the crust side is pointing out instead of up and down, and cut them in half using a downward motion, to make two small sandwich loaves.
To make the roasted garlic spread: crack some pepper into a small bowl. Add in the roasted garlic and mash until smooth. Blend in the sour cream, and set aside.
Once all the vegetables are done cooking, toss your beef and place enough pieces in the pan that they aren’t crowded, but cook well. Turn, if you like, or if you prefer your meat rare, just move them from the pan once one side is nicely browned.
After the meat has cooked, turn up the heat to medium-high and find another heavy pan that will fit inside your skillet. If you have a panini press, use that. Place your mini loaves, cut side down, into the pan and add the weight on top so they brown nicely. You can repeat on the other side if you please, or just leave them browned on the inside.
Once you've cooked all the components, it's time to assemble!
Once everything has cooked, spread some of the garlic spread inside the toasted bread, followed by lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion, mushroom and meat. Sandwich them together, pat yourself on the back, and go eat the best sandwich you’ve probably ever tasted!