Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Pot Roast Sandwiches

Oh please God I beg you to give me just twenty minutes of peace! I finally finished my diet (for which I lost 39 pounds, but that is irrelevant now) and I have a new kitten. Not that I wished for a new kitten at all. But my most beloved, handsome prince went out one night and never came back. And because I am deeply loved, people arranged for a new kitten to replace him. You can't say no to that kind of love, so I gratefully (read begrudgingly) agreed to it. So far, that kitten has shredded two brand new pairs of skinny Calvin Klein jeans and scarred my legs to where they look like a road map of northern Ontario. There is more blood drawn from my flesh on a daily basis from kitten claws than a devil worship ceremony at a bath salts convention in Miami. But I digress.

The point is that I haven't been able to get near the stove in weeks and weeks because of the terror I live in on a daily basis. And because of my vigilant efforts to try to tame the beast, (water spray bottle and hollering like a banshee) I was able to nearly get a pot roast dinner into the roast pan the other day. I didn't get the potatoes in. But carbohydrates are no longer a necessity of life for me anyway, so it worked out okay. And because I am always so stressed and shredded and bleeding all the time, I rarely eat food anymore. (Although I wish I could!) So the pot roast was put to the fridge because the need for vodka over ruled. BUT the sandwiches which came from those leftovers were brilliant! The Evil Ginger Cat is shredding my flesh as I type this, but I'll forge on ahead because I'm more used to it now. First we'll make a pot roast:

Use a 1or 2 lb cut of beef. Pot roast is what the label will say for the best one to use. But don't use an expensive cut such as a sirloin or prime rib. Or an outside or eye of round. You want a fairly fatty roast so it will break up and have some flavour.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and put the roast into the pan. Add 2 carrots cut into big pieces, 2 stalks of celery cut into large pieces, 1 onion cut into quarters, 2 cloves of garlic smashed but whole and 2 quartered and peeled potatoes. Double the vegetables if you're feeding more than 4 people. Add 2 cups of red wine and season everything with salt, pepper and some garlic powder. Put the lid on and let it roast for about 3 hours. If you like root vegetables like turnip and parsnip, you can throw that in too.

If you want to serve this as a main, remove the meat and cover with tin foil for about 10 minutes. Remove all the vegetables and cover with tin foil and leave them to warm. You can simmer down the pan drippings to half and serve as an au jus, or you can make a gravy. For that, just make a slurry (that's Newfie speak for take a half a cup of warm tap water and stir in about 2 tablespoons of flour, stirring it in with a fork, so no lumps, and whisk it in to your drippings) which are simmering on medium heat. As it thickens, turn down your heat to low and keep on whisking. Taste for seasoning and serve it up with your vegetables and sliced meat.
If you want to make the most amazing sandwiches ever... Don't make the gravy.

Slice your meat and put it and the pan drippings into a container and store overnight.
Get the freshest buns you can find. I am so lucky to have a Portuguese bakery in my town and those are the best buns to use. They're soft. So don't use Ciabetta or chewy buns like that. Use Kaisers or potato buns if you can't get Portuguese. Saute a thinly sliced onion in butter until it softens and add about 6 or 7 sliced mushrooms. The better the mushrooms, the better the sandwich. So use the ones you like. Season with salt and pepper. Cut the bun in half and spread some Dijon on one side and some horseradish mixed with sour cream and Worcestershire sauce on the other. (half horseradish, half sour cream and about a tablespoon of Worcestershire). Preheat your broiler in the oven to high heat. Heat up the beef in drippings in a saucepan to a simmer. Put several slices of the beef on one side of the bun and the mushroom and onion sauté on the other. Add some cheese over the onions and mushrooms. I like Gruyere, but mozzarella works fine or Provolone or whatever you have. Lay it out on a cookie sheet and put it under a broiler for a few minutes. Watch it ever so vigilantly so nothing scorches. You just want a melt. Pull it out and if you like, add some radicchio or spinach or even fresh thyme just before serving. Put the two buns together and there you have a bloody good Pot Roast sandwich my friends! It will melt in your mouth and you'll be thankful for your happy life again! Enjoy!

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