Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Roast Beef Sandwiches with Au Jus

For most people, a homemade roast beef sandwich is an elusive delight.  However, with a little know-how, tender and delicious meaty goodness can be yours at home.

It all starts with time and a good cut of beef - arm roast, in this case.  A chuck roast would work, as well.  You want a thick, well-marbled piece of beef, and you want to season it gently and cook it slowly so that the lovely fat and connective tissue inside can work their magic.

A cast iron Dutch oven is a must for any cook, I've come to find.  When I received one as a Christmas gift years ago, I was doubtful about how often I'd actually use it.  Little did I know.  It's one of my favorite pots now, glossy and seasoned to perfection, and perfect for making delectable pot roast.

I started with about a 2 1/2 pound arm roast, purchased from a local family-owned farm- fabulous grass-fed, hormone free Oklahoma beef (no more grocery store crap for us, tyvm).  I slathered the roast with a paste of kosher salt, fresh black pepper, minced garlic, chopped rosemary, and extra virgin olive oil, plunked it down in the Dutch oven, slapped on the lid, and threw the whole thing into a 350º oven.  (My, that was some violent cooking!)

After about 3 1/2 hours, the meat was tender and tasty.  While it cooked, I prepared the rest of the goodies for the sandwiches: caramelized red onions and crusty rolls with Swiss cheese.  The onions are sliced fairly thick and sauteed in butter over medium-low heat until softened and slightly browned.  Crusty French rolls are split, buttered, toasted, and dressed with Swiss cheese that is then melted under the broiler.

When the meat was ready, I set the roast aside, strained the pan juices into a saucepan, added some beef broth (hot water and a bouillon cube), and brought the liquid to a simmer.  Taste, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.  Slice the roast with a serrated knife across the grain into 1/4" slabs, layer onto the toasted and cheesed rolls, top with onions, and serve with cups of au jus gravy.

Oh hell yes!

Pepper, kosher salt, minced garlic, and minced rosemary.

Lovely bit of beef.

Making the tasty paste for the meat.

Slathered, smothered, and covered.

Yay for beef!!!  I made a semi-healthy avocado pico de gallo salad to balance the meaty overload.

1 comment:

Jill of All Trades said...

I am so hungry now. Thank you, no really thank you...I'm off to the store.