You don't smell like Santa. Okay, you will smell like beef and cheese AFTER you eat one of these sandwiches.
So, I roasted a big tri tip roast the day before yesterday and I have been trying to figure out what to do with the leftovers. Because I am not much of a sandwich person, it really never occurs to me that a sandwich can be a viable dinner choice but Shack does like a nice sandwich and I do aim to please.
Tonight I am making sandwiches with beef, provolone, caramelized onion and arugula for the boys. Because I prefer to eat my beef and starch in other forms, I took myself out for a late lunch of Pho at one of my favourite pho joints, Mi Mi's on Gerrard.
I will take a bowl of that over a sandwich any day and since I can't repeat a recipe and am trying to not eat the same thing twice when I go out for dinner, I have to make sure I have my pho fixes at lunch only.
First, I caramelized onions for a few hours in the oven. Just cut up a couple of tbls of butter and put in the bottom of some sort of heavy bottomed pan or pot. A Le Crueset dutch oven would be awesome but I don't have one so I just do it in an old fashioned cast iron skillet. Works perfectly. Put in the oven at around 325F and stir them every half hour or so and they will be beautiful in a couple of hours. I then take them out and put them on the burner on med high heat and i deglaze the pan three times with about 1/3 cup of water , letting the water evaporate between additions. It's a little trick I read about on Cook's Illustrated and it really finishes them off nicely. Right at the very end I add a slurp of Malivoire's Rosemary Wine Syrup but you can use anything - a bit of port, some balsamic vinegar or sherry. Just let that cook off for a few minutes and then you are finally finished with the onions.
The sandwich is pretty straight forward.
Get some sort of bun. You can get a fancy pants ciabatta bun or you can use a soft onion bun. It's all about what you like, right?
Then, slice your leftover beef (steak, flank steak, tri tip, roast) against the grain, into nice, thin slices and set aside.
Wash your arugula really well to get rid of any grit and then dry them completely and set aside.
To assemble the sandwich, I put some mustard (they just like plain old yellow mustard but if it were for me, I would do some sort of grainy mustard) on the bottom of the bun that I have cut in half. Then add a fat layer of caramelized onion, layer on the sliced beef, add a couple of slices of provolone on top of that and then finish with a layer of arugula before adding the top of the bun.
I thought I would try out a technique that I have read about because I don't have a panini press or anything. I assembled the sandwiches , wrapped them in foil and then put them in a 375F oven, on a cookie sheet, for about 20 minutes, with my cast iron skillet sitting on top of it to squish it down. You are supposed to wrap a brick in tinfoil and use that as a weight, but really, who has a brick just laying around the kitchen?? The cast iron pan worked beautifully.
I served it with a nice salad and roast fingerling potatoes with my beloved jamaican chicken spice and a bit of olive oil. I just had a bite of Shack's sandwich and it was actually really good and I think this is the type of sandwich I could actually get a bit exited about. Both boys were thrilled with their crunchy bread, their gooey cheese and their thinly sliced, tender beef sandwich and both said they would love to have similar sandwiches more often for dinner.
Bottom line, I am a kitchen goddess tonight and everyone is happy.