French dip salt beef sandwich | Mashtun and Meow: Sheffield Beer Blog

Monday, 10 March 2014

French dip salt beef sandwich

As you may have noticed through many a previous post, I am a little bit of a fan of salt beef and pastrami, so when LoveSaltBeef asked me if I thought a variation on the classic French dip sandwich would work, there was only one thing for it: to the butchers!

Essentially a French dip sandwich comprises roast beef, with the bread dipped into a thin but delicious stock or gravy. The difference I took at this point is that instead of a plain stock I felt that the salted meat needed a bit of contrast in the form of mustard heat and a little hint of vinegar sourness.

While I won't go into the creation of salt beef this time (my recipes for which can be found here and here) I will instead show you my take on the gravy and construction of the sandwich.

This recipe makes two hearty sandwiches.

The gravy

1 medium onion
1/2 stick celery
Olive oil for frying
2 large teaspoons mustard (to taste - I used a wholegrain variety with chilli)
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
Half a pint of good quality beef stock

Fry off the onion and celery until they become limp on a low heat, then turn the heat up and add the mustard. Fry for about 30 seconds, or until the mustard burns the top of your nose, at which point add the vinegar and cook off some of the intensity, again for around another 30 seconds.

To this pungent blend add the stock and bring to a simmer for around 10 minutes. This will allow the vegetables to finish softening and will reduce the mixture slightly. During this time, slice the meat into thick juicy slices and add to the gravy for the last minute or so, with the heat turned low.

As the meat is slowly warming in the gravy, prep the bread. For this I used soft white breadcakes. This is where personal choice comes in, with the amount of liquid you want on your sandwich. Starting with a little dip of just the lid of the sandwich (my wife's choice) to the whole ensemble being served in a Turkish bath of steaming hot meat gravy. Or simply grab the full meaty arrangement in some tongs and plunge it into the pan of meat juices and serve.

As a Yorkshireman this combination of bread and gravy is perfection, normally reserved for the last wonderful moments on a Sunday roast, but which can now be appreciated in full blown sandwich form.

Enjoy,

Jim