01 February 2010

Roast Beef with Beet Relish

The Sandwich, while being an expression of one's creativity, is also an art in subtlety.  You will not see any 'Dagwoods' in this blog.  I give very careful thought to the combinations I use.  Of course, everyone's different, and that is the beauty of it.  Here, I will express some favourites, and you can do what you will.

Most importantly to me, is the quality of ingredients.  I prefer to make all of my own condiments, roast my own meats, and when in summer, grow my own greens.  However, I'm not much of a baker, so I seek out artisan breads in my local area.

In this, and the recipes to come, I will list recipes for the ingredients, as well as the end result.

This creation was inspired by a roast beef sandwich I had at Bunk.  It was amazing.  This is not a copy.  I just felt it only fair to credit them. It's where the idea took root.

Roast Beasty with Beet Relish and Field Greens on Slab Bread

Roast Beef
Beet Relish
Sharp White Cheddar
Field Greens
Garlic Mayonnaise

In Portland, there is an amazing bakery named Little T's.  Their version of slab bread is the best I've found.  Slab Bread is really an authentic Focaccia. If slab bread is not available, substitute a Kaiser Roll or whatever you fancy. I prefer their Sea Salt slab over the Herbed.


Roast Beef 

3.5 lb beef eye round roast, tied.
about 6 garlic cloves, 4 minced and 2 sliced thin
2 T. olive oil
2 T. cracked black peppercorns
1.5 T. course salt (Kosher)
1 t. chopped fresh rosemary
.5 t. of chopped fresh oregano and thyme
2 T. soy sauce

Combine the minced garlic and next 7 ingredients in a blender and process to a paste.  Cut several incisions in the beef and stuff each with a garlic slice.  Place roast on a rack and rub all over with the paste. Allow to rest, at room temperature, for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 500 F.  Place roast in oven and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until browning.  Reduce heat to 350 F and cook until an inserted thermometer reads 120 F.  Times will vary, depending on your oven. The roast should then rest on carving board for 10 minutes before slicing.  The internal temperature should also rise to about 125 F during this time.  Slice very thinly.  Try not to eat too much of it now, you'll need some for your sandwich.

However, as a side note:

This makes an excellent dinner the day before your sandwich.  It makes perfect sense to whip up a good Risotto while the roast cooks...

Beet Relish

One bunch (3) medium sized beets
1/2 cup olive oil
3 T. Balsamic vinegar
1 t. course salt
fresh ground pepper
1 1/2 cups chopped red onion
1/3 cup cream style horseradish

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Roast beets in foil for 1.5 hours.
allow to cool, peel and dice.

Whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Stir in the onion and beets.  Stir in the horseradish and refrigerate for up to 4 or 5 days.

Garlic Mayonnaise

While it is true, I do NOT like mayonnaise, I am learning to overcome it in creative ways.  Essentially Aioli, homemade mayonnaise is far different from purchased.  You can also 'fortify' it any way you like.  This is necessary for me to conquer my personal distaste for it.  In this occasion, garlic is the answer.  I will often make a batch plain, then separate it into smaller batches. One could be garlic, while another could be horseradish, while yet another Sriracha.  There are endless ways to change it.  Most importantly, use the correct oil.  After a couple of botched attempts, I finally got it right.  Then, Cook's Illustrated sent out an issue that confirmed my genius.  So, I give them thanks-  For the reinforcement of my already inflated ego.

This mayonnaise will keep for a month in the refrigerator.

1 lrg egg yolk (or whites from two eggs)
1 1/2 t. fresh lemon juice
1 t. white wine vinegar
1/4 t. Dijon mustard (can be omitted)
1/2 t. salt
3/4 C. Crisco Natural Blend vegetable oil
2 cloves minced garlic, if desired

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients, save the oil.  Add  1/4 C. of oil, in scant 1/4t. increments, all the while whisking.  Then, continue to add remaining 1/2 cup of oil, in a slow stream.  It should take 3 to 4 minutes to add the oil.  Alternatively, I often do this in my food processor on a relatively slow speed.


Cut slab in half and spread beet relish on bottom of bread.  Top with field greens, then meat then lightly shave some sharp cheddar on top. Spread a small amount of mayonnaise on top slice and close.


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