Monday, May 31, 2010

Cooking: Day of the Grill

Ah, Memorial Day.  Not only a day to reflect on our heroes in the armed forces who died for our freedom, we get to exercise our freedom by burning grilling meat in the back yard and drinking beer till Aunt Ethel starts looking thin. 

What's on the menu today?  Steaks.  Potato salad.  Two kinds of home-made dip.  And oddly, mini-eggrolls I made from scratch.  Since there are probably going to be leftover steaks, here's my favorite day-after-steaks meal, the Shooter's Sandwich as originally presented by the famous british cooking team, the Two Fat Ladies.  I've modified and rewritten it, but it's the same in taste and spirit.

My Shooter's Sandwich

1 whole loaf of unsliced bread
1 lb. boneless steak, as tender a cut as you can afford
1 lb. mushrooms in season (I most often use white button or portobello or a combination), sliced
1 large yellow onion, or a Vidallia if possible, sliced
salt and pepper to taste

Slice one end off the loaf of bread, and make a hollow in the center that is just large enough to hold the piece of meat, reserving the crumb for later use.  Sprinkle the steak liberally with salt and pepper and sear over medium-high heat until medium-well done.  You don't want it any more done than that, or the sandwich will be dry. Once the steak is done, set it aside wrapped in foil so it can rest.  Don't cut it!  You want those juices to end up in the bread.

Add the sliced mushrooms and onions to the hot pan, adding additional fat if necessary.  Sautee these until they've gone very soft and taken on some brown color.  Spread this mixture all through the hollow you made in the loaf of bread.  Then fit the steak inside.  Add the end crust back on, and wrap the sandwich *very* tightly in plastic wrap or clean butcher's paper.  (The Two Fat Ladies even suggest compressing the loaf with books or heavy pans at this point.  It's up to you.)  After all, the idea was that this sandwich was taken out into the fields by hunters, carried in his pack, until lunch time.  It's supposed to be smooshed.

After no more than twenty minutes out on the counter top, I suggest refrigerating it until the next day.  Depending on your appetite, I'd then cut this into thirds or fourths and share with someone, but then again it's so delicious that half now, half later is always an option.

*End of recipe*

If you can't afford a steak that is tender enough to place in a sandwich whole, I have also used slightly cheaper cuts of steak, but then cooled the steak almost completely and sliced it thin before placing it in the loaf.  I'd slice it on a clean board meant to catch the drippings, and then pour the juices into the sandwich.  This sandwich is NOT as good if the bread hasn't soaked up an insane amount of yummy goodness from the juices of the meat.

Enjoy your food and the start of summer.

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