It’s been a while! My cooking and blogging habits have taken a turn for the less involved ever since finishing up my Master’s degree (!!!) and landing a job. We’ve still been doing plenty of cooking (and eating) but we’ve been relying on old standards instead of trying new things. I hope to get to the point where I feel a little more experimental in the kitchen again, maybe getting back to blogging will help!
As a now-working lady, I’ve found that the bane of my culinary existence is often lunch. I’m ashamed to admit that more often than not I nearly forget the meal all together and am forced to either deal with a grumbling belly or grab some greasy grub from the work canteen. After several weeks of following this pattern, I decided it was time to take a more proactive approach. What better way is there to cure the lunchtime blues than tasty sandwiches?
One of my favorite (and most frequently made) recipes from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Meat Book is for a cold roast beef sandwich. If you have never had a sandwich made with homemade roast beef, I highly recommend that you remedy that at once. I prefer it to store bought beef because you can get good quality beef and cook it exactly to your preference. At our house that means rare, rare, rare.
I found the recipe posted on the Telegraph’s website, so I’ve mercilessly stolen it and changed it to imperial measurements.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s cold roast beef open sandwich (serves 8–10)
Cold roast beef is a different animal from hot — delicious, but in a summery, picnicky kind of way. All good, rare roast beef is delicious cold but some cuts, such as top round or bottom round, are actually better cold (or cured) than hot — and so worth cooking specially for this purpose.
- 1 piece of well-hung top round of beef, weighing about 4 lbs
- Olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Massage a little olive oil into the beef and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Put it in a roasting tin and place in a hot oven (425F) for the “half-hour sizzle”. Turn the oven down to 300F and cook for a further 10 minutes per 1lb. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and leave to cool at room temperature. Store in a cool larder until it is time for your picnic (or in the fridge if it’s for more than 24 hours).
It’s amazing how a recipe so simple can yield such tasty results. I’ve also made this for a cheap and easy Christmas dinner; it was sliced slightly thicker and served at room temperature with garlic mashed potatoes and my brother-in-law’s mulled wine. The meat is also delicious mixed with french lentils, chopped fresh parsley, red pepper, and a Dijon dressing.
This time, we wanted sandwiches that we could grab as we were running out the door. We started an assembly line: Dave’s Killer Bread, horseradish mayonnaise, caramelized onions, thin slices of beef. Wrapped in wax paper, the sandwiches went into the deep freeze to be pulled out at a moment’s notice. We’ll pull them out in the morning and they will (hopefully) thaw by lunch time. No need to refrigerate!
Today will be our first day trying out these frozen sandwiches. I just received these awesome sandwich bags from my best friend Caroline’s new etsy shop Tiny Nest that will be perfect for transporting our sandwiches to work. Plus, they’re cute to boot! (This ‘shroom one is Nate’s, mine has mermaids on it.)
If you’re interested in getting your own reusable sandwich bags, you can use code: HURRAY10 for 10% off your purchase. You can also follow Tiny Nest on Facebook for more updates and special deals.
Depending on how these sandwiches turn out, I think this may become a common occurrence for us. I’m already looking forward to experimenting with different sandwich combinations. Of course, I have to keep in mind how well ingredients will tolerate their time in the freezer; cheese and mushrooms have already been nixed due to rumors that the deep freeze makes them gross. I might give mini quiche another try, as when cooked properly they freeze and reheat beautifully.
Do you have any tips for rejuvenating your mid-day meal? I’d love to hear them!