Monday, December 26, 2011

Date Night Dinner: French Dip Sandwiches

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Did everyone have a nice holiday weekend?  I hope so.  Now that it's over, though, my focus (obviously) goes to the New Year. Despite the fact that I really dislike change (don't worry, we'll get to this Wednesday), I do love the New Year.  It's a clean slate; a chance to believe that this year is another to achieve your dreams.

Since I was about 8 years old I've written in a diary.  Over the years, I've completed at least a dozen of them filled with my thoughts and happenings (like what we ate for dinner, very insightful stuff here). The urge to write comes and goes, and most of it really isn't very controversial.  But, they are still my memories.  I love to reread them because they immediately transport back to those emotions, feelings, and I can relive the memories.  I love it.  Every year I've written in my New Years resolutions.  Through the years they have changed, but what always remains the same is my goal to try to be a better person.  I measure it differently, depending upon the year, but its always there. 

This New Year, I want to try and focus on the little things.  Taking the small moments for myself, and those I love.  When I saw these sandwiches on Pass the Sushi over six months ago, they sat in my "favorites" for a long time.  At least once a week, I checked them out; always dismissing them because they were so much work.  But, trying to take some small moments for everyone, I decided I had to make these in 2011.  Similarly, John asked if we could cook our own prime rib soon.  I figured that was too close to these sandwiches not to give it to him.  These were worth the time, even though you doubt it when you're in the middle of things.  I did almost all of the prep work the day before, and that really helped everything set up.  It also split up the work, and kept my head together! 
French Dip Sandwiches (adapted from here)
Serves: 6 (6 sandwiches)
Onion Spread
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 onion, sliced thin
6 shallots, sliced thin
2 bunches scallions, chopped (separate white and green parts)
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce

Beef
1/2 cup chopped garlic
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 3 lb. beef eye round roast
1 cup low-sodium beef broth (4 total, divided)
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 sprigs parsley

Jus
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups low-sodium beef broth (4 total, divided)
2 teaspoons sherry

6-6 inch sub rolls
For the Onion Spread: In a small saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and stir until golden (35 minutes).  Add shallots and scallion whites.  Cover and cook, stirring often until browned (another 25 minutes).  Stir in the scallion greens, remove from heat and place in the fridge to cool.  (To speed up this process, place the mixture on a cookie sheet so it is flat, and it will chill in about 15-25 minutes.)  Chop the onion mixture with a sharp knife on the cookie sheet and transfer it to a bowl.  Add sour cream, mayonnaise, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce.  Refrigerate (at least 2 hours, up to 2 days).

For the Beef: Combine the garlic and salt into a paste with a mortar and pestle or back of a large spoon.  Transfer to a bowl, add oil and pepper.  Cut small slits all over the beef with a very sharp knife.  Use your fingers to push the garlic paste into the slits.  Refrigerate overnight (at least 1 hour).
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Sprinkle with 2 teas salt and 1/2 teas pepper. Place on a rack in a roasting pan; add 1 cup broth, water, celery, and onion. Sprinkle parsley sprigs over the top.  Roast for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.  Roast until a thermometer inserted into the center of the beef registers 115 degrees F, between 45 and 55 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; let rest 20 minutes. Strain and reserve the pan juices.
For the Jus: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and stir for a minute. Whisk in the reserved pan juices and the remaining 3 cups of broth slowly.  Bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sherry.  Keep warm until serving.
Assemble the sandwiches: Toast the rolls  cut side down in the oven (425 degrees F for about 5-10 minutes).  Brush the rolls with some of the onion spread. Thinly slice the beef against the grain. Dunk the slices in the jus, then layer on the rolls. Serve with the remaining jus in small bowls for dipping.

It may take a while, but oh how well we ate!  And isn't that the point?  I still am dreaming about that onion spread, probably the best spread I have ever made.  Don't rush it, golden brown is key and you don't get that unless the pot gets a lot of love.  The stirring clears my mind, though, so I didn't mind.

Until the next time my oven is on...

1 comment:

  1. OMG, my husband would love these. We are doing a rib eye roast for New Year's Day and and these shortly there after. I'm still reading Homemade Life. I get to read a page or two every night. I am so enjoying it. So far my favorite is her father's potato salad. That might just go great with these French Dips.

    ReplyDelete

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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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