Start out by cooking a chuck roast.
I prepared the chuck roast by taking a sharp knife and making little slits and putting garlic slivers into them. Tuck them in well! (If you do not care for garlic, perish the thought, you can skip this step.) Then take your roast and smear it with vegetable oil on both sides, and season well with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then put it into a screaming hot cast iron fry pan. Lower the heat to medium and brown the roast on both sides for five minutes.
Putting a crust on it like that adds lots of flavor! After you have browned the second side, leave it in the pan, and add enough red wine and beef broth to come up about half way or so. Red wine first, to deglaze the pan. How much red wine? I used about half a bottle. And use the good stuff too–don’t even think about using the “cooking wine” you find in grocery stores. Ewww. If you do not like to cook with alcohol, just canned beef broth is fine. Use the unsalted beef stock, not the condensed version. Swanson’s in the box is the best. Well, home-made is the best, but that’s another subject.
Have your oven preheated at 350 degrees. Cover your pan tightly and bake for three hours. If the roast starts to smell “different” toward the end, check the liquids. Add more beef broth if needed. The liquids here almost weren’t enough–but I squeaked by. And three hours is just right–more would over cook it for sure.
Remove the meat from the pan and put it on a sheet tray. Shred with two forks, or your hands if you want. (Hot!) Reserve the pan juices. Don’t skip that part. Reserve the pan juices!!!!!!!!!!
Now your roast beef is ready to eat. This is what I used to make the Hot Beef Sandwich in an earlier post. I used the pan juices to make the gravy. This time.
If you are making the blue cheese mousse sandwich, have the following steps done ahead of time. I chilled my leftover beef and assembled everything on a different day. Easy!
Blue Cheese Mousse
Into a food processor, put the following ingredients:
1/2 cup Hellman’s real mayonnaise (If you choose to do so, replace the mayo in the recipe with 1 egg and 1 cup of vegetable or grape seed oil, just not olive oil. If you are making your mayo from scratch (good for you!) you can add the egg with your spices and garlic. While the processor is running, slowly drizzle in the oil.)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 shallot, finely minced
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
the juice of one lemon, with a package of plain gelatin “bloomed” into it
Generous pinch of kosher salt
Process gently in pulses until fully combined. You should still see chunks of blue cheese.
Take one cup of heavy whipping cream and whip until thick. Take blue cheese mixture out of food processor, and fold into whipping cream. Don’t even think of cheating and using Cool Whip here. It just won’t work. Real stuff is best! Chill this for a couple of hours to allow to set up.
Next, make some “onion jam”. It’s also really easy!
I melted some unsalted butter and grape seed oil into a fry pan. Then I added two onions, sliced not too thin. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper can be added at this time.
Oh, while these are cooking anyone in the house is going to come and see what is going on–it smells so good! But when they look like this, they are not done yet! Patience! Make sure your heat is not too high that they burn, and stir often. Wait—-wait—this takes probably a half hour or so.
You can cook it farther down then this even, but by now, I was seriously salivating and didn’t want to wait any more. I removed the onions, and didn’t want to waste all the goodness left, so I added a little red wine to the pan, scraped up all that goodness, and cooked the red wine until it reduced to about half.
Take a hunk of french bread and cut some out of the middle, as pictured here. Take the piece that you removed, and save it for another use. (Turn it into bread crumbs, or eat it for breakfast, or do what I did and eat it on the spot to keep up my strength.)
Assemble your sandwich while your oven is preheating to 450 degrees. First wrap the prepared bread with foil, leaving the top open but covering as much bread as possible. You don’t want the bread to over crisp or burn.
Then add the cooked beef, some of the onion jam, then either the red wine reduction or reserved beef juices. The foil will help keep it all in the sandwich.
Then take a small cookie scoop and put three scoops of the blue cheese mousse over the sandwich. Put the sandwich on a sheet tray to catch any stray juices and put into the oven. Heat until the cheese is melted and browned and bubbly.
Like what you see? This entire concoction can be made ahead. The sandwich can be assembled up to the addition of the mousse and hanging out in your fridge until you are ready. Add the mousse and heat and enjoy. If I were cooking for you, I could do this on the cooking day and you could enjoy it some evening that week. Check out my “about” page on the very top of the blog to get the details.
Personal Notes: Onion mixture – grill red and yellow onions in pan of oil with pinch of salt and pepper, carmelize (20-30 min) add balsamic vinegar, red wine, fresh tyme, and sugar.
Blue cheese mouse – mayo, shallots, sour cream, lemon juice, blue ceese, whipped cream.
Beef in large bun, onion jam, blue cheese