Hot beef dip sandwiches

Sometimes I have an exact recipe in mind when I make a meal plan.  Other times I decide what I'm making while I'm out doing my shopping.  Or I am inspired by a smell, a picture, or even a comment from someone.

This meal came about as a result of someone saying something to me while I was in the meat department of Costco, looking for something else that was on my list of things I needed for the meal plan I'd written out already.  

Hot beef dip sandwiches.

I actually had decided I was going to make these on "day 3" of my weekly plan, after I'd made a roast beef with mashed potatoes for Sunday dinner.

Yeah, it was just one of those weeks where the meal plan went out the window in a flurry of too many left overs and other outside influences.  Sometimes that just happens and is part of the reason why after all these years, I still write my meal plans in pencil and do not allow myself to be stressed over not following it exactly.

Meal plans rather loose their appeal when they cause more stress than they take away.

So, no roast beef dinner with mashed potatoes (which ironically I'd forgotten to buy potatoes for) but I still had lots of roast and buns and a craving for something warm and toasty to balance out the cold, nasty weather we have been having.

You can make this in a slow cooker.  I didn't, but I had time to let it slow cook in the oven.  If I hadn't, it would have been a slow cooker meal.

Leftovers are best when you can toast your bun and then put the sandwich under the broiler to melt your cheese.  You can certainly eat this cold, but if you've got the option, have it warm and toasty.

Hot beef Dip Sandwiches

(no measuring done here, this is just a guideline)

1 good sized blade roast
beef broth, either homemade or from a carton
fresh thyme
1-2 bay leaves
salt, pepper and olive oil
pat of butter
2-3 good sized onions, sliced
1 bell pepper, I like red, sliced thinly
mushrooms, sliced thinly
ciabatta buns, sliced and toasted
cheese, sliced

Bring roast to room temperature.  Season it generously with salt and pepper.

Turn oven to 350C.  Heat a good sized dutch oven over high heat.  Add enough olive oil to the pan to just slightly coat the bottom.  Brown the roast well on all sides, forming a good crust.  Remove the roast to a plate.

Add half the onions to the still hot pot, stirring to pick up some of the browned bits from the bottom.  When the onions are slightly cooked, add in the beef broth, again stirring to pick up the fond from the bottom of the pot.  Return the roast to the pot, along with any juices collected.  Add in thyme leaves, still on the stem, and bay leaves.  Add enough beef broth to cover the roast.

With cover on the pot, place in oven for 3-4 hours, depending on the size of the roast you bought.  You want the roast to be tender, easy to slice, but not falling apart.  When your roast is at that stage, pull it from the oven.

Put roast on a plate, covered in foil to keep it warm, and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes.  While it is resting, plate pot on your stove and bring the liquids to a boil, allowing them to reduce slightly.  Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.

While the liquids are reducing, heat a medium pan over medium high heat.  Add a splash of olive oil and the butter to the hot pan.  Add the onions, peppers and mushrooms, with a sprinkling of salt and pepper, and saute together until tender.

Remove broth from heat and remove bay and thyme stems.

Heat broiler.

Thinly slice beef.  For each sandwich, place thinly sliced beef and sauted veggies on the toasted bread.  Lay slices of cheese on top.  Place under the broiler until the edges of the bread are toasted slightly and the cheese is melted and bubbly.  Close sandwich and slice in half.

Ladle broth into small bowls, for dipping.  Keep lots of napkins handy.

For those of you who asked lately.....

I've had a fun filled food year.  Took lots of pictures.  Ate lots of different things.  Cooked lots of different things.  

Here are some highlights, in no order at all, just how I found them in my photos. 

Apple turnovers, with apple cider glaze.  I made these for the Bakery at Saunders Farm.

Rainbow cupcakes with marshmallow frosting, for Scaring is Caring night at Saunders Farm.

Whoppie pies, regular and family sized.  Also for Saunders Farm.

Bacon and nappa cabbage saute, made from my Roots and Shoots CSA.

Chilling off a triple batch of meat sauce in the available snow.

My favorite fish at The Shark Reef in Las Vegas, Nevada.

When I go on vacation, I still like to check out grocery stores.  We don't have a Whole Foods in Ottawa yet, but we are getting one in a year or so.

Eating Emeril's Gumbo, one thing off my Bucket List, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Bento Box lunch, Mizuya, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Buffet dinner, so many choices, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas Nevada.

Turkey tostada, Border Grill, Las Vegas, Nevada.  I wish I could have this again right now!

Dinner rolls I made for an anniversary event at Saunders Farm.

Chicken skewers with Sate sauce, made for dinner.

I made homemade sausages.

Renewed my CSA for the second year.

Got to borrow a Big Green Egg and cook all weekend long for friends and family.

Took my kids to all you can eat sushi.

Grilled lots of fresh veggies over the summer.

Found a cinnamon bun recipe I like so much that it has become my regular recipe.
I also made them for the bakery at Saunders Farm.

I also added a Twitter feed @jennymhulme and have a Google + Jenny Hulme.