Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Bite-sized Roast Beef Sandwich


           I'm a sucker for cute little things. I adore the little teeny-tiny single serving Heinz Ketchup and Tabasco bottles we serve with the steak tartar at Beaver Hall. Maybe it's because I'm not the tallest man and holding one makes me feel like a giant. Maybe that's why I love making these "sandwiches" so much. It's fun to be able to wolf down a whole roast beef sandwich in one bite. This New Year's Eve, if your guests see 50 little roast beef sandwiches parked next to the chips 'n dip, they are sure to be impressed.
          To make these bites you could save some time by buying pre-made, pre-sliced roast beef, but the quality of what you find at the grocery store is usually pretty sub-par. I want to show you a little trick that will give an ordinary steak the flavour and texture of roast beef. I use a Ziplock  bag and large pot of warm water to cook the steak "sous-vide" and then give it a quick sear in a smoking hot pan. To do this style of cooking, a professional kitchen might have a high-tech piece of gear called an immersion circulator that will keep a water bath at a precise temperature. At home, a large pot of water with a thermometer will do the trick. This way the steak will cook gently in the warm water bath and you can achieve the texture of a 5lbs  roast that has been cooking for hours with a 1" steak that has been cooking for minutes. One 8oz (250g) steak will make 20-25 bites.
     
Start to finish 30 minutes. Makes 25 bites.

1 250g (8oz) strip loin steak
50ml creamed horseradish*
5 gherkins, thinly sliced
Montreal steak spice
Dijon mustard
25 mini toast slices

*creamed horseradish can be bought pre-prepared, but for a fresher flavour mix equal parts whipped cream & horseradish

1. Seal the steak tightly in a Ziplock bag. To push the air out, submerge the bag in water, keeping the seal just above the water as you close it. Place the sealed steak in a 60C water bath for 15 minutes.  The hot tap water at most homes is already close to that temperate, so all you want to to is hold it there. A large pot of water should keep a stable temperature on medium/low heat. Keep some ice-cubes near by to throw in if the water gets too hot. Cooking at a lower temperature for longer (55C for 1 hour) will give even more tender results, but it is very hard to hold water at that precise a temperature for that amount of time without an immersion circulator.
2. Remove the cooked steak from the bag, slice into two strips. Season with Montreal Steak spice
3. Get a cast iron pan smoking hot. Add a small amount of oil and then quickly sear the strips on each side. Let the steaks rest for 5 minutes and then thinly slice.
4. Lay out all your toasts and spread a small amount of djion mustard on each one. Place 2 slices of beef on each toast and then garnish with creamed horseradish and gherkins.

6 comments:

  1. If the Tabasco bottles are the same ones I'm thinking of, they dropped them down to people stranded on their rooftops after Katrina in New Orleans, in a little care package of food. Just a little piece of Tabasco trivia for you!
    -Erin

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