Before you skip along thinking this is way too much effort for sandwiches, hear me out: this only takes 25 minutes of active cooking and makes 2 lbs of leftover roast beef. And look at it…look deep into its eyes…resistance is futile.
My amazing cousin introduced me to her recipe for roast beef years ago and it has made my life significantly better. I make it 2-3 times a month and the possibilities are endless for home made, lean, medium rare, ridiculously cheap roast beef with five ingredients (beef, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and olive oil–no caramel color, no saline solution, no preservatives). I love it left over wrapped in a pita with baby spinach and Sabra cucumber yogurt sauce, but that’s not what this recipe is about. That is an effortless, lean, high nutrient lunch. This post is about sinfully delicious flavor layering, and it’s not too bad for you either.
First, the order of events:
- Prep the roast beef the night before
- Put the roast beef in the oven ~3 hours ahead of time
- After you temp the beef at 120, mix the biscuits and drop them on a baking sheet
- Arrange the bacon for cooking
- Rest the beef and turn the oven up to 450
- Bake the biscuits and bacon in the oven
- Caramelize an onion and mix up the sauce while you keep an eye on the onions
- Slice the beef after resting and assemble sandwiches
Steps 3-8 take only 20 minutes for restaurant quality sandwich deliciousness. Awesome right?
Then the order of the sandwich:
Each layer includes the recipe and small details of how it’s made.
- The base is scratch made easy drop cheddar cheese biscuits, found here. If you don’t have cream of tartar, buttermilk is excellent for adding the requisite acid. I add the optional handful of sharp cheddar, and made 9 biscuits instead of 12 (and upped the time a few minutes for the extra size).
- The next layer is the thinnest slices you can make of the roast after it has rested:
- The bacon (forgot to take a picture) is absolutely the best when made from local pastured pork. A whole new world compared to grocery store stuff, but either will work. I put a cooling rack on a cookie sheet and arrange 10 slices of bacon on it, then bake in the oven. Broiling on 375 is absolutely ideal and it will melt in your mouth, but it can tolerate 450 just fine for crispy sandwich topping (did I mention it’s not just layering flavor but texture?). It takes almost exactly as long as the biscuits. I snap each piece in half and place two halves crosswise over the beef.
- Then the caramelized onions. Easiest way to elevate a dish, and cheap and easy. It’s almost like cheating. Heat up a small frying pan with 1t olive oil and 1 t butter on medium-high heat while you slice one medium onion thin. Sautee in the pan until they start getting translucent, sprinkle a pinch (seriously, 1/8t) of white sugar to get the caramelization going faster. Stir frequently. Keep an eye on them, when they’re light golden brown with darker brown edges take off the heat (they’ll keep cooking a little).
- Sauce. Since the onions take about 3 minutes to get translucent and don’t need much stirring, use this time to mix 1T olive oil mayo, 4 dashes (low sodium) Worcestershire sauce, fresh ground pepper to taste and 1T hot grated horseradish. Not prepared horseradish that comes in the condiment aisle; the pure, grated root that comes in the refrigerated section, usually nearthe eggs. Chop 1-2 green onions for a layer of freshness and a pop of color.
The biscuits are a little crumbly in the most delicious possible way. Either enjoy the mess, or fold the whole thing in a leaf of boston lettuce to hold it together. Lettuce totally changes the sandwich, so the first time you make these, I suggest making one each way for each person. This recipe makes 2 sliders per person for a family of 4 with one extra for the hungriest or littlest person. Oh, and about 2 lbs of roast beef leftovers. For wraps, salads, quesadillas, more sandwiches, rolling up with spicy brown mustard for a snack, etc. Roast beef is probably the best leftover ever.