Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Open-Faced Beef Sandwiches with Red Wine Mushrooms

Open-faced beef sandwiches are classic comfort food—simple stuff, but so good. Braised beef is fall-apart tender, but you need to start with the right kind of beef: chuck roast. It’s the best cut for slow cooking. Relatively inexpensive too.

Chuck Roast
Here, the mushroom sauce is highlighted with red wine and savory beef broth (just like the braising liquid for the beef) and thickened with a little flour slurry for a silky finish.

This is downhome rich, tender, and tasty—nothing more needed.

Serves 4

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-lb beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into about 3-inch pieces
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups red wine, divided
  • 1-1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth, divided
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried red chile flakes
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 12-oz button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 pieces Texas toast, lightly toasted, each cut diagonally in half
Trimmed, Cut Beef 
Sliced Mushrooms
  1. Preheat the oven to 275° F.
  2. Heat a Dutch oven or heavy, ovenproof pan over medium heat and add the oil. Season the beef with salt and pepper and add to the pan without crowding (work in 2 batches, if needed). 
  3. Sear the meat 5 minutes. Turn and sear on the other side 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of wine, 1 cup of broth, and the oregano and chile flakes.
  4. Bring to a simmer, then cover tightly and place in the oven. Braise until the beef is fork tender, 2 to 2-1/4 hours, turning halfway through. 
  5. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beef to a bowl or plate. When cool enough to handle, coarsely shred with your fingers.
Beef Beginning to Sear 
Seared Beef  
Wine and Broth Added
Beef Halfway Through
Braised Beef
Shredded Beef
  1. Meanwhile, whisk the flour with 2 tablespoons of water, stirring well to dissolve.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the butter. Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook until the mushrooms are soft and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 8 minutes. Stir in the parsley.
  4. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of wine and 1/2 cup of broth and stir 1 minute. Re-whisk the flour and water and gradually stir it into the mushroom mixture.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and cook until slightly thickened, 2-3 minutes. Add the shredded beef and stir until coated and warm throughout, 2-3 minutes.
Mushrooms Beginning to Cook 
Sauce Mixture 
Parsley Added
Beef Added 
To serve, place 2 diagonally cut pieces of toast on each of 4 plates. Divide the mushroom-beef mixture on top of the toast and serve right away.

Open-Faced Beef Sandwiches with Red Wine Mushrooms

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