This sandwich is for the meat lovers, those who appreciate dinner already prepared when they arrive home from work and the moms who have college kids home for the holidays. Or me, who loves when I plan and prepare dinner in the morning and it makes its magic all through the day without me having to lift a finger. This hearty, savory sandwich is perfect for a casual dinner by the fire or a picnic in the park. It feeds the whole family and has the flavor impact of a labor intensive dinner. Do you remember the food network’s show “The Two Fat Ladies”? Oh my gosh. I was crazy about that cooking show, the only one ever to catch my attention and keep it. It was quintessentially British. The Two Fat Ladies were incredibly well-educated, well spoken, well-traveled and both had a dry as a bone sense of humor that elicited screams of laughter from me. They had such a lust for life and often burst into rowdy, off-colored song as the spirit moved them. But their fabulous recipes were what I was truly interested in and valued. Jennifer Paterson was the dark-haired of the pair, the cigarette smoker, the driver of the sidecar featured on the show and this is her recipe. I believe this sandwich gets its name from both hunters and travelers and I find it positively charming. Apparently it was often served on British trains. For this beef and mushroom sandwich I typically use a small London broil but the recipe calls for a very thick, boneless sirloin steak and, let me tell you, the steak IS better!
I’ve changed the recipe over the years in order to have to have a bit more flavor with the addition of finely chopped garlic but, other than that, the recipe remains true to its original specifications. Jennifer’s recipe calls for the sandwich to sit quietly under a weight for a minimum of 6 hours and she’s right. In order for the juices of the steak and mushrooms to be released and soaked up by the bread the sandwich needs 6 hours or more. In the above photo I sat my hefty dutch oven in an equally heavy steel and ceramic saute pan. Make certain to carefully cram as many sautéed portobello mushroom into the bread both on top and under the meat as well as seasoning both sides of the steak with salt and pepper. When serving the meal slice the sandwich with a serrated bread knife and it won’t fall apart. I make available a clean linen towel to hold the bread in place while slicing. The Shooter’s Sandwich is not picked up but enjoyed with knife and fork. It’s fantastic the following day also, cold out of the fridge. I guarantee your people will love it. As Jennifer used to say, “Quelle treat!”
- 1 hearty grained, unsliced loaf or round of bread
- a 1 1/2-2-pound very thick boneless sirloin steak or london broil a bit smaller than the loaf of bread
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 or 7 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed and reserved for another use
- 7-8 fresh garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
- salt and freshly cracked pepper
- Cut one end off of the loaf of bread, maybe 1-2″, and reserve the end.
- Remove by hand the inside crumb of the loaf leaving it hollowed out. Take care not to rip the crust. Do the same to the cut end piece.
- In a screaming hot pan sear all sides of the steak but keep it rare. set aside.
- Coat the bottom of a frying pan with the olive oil and add the garlic and mushroom caps, cooking and stirring until soft. Turn the mushrooms occasionally to cook both sides.
- Line the bottom inside of the bread with half the mushrooms and garlic.
- Season all sides of the meat and push into the bread loaf.
- Carefully cover the top of the steak with the remaining mushrooms and garlic.
- Close the sandwich up with the cut end and tightly wrap the sandwich in parchment paper, tying with kitchen twine.
- Wrap the sandwich in a sheet of tin foil and let sit quietly under a heavy weight for at least 6 hours.
- When ready to eat slice with a serrated bread knife.
- Serve with salad greens dressed in a vinaigrette.