Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Best Damn Sandwich In The World, Old Bean

I say chaps, 'twould any of you fancy a robust nibble? Perhaps a cove might dare to point you in the direction of the Shooter's Sandwich: a dashing Edwardian arrangement of meats that'll put hair on your mutton-chops. As @pattoni put it, "If you didn't wing your manservant while taking drunken potshots at grouse, you didn't earn that sandwich."

Well, some poltroon has mislaid my fowling piece, but never mind. Herein find the thrilling tale of the #questforsandwich.

We begin with a search for a period-correct beer. Not a problem. As I had previously discovered whilst perusing barley-based tonics at the Cascadia on Quadra, Pretty Things Brewery out of Bahston has a beer called KK. You can read the shakedown on it here but, in brief, it's a beer exactingly brewed to a historical recipe created in 1907 and it tastes like steamship lubricant. In a good way.

All well and good, but when I attempted to find some this past week, hopes were dashed at every turn. I had no idea it was going to be so dratted hard to collect all the ingredients I needed, but I persevered and a quick tweet from @CascadiaLiq alerted me to the last few bottles of KK on the island at their Colwood location.

Hopping in the horseless-carriage, it was a quick blast out to their surprisingly well-stocked store where I procured two bottles of soot-blast excellence.

Beer out of the way, I then focussed on collecting the remaining components of the steampunk sammy.

If you'd like a list:
-Two ribeye steaks
-Medium round crusty loaf
-Half-pound brown mushrooms
-Half-pound scallions
-Wedge of Stilton
-Fresh parsley and rosemary
-coupla-three cloves of garlic
-Worcester, soy, pepper and salt
-mustard and horseradish

Picked up a couple of steaks and the stilton at Impecunious Foods, hit up Wildfire for a loaf (I think it was spelt, forgot to ask), got my 'rooms, scallions and herbs at Root Cellar, and everything else was in the fridge behind a half-full jar of pickles that have been there since the late fourteenth century.

Step One:

First thing is to reduce and decarbonate the KK. I used about a cup, and simmered it in an open pan to increase the density a trifle, adding a dash of worcester and soy. Not very effective, I'm afraid: this beer is dense. Still, while it was bubbling like hot pitch, I went on to...

Step Two:

Dicing up the scallions and mushrooms takes a bit of work, and try to avoid slicing off your fingers if you're already imbibing. You also want to de-cap and scoop out the loaf, saving the innards for bread-crumbs, although I just ate it.

Step Three:

Hot liquid poured on diced mushrooms (they'll soak it right up), knob of butter in a saucepan and saute the scallions while the mushrooms marinate. Season the steaks at this point, and don't be stingy on the salt.

Step Four:
Mushrooms and remaining beery liquid into the saucepan for a bit and then put the whole mess into the open pan on high: it'll sear the mushrooms and boil off that liquid. Once it's done (pretty quickly), pop it back in the saucepan to keep it warm, and get ready to...

Step Five:
Pop the steaks in the pan, and while they're sizzling, get your parsley and rosemary chopped and mixed with mushroom/scallion mixture. Stir in the garlic at this point too, and get your stilton sliced if you haven't already done so. Steaks should be medium-ish. When they're done, don't bother resting them, just pop 'em out of the pan and start layering.

Tuck first steak in.

Then add mushroom mix.

Then stilton.

Then second ribeye, spread hot mustard on the loaf cap and hot horseradish on the top of the steak.

Step Six:

A boa-constrictor can unhinge its jaw to swallow something massive. I'm going to go ahead and assume that you cannot, or that you choose not to do so in polite company. Step 6 is all about solving this problem.

First, double-wrap the shooter in wax-paper and tie it with string.

Then, wrap it in aluminum foil, place it on a plate in case of leaks and press it under a large cutting board and as much weight as you can find. I used weights, boards, a Tintin collection and most of my wife's medical textbooks. Note that Gray's Anatomy won't work if you use the DVD box set instead of the book.

Leave it pressing for at least six hours.

Step 7:

Sharpen your knife. This sandwich is practically pre-cambrian in its sedimentary density. Cut it in wedges like a cake and eat.
The KK and the Shooter's go together like Holmes and Watson, Jeeves and Wooster, The Royals and Inbreeding. Both sandwich and beer are at the upper limits of what can be packed into their respective categories; there's a lot going on in each.

I shared the Shooter's with some friends and one remarked, "I think this is what the Elves gave the Hobbits to sustain them while they travelled to Mount Doom."
I doubt it. Feed this sandwich to a Hobbit and that little bugger's gonna explode.

1 comment:

  1. Step 8: Pick up phone, press 0, ask for nearest hospital.