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AoM Month of Sandwiches Day #13: Homemade Roast Beef Au Jus

Intro Shot

Welcome to Day #12 of the AoM sandwich project. Last month we asked readers for their best sandwich recommendations. Out of 483 submissions, we picked 20 to highlight here on the site each weekday during the month of April. At the end, we’ll publish all the entries into an epic man-sandwich cookbook. 

I invited AoM’s food writer, Matt Moore, to contribute a sandwich to our sandwich project, and strongly hinted that making something with roast beef and au jus would be pretty awesome. Well Mr. Moore came through in a big way. This looks delicious!

Today’s Sandwich: Roast Beef Au Jus by Matt Moore

Most often, life is better when you take the time to do things the right way – i.e., no short cuts. That lesson is especially true with this sandwich. Beloved by many, yet deemed too technical by most, the roast beef au jus sandwich is too often passed off by restaurants and home cooks with less than mediocre results. You know what I’m talking about — that concoction of dry, overcooked meat on stale bread served with a side of brown, salted water.

That doesn’t have to be so. With some love and attention (and a bit of time) you can deliver a homemade version of this manly meal that is sure to impress.

Ingredients (serves 6, prep 25 minutes, cook 60 minutes)

1 Ingredients

  • 1 3lb eye of round beef roast
  • Extra virgin olive oil (I suggest Georgia Olive Farms)
  • 1 head of garlic
  • Fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • 8 cups beef stock
  • 1 onion
  • 6 hoagie rolls

Step 1: Prep Ingredients  

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Smash and mince 6 cloves of garlic. Next, strip the leaves off of 4 -6 thyme sprigs and finely chop.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Smash and mince 6 cloves of garlic. Next, strip the leaves off of 4-6 thyme sprigs and finely chop.

Step 2: Season Meat & Let Sit at Room Temperature

Coat meat with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Next, add minced garlic and thyme, followed by a liberal sprinkling of kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. Keep the meat out of the fridge! You want it to be at room temperature to create a nice sear and so it will cook evenly.

Coat meat with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Next, add minced garlic and thyme, followed by a liberal sprinkling of kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. Keep the meat out of the fridge! You want it to be at room temperature to create a nice sear and so it will cook evenly.

Step 3: Start Au Jus

Bring 8 cups of beef stock, remaining garlic, onion, and 4 sprigs of thyme to a slow simmer over medium heat.

Bring 8 cups of beef stock, remaining garlic, onion (chopped in half), and 4 sprigs of thyme to a slow simmer over medium heat.

Step 4: Prep Pan to Sear Meat

Pre-heat a seasoned cast iron skillet over medium-high heat on the stovetop for 1 minute. It’s a good idea to open a window or turn the vent fan on at this point.

Pre-heat a seasoned cast iron skillet over medium-high heat on the stovetop for 1 minute. It’s a good idea to open a window or turn the vent fan on at this point.

Step 5: Sear Meat

Add meat to pan and sear on all four sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Do not poke or prod the meat during this process – allow it to maintain contact with the pan to develop a nice sear – this creates flavor.

Add meat to pan and sear on all four sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Do not poke or prod the meat during this process. Allow it to maintain contact with the pan to develop a nice sear – this creates flavor.

Step 6: Roast Meat in Oven

Once the meat is seared, place it in the preheated oven and cook for 45-55 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 125 degrees F for rare/medium rare.

Once the meat is seared, place it in the preheated oven and cook for 45-55 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 125 degrees F for rare/medium rare.

Step 7: Rest Meat

Once desired temperature is reached, remove meat from oven and place on a plate, tented with foil.  This ‘resting’ process will allow the juices to redistribute into the meat – it will also keep cooking, raising the temperature, on average, by 5 degrees. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Once desired temperature is reached, remove meat from oven and place on a plate, tented with foil. This ‘resting’ process will allow the juices to redistribute into the meat – it will also keep cooking, raising the temperature, on average, by 5 degrees. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Step 8: Strain Au Jus

Use a skimmer or colander to strain ingredients from the au jus. Add any drippings from the meat into this pot.

Use a skimmer or colander to strain ingredients from the au jus. Add any drippings from the meat into this pot.

Step 9: Reduce Au Jus

Place the strained pot of liquid back on the stove over medium-high heat, allowing the mixture to reach a boil in order to reduce by at least half – you should have about 2-3 cups of liquid remaining. Remove from heat, cover, and keep warm for service.

Place the strained pot of liquid back on the stove over medium-high heat, allowing the mixture to reach a boil in order to reduce by at least half – you should have about 2-3 cups of liquid remaining. Remove from heat, cover, and keep warm for service.

Step 10: Slice Meat

Other than my fine assortment of Wusthof knives, my most manly kitchen appliance is my meat slicer. Over the top? Perhaps. Awesome? Most definitely. I realize it’s highly unlikely that you will have one of these in your kitchen, so take your best knife and slice the meat as thin as possible against the grain and on the bias (angle).

Other than my fine assortment of Wusthof knives, my most manly kitchen tool is my meat slicer. Over the top? Perhaps. Awesome? Most definitely. I realize it’s highly unlikely that you will have one of these in your kitchen, so take your best knife and slice the meat as thin as possible against the grain and on the bias (angle).

11 Slice Meat 2

Step 11: Warm/Steam Bread

I prefer my hoagies soft and not toasted, so I like to cut them open lengthwise, wrap in foil, and warm in an oven.

I prefer my hoagies soft and not toasted, so I like to cut them open lengthwise, wrap in foil, and warm in an oven.

Step 12: Assemble and Enjoy!

Remove warmed bread from oven and pile high with roast beef. Serve alongside warmed au jus for dipping.

Remove warmed bread from oven and pile high with roast beef. Serve alongside warmed au jus for dipping.

Taster’s Notes

All-in-all, this sandwich is a home run. For added flavor and flair, whip up some horseradish mayo (8 parts mayo to 1 part prepared horseradish) and serve as a condiment. You can also add in slices of Gouda or provolone cheese, sautéed peppers and onions, or sliced dill pickles – whatever you fancy. Truthfully, I love the simplicity of the perfectly cooked meat, served with the savory dipping jus. Pair with a cold Yazoo Pale Ale and life is pretty darn good.

 


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