Simple and Sublime: The Best Beef Sandwich

This is one satisfying sandwich. No thin sliced cucumber on crust-less white plastic bread here. I think the star of this beefy sandwich has to be the caramelized onions. Slowly cooked until it gets brown and sticky, it's the stuff that gets people coming into the kitchen and asking "What smells so good?" The scent of sauteed onions is the ultimate draw of sidewalk hot dog carts for me anyways.

I don't think this sandwich requires a recipe... rather "Instructions for Construction":

Best Beef Sandwich:

1. Caramelize onions (see below for recipe), place to the side and wipe out pan.
2. Saute 6 large mushrooms, sliced into 1/4" slices, in a good swish of olive oil. Don't crowd the pan or the mushrooms will boil rather than brown. Add a clove of minced garlic when the mushrooms are half done. Cook until most of the water has evaporated and mushrooms are soft and browned. Place to the side.
3. Prepare the bread: I used a baguette. Split it in thirds and the halve each roll to open it up. Brush the inside with some olive oil (garlic and herb oil is really nice...see below for recipe). Toast in 375F oven until lightly browned.
4. In a lightly oiled pan, cook the beef (thinly sliced; you can buy it or slice it off a partially frozen steak if you like) until nearly all the pink is gone. Season with salt and pepper and a splash or worcestershire sauce.
5. Spread a few teaspoons of dijon mustard on your toasted bread. Layer a few slices of beef, the mushrooms, and then the onions. Serve with a side salad. Squish down and enjoy (sans fork and knife, of course).

Caramelized Balsamic Onions:

1 large onion
1 tablespoon butter
Olive Oil
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Halve the onion and thinly slice (~1/8") into half-rings. In a medium saute pan, melt a tablespoon of butter and a good splash of olive oil. Cook onions over medium-low heat or until very soft, translucent, and starting to brown (at least 15 minutes). Season with salt and pepper, add dark brown sugar and stir until sugar is melted and onions are coated. Add balsamic vinegar and stir. Cook one minute more until onions are beautifully, stickily glazed.

Garlic and Herb Oil:
So great for sandwiches and quick croutons.

2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 sprig rosemary, bruised with the back of a knife
A few stems of thyme
1/3 cup olive oil

Combine everything in a small saucepan. Heat slowly over low heat until small bubbles start forming. Turn off the heat and allow to infuse for an hour or two. Store excess in a jar in the fridge (keep garlic and herbs in the oil) for up to three weeks.

Recipe and images property of beets and bites

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