Preparation time: ~30 minutes + ~18 hours
Calories: ~490 per slice if shared between 6
Boy oh boy, the sun is out, after what seems like weeks of grey skies and rain. Ok, maybe it hasn’t been that long but I’m finally starting to feel like I might actually get a bit of summer this year and you know what that means, right? Picnics… and lots of them. There’s something about eating food outside that just makes you feel good. Sure, sometimes you might spend half the time waving your arms around like a crazy person, trying to get the flies away from your food (oh, maybe that’s just me?) but it always seems that food just tastes better outside (unless you’re having a picnic on a highway or a landing strip or something). It’s kind of nice that the sun has chosen to start beaming through the clouds right now. I took next week off – not for anything in particular – I just like to be able to feel like I’ve been able to enjoy a few days of successive summertime and let’s face it: weekends don’t really cut it for that.
So, what do you need for a picnic? Maybe a blanket, perhaps a book? No, silly – forget all that stuff! The thing you need, the thing you absolutely must have is, of course, food, and not much can fit the bill of picnic food more perfectly than this. I’ve been meaning to make this sandwich for absolutely ages after seeing a write-up of it in The Guardian, an English paper, a couple of years ago. The sandwich has seen a surge of popularity online in recent years, thanks in part, no doubt, to that original article I saw and so if you’ve never had this, or heard of it, then my only question I guess would be: “where have you been for the last two years?” (out in the fresh air and not lurking on the internet evidently!). Seriously though – if you didn’t try this yet, you really should!
I saw a vegetarian version the other day, packed full of rocket, mozzarella and grilled tomatoes which looked awesome, but in its purest form, the shooter’s sandwich is basically a steak sandwich… a glorious, delicious steak sandwich – I guess it is at least. There’s no Wikipedia page for this curiosity so I can only go from what I have read in other places and apparently this is British in origin and dates back to Edwardian times, so there you go.
I messed up slightly in the end – the first layer of wrapping around the bread should be waxed paper, and then comes the foil. I put the foil on first and then the paper. You should, in theory be able to remove the foil and cut directly through the paper but ultimately, does it really matter? I think not, and my wrapping job was so horrendously ugly that there was no way I was going to be showing that in the photos! Additionally, some recipes advocate just leaving the sandwich out with the weights on top all night. I don’t think that’s ideal, especially in summer, so I left it weighted on the kitchen surface for about 2 or 3 hours before transferring to the refrigerator where I put a big tub filled with heavy vegetables on top of it
Now, I know what you might say – “hang on, that’s not five euros” – ok, ok, you caught me… this time I went over the budget a bit, but, firstly, this is going to serve at least four people. Secondly, steak can vary wildly in price depending on the cut and thirdly, you don’t even have to use steak. Stick in some sausage, lamb, pork, chicken, anything you like, so it doesn’t necessarily work out being that expensive at all. Make up one of these for your next picnic – satisfaction guaranteed! What do I like most about this though? Well, that’s obvious. No chance of getting complaints about flattened sandwiches as is usually the case when you’re trying to stuff enough sandwiches to feed a family into a bag. This one is “pre-squashed”.
Have a fantastically awesome end of the week everyone – I’ll be back around Sunday with something new for your viewing pleasure!
[learn_more caption=”Video Recipe” state=”open”]
- ~500-750g good Steak
- 250g Mushrooms
- 50g Butter
- ~6-7 Shallots
- ~3tbsps Dijon Mustard
- 2tbsps Olive Oil
- 1 loaf of “boule” style white Bread – small and round.
- Salt and Pepper
- Start off by peeling and finely chopping the onion. Finely chop the mushrooms and then melt the butter in a large pan with the oil. When hot, add in the onion and mushrooms and fry until browned and reduced in volume. Don’t be afraid about cooking it down too much – a bit of caramelisation in the flavours is never a bad thing.
- Once the onion and mushrooms are ready add a good dose of salt and pepper. You can also flavour it with something else – I added a dash of Port. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Cut away a “lid” from your loaf of bread. Scoop out as much of the white interior as you can, leaving a good-sized cavity inside. Save the insides for making into breadcrumbs later.
- Heat a large pan, without oil, and when very hot, place your steaks into the pan. Cook until just about medium done – the time will vary depending on the thickness of the steaks.
- When the steaks are ready, spread half of the mustard around the inside of the bread “shell” and then tuck one of the steaks into the loaf. Press down gently and spoon all of the mushrooms and onion mixture over the top. Press down well and then tuck the other steak over the top. Spread the rest of the mustard over the top steak and then place the bread “lid” over the top. Wrap in foil and then in waxed paper. Secure it with string and then place heavy items on top to squash it down – a heavy chopping board, heavy pans, a cat…
- After around 18 hours, unwrap the sandwich, cut into slices like a cake and enjoy!