The Shooter's Sandwich
- Your choice of a crusty round loaf of bread (a sourdough boule is perfect).
- 2 to 4 good boneless steaks (steak is always used for the traditional version), though sausages or other meats of your choice can be used as well. I used 4 New York strip steaks each about an inch thick, and 12 fresh brats for the other sandwich posted in the photo. The size and quantity of meat needs to match up roughly with the bread that you select. The sandwich is layered, you want 2 layers of meat, each roughly filling the whole of the cavity of bread you scoop out of the loaf.
- 1/2 pound of mushrooms, diced
- 2 good sized shallots, finely minced
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 1/4 cup of butter
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 cup of Cognac
- (Optional) 1/4 pound of good soft cows milk or sheep's milk cheese (I use Saint-André, Cambozola, or Saga and some shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano depending on my mood)
- (Optional) 1/2 cup of chopped Parsley
- A good coarse ground mustard - I prefer stone ground mustards)
- Hot prepared horseradish
1. Slice off the top quarter of the loaf, hook out most of the crumb and save for breadcrumbs.
2. Cut your shallots, garlic and mushrooms into fine dice and add butter and olive oil to the pan.
3. Cook mushrooms and shallots in the butter and olive oil, stirring continuously, until they've softened, reduced in size and lost a substantial amount of moisture.
4. Slowly, and carefully add the cognac to the pan, and reduce until the liquid is nearly gone - and absorbed into the mushrooms.
5. Season your steaks as you like and bring them to the pink side of medium in a hot pan, or on the grill. Don't bother resting them. Work fast and tuck the first layer, dripping and hot, straight into the bottom of the hollow loaf. It doesn't matter if the juices leak now - in fact it just makes the whole thing even better.
6. Layer in your hot mushroom mixture and then your cheese (if you choose to add it) the top it with your second steak(s). At this stage I usually smear hot horseradish on the top steak and Dijon mustard on the inside of the lid before fitting it back on to the loaf.
7. Wrap the whole thing in two layers of parchment paper and tie with butcher's string, press the whole package flat under a heavy cutting board or baking stone and as many weights as you can find. Leave under the weights in a reasonably cool place (don't refrigerate) for at least 3 hours before moving to a refrigerator overnight (with as much of the weight as you can fit with it). Other directions will tell you to leave the whole package out overnight - I don't think this is safe, so I move mine to the fridge after 3 hours on the counter.
8. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. / 150 degrees C.
9. Bake the now pressed sandwiches for 15 minutes on a baking stone or baking sheet - with paper and string
10. To serve cut through string & paper and slice the loaf into wedges. Best served sitting on a rock, on the side of a river, or with a fantastic view.