"Oh, you're a naughty, naughty girl," I told Alexis.
We were on our way home from the office and a light snow was blowing around. We were talking about the leftover roast beef at home. I had mentioned The Big Nasty, an warm, open faced roast beef sandwich topped with cheddar, green onions, and gravy.
While we waited at a red light, I recalled the pesto gravy that we made a while back for the Roast Pesto Chicken and thought I could make a spicy horseradish gravy. That would be perfect for a hot roast beef sandwich.
"Beef and swiss," she interjected into my pavlovic daydreaming, "maybe you could make a swiss cheese sauce."
That was when I told her she was naughty and it reverted me back to the Big Nasty idea. I decided to do both, a roast beef sandwich with a spicy horseradish gravy and a swiss cheese sauce. It sounded good.
It was okay. The spicy horseradish gravy was obscenely good. The swiss cheese sauce was rich. But it would have been a better roast beef sandwich using either one but not both. Hey, you live, you learn.
I used this Swiss Cheese Sauce recipe from Southern Living and ended up using 1.5 cups of shredded cheese.
Here's the recipe for the simple and spicy horseradish gravy that I made. Amounts are estimates, I just made it up as I went along.
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups beef stock
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp prepared horseradish
Melt the butter over medium high heat. Whisk in the flour and continuously whisk until you get a dark roux.
Whisk in the beef stock. I'm guessing about the amount but just slowly add beef stock while whisking. At first the mixture will thicken, get clumpy, and make you think you screwed up. Keep adding broth and keep whisking and it will start to smooth out into a gravy.
Once you have it at the consistency that you want, whisk in the salt, pepper, and horseradish. Taste and re-season according to your preference and heat tolerance. I ended up taking mine to 2 tsp of horseradish.
A lot of folks found our "raven flying with a pancake" story from a few posts ago funny but Russ (a brilliantly talented artist in the vein of Calvin & Hobbes, The Far Side, Bizarro) has commemorated the moment with this special limited edition lithograph on his blog, Inner and Outer Demons.
Check out his blog. His dark sense of humor and artwork always give me a laugh. For the record, the raven we saw didn't look that intensely evil. But if he stole the pancake from someone's table, I'm sure they'd say that was EXACTLY what he looked like.