Wednesday, February 24, 2010

But It Sounded So Good In The Car...

"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.

The result.

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.

Horseradish Gravy
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.


  1. The sandwich with either or both sauces looks fabulous. I have to experiment more with sandwiches( You have already inspired me to discover preparing chicken wings). Sandwiches make perfect meals.

    The artwork is great. I hope you asked for a copy so that you could frame it....Yes?

  2. Ha! Did you see the avatar he made for me? on my TMI post?

    That sandwich is NAUGHTY!

    My middle name is 'naughty' food...oh how I want one now...

  3. The Swiss cheese sauce sounds good, but I'm a horseradish fanatic. I love it with rare roast beef - it's a match made in heaven!

  4. You know, I have a bunch of leftovef roast beef in my fridge...looks like this might be on my menu for the weekend. Both sauces sound good but I am sure you are right, that it only needs one. Nicely done!

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  6. I have LOTS of those kinds of kitchen experiments that never see the light of day! When I was in the corporate workforce, we'd go to McAlister's a lot for lunch and one of the gals I worked with would get the Big Nasty. Not that I'm all dainty or anything, but it looked far too sloppy and never appealed to me. At least not in the middle of the day when I had to go back and write legal documents the rest of the day! I really need to try it. Your sandwich looks great anyway and that horseradish sauce sounds right up my alley.

    The commemorative graphic is hilarious! In an evil sort of way. :)

  7. Chris, I have always said, "Cooking is not brain surgery!" So, at times our experiment don't work out. But no real lost and just think, you came up with two extraordinary sauces....

    Just think of the future possibilities using those sauces!

  8. I like the sound of the swiss cheese, but it's the horseradish gravy that is winning me over! I'd say the two of you make a pretty good team:D

    Thanks for your comment about the middle eastern meal. I got those metal skewers about 5 years ago at the World Market and this is the first time I've used them. I remember buying them because I thought the circular pattern was cool. I wish I had the upper arm strength to bend metal, but it's not in the cards for me;D
    I did a quick search online and only found the straight ones.

  9. I am love, love, loving that Horseradish Gravy! Thanks for the recipe. Makes me want to make a roast just to have this for leftovers. I've been to Russ's blog and now follow. It's great.

  10. AWESOME. you are an illustrated chef, now! ;) kudos! (and for the record: I made my husband read your raven post; priceless.)

    best (and I LOVE your blog; your photos rock)!

  11. I actually think crows are more evil than ravens. Also, the expression this raven has is my normal expression -- so I didn't find it evil at all! ;)

  12. The horseradish gravy sounds really tasty... I'll have to try this sometime soon. I've been getting into horseradish lately... I guess it's supposed to be good for allergies or something.

  13. Around here, it's mayo and horseradish sauce for roast beef..the gravy sounds great!

  14. After reading about that sandwich, I kind of want to shower.

    On another note: The cartoon was exactly as I had pictured the Raven in my head. Crazy!!

  15. Love the pic your friend made for you :) and I love horseradish & swiss :D

  16. Oh that horseradish gravy sounds gooooood. My father-in-law and I are the only horseradish fans in the family, and I sometimes make a little something horseradishy for just the two of us at family dinners. I'm putting this on the list!

  17. You know that is dangerous while driving and to think about delicious food.. you can be distracted (my own experience)!
    I cannot resist the pic of the beef sandwich with the horseradish gravy, too much yum yum :)



  18. You sure both sauces was a mistake? It sounds good? GREG

  19. Yeah, I love spices but i want to taste them... So too many is a rare thing for my recipes. i agree with the one or the other idea...

    heading over to your friends blog now!

  20. The horseradish sauce would win if one had to make a choice. That spice is hard to pass up.

  21. I am finding it hard to believe that anything that looks that smooshy ( is a word) and wonderful wasn't amazing. I think you are really trying to hold out on us...

    Thanks for the comments by the way!! I think our sorts, are the best type of "foodies."

  22. It looks good from here. Many great dishes are probably the result of many not so great tries. I like the creativity you bring to your kitchen.

  23. I had no idea Alexis is so naughty - lol

    The sandwich looks decadent and both of the sauces - wow! How to choose?

    I REALLY enjoyed meeting you both today!

  24. You were suppose to make one of each and then split them after cleansing the palate with some fine brew ;-)
    Love the pancake bird Russ made for you.


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