Thursday, March 31, 2011

Roast Beef, Garlic Aioli, and Roasted Red Pepper Sandwiches

I never would have expected that one of the best meals I ever made would be a sandwich. Of course, the roast beef could be served as-is or with a sauce, but combined with the aioli (garlic and olive oil mayonnaise) and served on a roll with some roasted red peppers it's outstanding. This is a case when 'slow food' really pays off.

The white bits on top are real provolone, which doesn't slice well, but tastes great.

Roast Beef

3 lb. rump roast, rolled with butcher's twine
~1.5 quarts of warm water
3 Tbsp. wine
3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 c. Kosher salt
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 bay leaves
5 allspice berries
10 black peppercorns, lightly crushed
1/4 tsp. celery salt

Dissolve the salt and sugar in the warm water, wine, and Worcestershire sauce to make 2 gallons of brine. Add the spices. Place the rump roast and brine in a one-gallon ziploc and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 325°. Pat the roast dry and then coat it lightly with oil or lard. Place on a rack in a roasting pan. Halfway through cooking add hot water to the pan to prevent scorching. For medium-rare, roast at 325° for 30 minutes per pound (1.5 hours), allowing 20-30 minutes to rest. Internal temperature should be ~122° and rise to 130° as it rests. Remove butcher's twine and slice thinly across the grain.

Aioli
Read Joe's extensive technique article and recipe about aiolis.
This recipe is an emulsion of water and lemon juice in oil, which means it can be finicky. It works best if you begin with all the ingredients at room temperature. Do your best to avoid 'shocking' the ingredients by adding too much of one thing at a time--be sure to drizzle the oil in very slowly, almost drop-by-drop. Also, some versions use only one egg yolk, but I call for two because they facilitate the emulsification process and make the recipe more fool-proof. Two yolks makes for a thicker sauce, but that makes the aioli stand out more on the sandwich--a good thing, because it's delicious!


1/2 c. olive oil
2 egg yolks at room temperature
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. cool water
3 tsp. dijon mustard
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. sea salt

Begin by tempering the whole garlic cloves. Either blanch them in boiling water for ~20 seconds or toss them in a dry pan over medium heat and roast until they start to brown on the edges. Place them in the food processor, add the salt and blend until finely chopped and combined.

Add the egg yolks and dijon mustard and keep the processor blending as you slowly drizzle in half of the oil, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides down. Add the water, mustard, and lemon juice and continue to blend as you drizzle in the remaining oil (patiently!). Blend in more salt if needed.

Sandwiches

Ciabatta rolls, warmed
Roasted red peppers or chopped red pepper spread (can be found at Lunds)
Roast beef
Aioli
Provolone cheese

Assemble sandwiches and dig in!

(Note for next time: I think this could have used a touch or rosemary, either in the brine or infused in the aioli oil.)

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