A few weeks ago, we went to an event in a small restaurant in an even smaller Texas town.
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from the choice of venues because certainly this town is not a dining destination.
Boy, was I ever wrong.
We pulled up to the restaurant on the downtown square in this little Texas town at twilight. The sun was setting behind the copper dome of the stately courthouse, and let’s be honest, no one does a courthouse like small Texas towns. The effect was majestic. The little restaurant was set into a strip of other small businesses, antique shops, an old-fashioned pharmacy, a boutique and a bookstore. The storefront was modest, but the aroma was intoxicating.
The menu was Southern comfort food at its finest: chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and gravy; brown sugar ham with beans and cornbread; and macaroni laden with five different cheeses. Then, there was the open-faced beef sandwich. I didn’t order it, but I wish I had. Luckily, boneless chuck roast is on sale this week at Brookshire’s because I’ll be recreating this gem in my own kitchen.
Open-Faced Beef Sandwiches with Gravy
3 lb boneless chuck roast
1 Tbs olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbs David Wade Gourmet Worcestershire Powder
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups beef stock
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup water
2 Tbs parsley
8 slices good-quality sandwich bread
Remove roast from the refrigerator, and let it come to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Rub the roast with salt, pepper and Worcestershire powder.
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a cast-iron skillet. When the oil sizzles, add the chuck roast, browning quickly on all sides. Add the onions; sauté 1 minute.
Remove from the heat, and add the beef stock to the skillet, scraping up browned bits of meat and onions.
Place skillet in the oven, and roast until the chuck is falling apart, about 2 hours.
Remove from the oven, and shred the beef with two forks. Keep warm.
In the skillet on the stovetop, heat juices until bubbly. Mix together flour and water; stir into the beef stock on the stove. Let simmer for about 5 minutes until thickened.
Sprinkle beef with parsley. Spoon beef over bread, topping with gravy. Serve immediately.
Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 604, Calories from Fat: 382, Fat: 42 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (16 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 168 mg, Sodium: 299 mg, Potassium: 481 mg, Carbohydrates: 4 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 1 g, Protein: 48 g.
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