Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Hump-Day Quickie: Chopped Beef Sandwiches, or We're not throwing the meat away

Did you overcook that meat you brought home? Is it a miserable, stringy mess which you can barely eat? Did you have to floss right after you ate even though you usually only floss when you have an unusually attractive date? Do you hate wasting food so much you still can't let yourself throw the meat out? We at A Book of Cookrye are here to help!

Like many cookrye-related frustrations, the solution involves a meat grinder.

We are going to take those miserable shreds of overtanned leather masquerading as steak and transform them into something so delicious people order it on purpose. Don't worry that it looks like dog food, it will get better.

And so, not 10 seconds after we finished grinding, this all starts to make sense. You know how a lot of people use mayonnaise to glue together their tuna or their chicken salad? We're going to do the same thing but instead use BARBECUE SAUCE.
You may be worried that whatever you seasoned the meat with when you set out to cook it will taste odd or unfortunate when you do this. You are wrong. Even if you used (for example) ungodly amounts of curry powder, these will still be good.

And so, those stringy, nearly-inedible beef slabs have turned into a staple of barbecue shacks everywhere. Seriously, people pay money for this. In high school, the local creepy Jesus people tried to lure people to their for-profit megachurch by filling coolers with these and bringing them in at lunch. We and our friends used to regularly visit ourselves upon the place by where our parents then lived because they had a 5-for-$5 deal on these sandwiches (you could also get just the meat at $6 per pint). Don't throw out your miserable husks of burnt meat when you can make these.
I put cooking spray on a hot griddle and dropped the buns on it while I was fixing everything else. Turns out forgetting you had the buns on the stove makes them perfect.

We at A Book of Cookrye jest not, this will turn even the stringiest, toughest meat into something delicious. You might even deliberately buy the cheap cuts of meat for the express purpose of making them. Though when you put away the leftovers, you will quickly realize how most barbecue places can sell chopped beef by the pint.
It may take very close examination to realize it's not refried beans.

Chopped Beef Sandwiches
Whatever tough, probably overcooked meat lurks in your refrigerator*
Barbecue sauce
Hamburger buns
Sliced or chopped onions (optional)

Grind or finely chop the meat. The tougher it is, the finer you should grind it. If it's not too bad, the sandwiches will be better if you don't grind it quite so thoroughly.
Mix it with barbecue sauce to taste. Some people like barely enough to hold it together. Others like to add so much that their sandwiches resemble sloppy joes.
If you feel like going all-out, lightly coat a hot griddle with cooking spray and toast the insides of the buns on it until the edges are very dark, possibly even completely black. This is traditionally done by spreading heavy amounts of butter on the buns instead a short spray on the pan, but it's surprisingly hard to tell the difference once you've made the sandwiches. If you are either saving time, trying not to heat the house by running the stove (or toaster), or just feel lazy, skip this and just put the meat on the bun.
Heat the meat and put about a hamburger patty's worth on each sandwich. Add chopped onions if you like them and if your region's religious views on barbecue permit such an action.
The meat keeps well in the refrigerator.

*Obviously, if you use something other than beef, they won't be chopped beef sandwiches. But they'll be good anyway. 


  1. Mmm. Delicious.

    I'm terrible at chicken and always seem to overcook it--I blame my oven--so I might try food-processor-pulsing it into barbecue chicken nugget sandwiches...