My fiancé emailed me with a recipe, the other day, which he said we should try out. This was highly unusual and my curiosity was piqued immediately. It turned out he had seen a recipe on the Guardian which was just about as artery-busting and gut-filling as any Elvis could have dreamt up and yes, yes, we were going to try it out. My God.
The Shooter’s sandwich – which I have to confess I have been saying as “Shoot her, shoot her” in the manner of Robert Muldoon in Jurassic Park – is Tim Hayward’s recipe and is the most decadent, luxurious sandwich I have ever cooked and scoffed. We made it on Friday to take to the cricket yesterday – and should you be picknicking this summer – and in need of dramatic weight gain – then I suggest you try it out!
*crusty loaf *two good steaks *500g mushrooms (we bought chestnut mushrooms) *200g shallots *a clove of garlic *splash of Worcestershire sauce *lots of salt and pepper *75g butter *splash of brandy if you have it to hand *Dijon mustard *Horseradish *greaseproof paper *string
1. Slice off the top quarter of the loaf, hook out most of the crumb and save for breadcrumbs.
2. Cut your shallots and mushrooms into fine dice and put about 75g of butter into the pan. This chopping took Josh and I ages – but fear not – you are making the Sandwich of Dreams TM, it will be worth it.
3. Cook the mushrooms and shallots in the butter until they’ve softened, reduced in size and lost a substantial amount of moisture. Once they’re done, season to your taste. I used plenty of salt and black pepper, some finely grated garlic and a splash of Worcestershire sauce. We have no brandy in the house – but if you do, then you might want to add a glug of that too.
4. Season your steaks and bring them to the pink side of medium in a searing hot dry pan.
5. Don’t bother resting the steaks. Work fast and tuck the first one, dripping and hot, straight into the bottom of the hollow loaf.
6. Dollop in your hot mushroom mixture. If you like Dad-Jokes crack a one-liner along the lines of “that’s shallot!”
7. Tuck your second steak over the mushrooms. Smear hot horseradish on the top steak and Dijon mustard on the inside of the lid – the more the merrier!
8. Fit the lid back on to the loaf.
9. Wrap in greaseproof paper and tie with butcher’s string – or gift wrap ribbon! – as you would an awkwardly-shaped Christmas present. Smush flat under a heavy cutting board or a few heavy cookbooks.
10. Leave under the weights in a reasonably cool place (don’t refrigerate) for at least six hours or preferably overnight.
11. Tim Hayward suggests you serve sliced like cake accompanied by something vaguely vegetable-based to assuage the guilt. We ate in the Pavilion at the Oval, served with a bottle of Prosecco and the obligatory sunburn that results from a day at the cricket.
It tasted pretty unbelievable. The bread was mushy and gooey in places, the steaks soft, the mushrooms nutty and rich. It was pretty expensive though and all that chopping took some time, but as a show-stopping sandwich it is hard to beat. Josh’s verdict – “very good” and you can’t say fairer than that.