Well, my wife and daughter were away visiting friends. It’s the weekend of my wife’s monthly visiting spree, and my daughter had recently gotten her driver’s license… so she was out spreading her wings.
This situation left me all by myself last Saturday evening, and I thought to myself, “Self, what in the world am I going to do with this Bottom Round I have?” Options swirled before my eyes… pot roast… beef stew… But I had done those. Then I realized that there was something I had never tried (for whatever insane reason). I had never cut bottom round steaks!
Well, situation solved. I cut a nice little 1/2 pound Bottom Round Steak out of that puppy, and got to planning the culinary event of the weekend.
Bottom Round is pretty lean, but it’s very tough. It’s part of the hip muscle, the big pink section in the image I stole from culinaryarts. Any “hard working” muscle (like the brisket, among others) can’t just be cooked up like a regular steak (e.g., rib eye, tenderloin, sirloin, etc.), it’s got to go low and slow.
This is the point I’d normally start referring to the Big Green Egg, but alas I do not have one at home (just at the office). So, I had to go with Plan B, and in this case the “B” stands for “Braising”!
Braising is super simple: sear the meat in oil quickly, then simmer the meat in liquid slowly. It’s the basic idea behind pot roast and stew, where you might use the crock pot as the “in liquid slowly” part of the equation. I just had a single, 1/2 pound steak, so I didn’t need all that. All I needed was some beer…
1/2 pound bottom round steak
1 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, whole but smashed under hand
8 oz beer or ale, I like Sam Adams Noble Pils
2 thick slices of bread, I used garlic-asiago from my favorite bakery, The Bankery.
1 T butter
Salt & pepper
Spicy dry rub, I used Trilby’s Spicy Dry Rub that I had received as a Christmas present from my Seattle sister-in-law
1/4 ripe avocado, sliced
Let the beer come to room temperature. Get a nice big frying pan with a cover, get it hot, add the oil, and let that get hot. Then, season the steak (salt, pepper, rub) and sear until well browned on each side, adding garlic after you turn the steak over.
Add the beer all at once to the seared steak. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, and cover. Let this simmer for 1 hour. After an hour, remove the steak. The garlic will be super soft. Go ahead and eat one of the cloves! Save the other two.
Add the two slices of bread to the juices in the pan, bring back to medium-high heat. Let the bread sit in the juices and fry. It will seem a little soggy at first, but don’t worry, it will recover as the liquid evaporates. Do this just on one side of the bread. The “fried side” will be the part we face to the inside of the sandwich, and the non-fried part will face out. That way, our hands don’t get too nasty and greasy. Not that it matters, but I just like the touch of fresh bread.
Remove the bread, then add butter for the eggs. Fry the eggs anyway you like, I prefer over-easy with a little more salt & pepper. Just keep the yolks runny. On one slice of bread (on the fried side), spread a little mayo. On the other slice (also fried side), spread the soft garlic you saved. If you couldn’t help yourself and ate all the garlic already, just use more mayo.
Finally, slice the steak and layer it on a slice of bread, followed by the eggs, a little more dry rub, and the avocado slices. Cut sandwich into two pieces… consume along with another beer.
Why cut it into two pieces? Because anticipation is important in food… As you finish the first half of the sandwich, you’ll be all “O Dear Lord That Was Good!” but then you’ll realize that YOU’VE STILL GOT ANOTHER ONE! Then you’ll eat that second half all slow and deliberate, with a purpose and a plan, and the enjoyment will be enhanced. You might say, “Dude, I taste what I taste… what’s the difference in timing?” Don’t succumb to the lazy ways of eating!! Savor it. Maybe even wait a few minutes before eating that second half… let that anticipation build.
You won’t be disappointed.