Posts Tagged Smoker

Steak Frites Sandwich

I made these back in Texas. These are not po-boys (though I am discovering that the roast beef po-boy is a thing of beauty, truly). There is nothing N’awlins about these sandwiches.

Which is a shame, because they are so very good.

Also, I put french fries directly into my sandwiches. ‘Cause folks, I am classy. You know how I know it’s classy? When I was fourteen, I went to France. There was a lovely little sandwich shop in Nice where the incredibly snooty gentleman running this hole-in-the-wall made just such a sandwich, with roast beef and mustard and greens and fries all wrapped up in the bun. And clearly if it is done in France, even in a little backstreet dive, it is classy.

It is possible that I need to get out more.

This is one of my favorite sandwiches. It is in all ways superior to the hamburger, containing chopped beef instead of a ground beef patty, a good (though in this instance store-bought) roll instead of a too-soft hamburger bun, an abundance of spinach, and of course, the fries are inside the sandwich.

A fact which gives me no end of glee. Just go with it, okay?

Ingredients (makes 2 big sandwiches)

For the steak:

1/2 to 3/4 lb inexpensive steak

3-4 T red wine vinegar

2 T Worcestershire sauce

2 T mustard

salt, paprika, and white pepper to taste

For the sandwiches:

1/2 to 3/4 lb cooked and chopped steak

2 crusty sandwich rolls (or one baguette)

a big handful of spinach

1 large potato and cooking oil for french fries

mustard, to taste (my preference is for about 2 T/sandwich

hot sauce to taste


Make the steak. For me, the only way to do this is with my delightful mini-smoker. Seriously, that thing was hands down the best $30 I ever spent for the kitchen, and now it’s only $22. Combine all the marinade items in a zip-top bag and add the steak. Marinate at least an hour.

Smoke for 25 minutes or cook it another way if you aren’t into perfect smoked meat straight off the stove. While it’s smoking (or pan-searing or braising or however you cook your steak), heat a few inches of vegetable oil, slice a potato into 1/2 inch sticks, and fry.

Set the fries aside. When the steak is done, give it a couple of minutes to rest away from heat.

Now is a good time to grill up your bread. Not a required step, but oh so good. Just heat a bit of olive oil or margarine and maybe a smashed clove of garlic in a small skillet and grill.


Now chop your beef.


Spread mustard on the top half of your roll, and dot some hot sauce on the bottom. If that doesn’t look like much hot sauce, please bear in mind that it is Blair’s After Death sauce, which is pretty darn hot, and also I am a complete wimp when it comes to Scovilles.

Add spinach, meat, and some fries.

Devour. Crunch spinach, gnaw meat, make sad little whimpering noises because Blair’s hot sauce is really quite hot and there are about ten whole drops of it on this one little sandwich.

You can stop laughing anytime. I already admitted that I’m a capsaicin wuss.

I won’t call this my favorite sandwich. There’s a grilled cheese with that honor which I think will never be unseated. But it definitely makes the top three. It is delightful, contains only a smidgen of guilt, and is simple enough to make on a weeknight when you’d rather eat with your hands in front of the television than at the table like people.



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Smoked Duck Legs in Red Wine Sauce

Duck is amazing. The meat is dark and flavorful, the fat makes some of the best hash browns known to man, the skin crisps in no time flat and is incredibly forgiving and resistant to burns, and I just got a five and a half pound duck at the Asian market for $12. Or, to put it another way, cheaper than ground beef. Anyone who says duck is too expensive is not looking hard enough.

That sauce is really garishly purple. I wasn’t expecting it. I used to refuse to eat oddly colored foods, and I have to admit I was a little concerned about this one. In the end, I wished I had more of it to pour over the asparagus.

Duck Legs in Red Wine Sauce (serves 2)


For the marinade:

2 cups red wine (I used Bogle Syrah. because it was cheap, and we like Bogle generally.)

2 T miso paste

1-2 T mustard (or some mustard powder and a bit of minced garlic)

A great big sprig of fresh rosemary

Duck neck fat (I know, gross, right?)

For the rest:

Legs and wings of one duck

Salt and pepper to taste


Marinate the duck for at least a couple of hours. The best way to do this is probably to throw it in the marinade in the fridge before going to work (or even the night before) so it will have a good long while to soak and you won’t have to eat too late.

It was only coincidence that we ate something so darn pink on Valentine’s day, okay? Once you’re ready to cook, set your smoker up like we talked about before. Turn the stove up to medium and arrange the meat on the rack.

Shut the lid once it starts to smoke and ignore it for half an hour. This is when you make the sauce. I hope you didn’t throw out the marinade, because that’s pretty much what the sauce is. Slash open the skin of the neck flesh to expose the fatty layer and simmer in a small saucepan to render the fat. Discard the rest of the neck flesh, or feed it to the small carnivores. Either way works. Add the rest of the marinade to the saucepan and simmer until it is a consistency that makes you happy. I went for pretty darn thick. It will be purple. This may not make you happy.

Then the giant box-shaped timer in your kitchen will beep, and it’s time to check on the duck.  I had been planning to toss it under the broiler as I did with the chicken, but the skin was already brown and crisp so I just left well enough alone.

Sauce, duck, and vegetable ready to go. I plated the duck and asparagus, poured the sauce over the duck, and we were done. It is worth noting that each duck wing had about a half of a sliver of meat on it. I mean there wasn’t enough meat to feed my fish. It wasn’t worth the effort. But the legs were fantastic. Also, all the fat dripped right into the smoker drip pan and were easily poured into a little jar that is now waiting in my fridge. I look forward to the next time we want hash browns.

As a side note, want to add atmosphere to any dinner? Add a cheese course, or just one cheese. That smoked cheddar complemented the duck wonderfully, and made the whole meal feel a bit fancier for no effort.

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