Roast Beef and Gravy
4-6 –lb. inside round of beef, trimmed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
1 large yellow onion, quartered
1 whole garlic bulb, outer papery skin removed and bulb cut in half
2 bay leaves
½ tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. dried marjoram
¼ tsp. black peppercorns
1-3 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
3 loaves poor-boy bread or 6 French baguettes, cut lengthwise and into sections 6-8 inches long
1 head lettuce, shredded coarsely
8 tomatoes, thinly sliced
Dill pickle slices
Preheat the oven to 350º. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Put it in a Dutch oven filled about a third of the way with water. Add the celery, carrots, onion, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, marjoram, and black peppercorns. Roast, uncovered for 4-6 hours, turning the roast and adding water every hour or so. The water level should slowly drop, but don’t let it get less than approximately 2 inches deep. The beef is ready when a meat thermometer inserted into the center read 160º.
Remove the roast from the pot and place in a pan hat will catch all the juices as it cools.
Skim off fat from the stock in the pot. Use a coarse sieve to strain the stock into a bowl, and then return the stock to the pot. Add any juices that came out of the roast as it rests. Bring the stock to a simmer. Skim off any fat that rises to the surface. Cook to a thin gravy consistency.
When you’re ready to make sandwiches, preheat the oven to 400º. Bring the gravy to a simmer and whisk in the flour (but only if the gravy appears to need thickening). Add the Worcestershire sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Slice the roast beef as thin as possible. Collect all the crumbs and slivers that fall off and add this to the gravy. Stack as much sliced roast beef as you want on a length of French bread. Garnish with lettuce, tomatoes, mayonnaise, and dill pickles. Spoon on as much gravy as the sandwich can hold. Bake the assembled sandwich for about a minute to toast the bed.
Makes 12-18 po’boys
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