French dip sandwich
For the beef
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp black peppercorns, ground
- 1 tsp dried mustard powder
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2kg/4lb 8oz piece of sirloin, rolled
- 2 tbsp dripping or oil
For the gravy
- 15g/½oz butter
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 250g/9oz button mushrooms, finely sliced
- 1 garlic clove, sliced
- 1 large sprig thyme, leaves only
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 200ml/7fl oz red or white wine
- 500ml/18fl oz beef stock (or consommé)
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh tarragon
Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7. Mix the sea salt, pepper, mustard powder and thyme together and press it into the surface areas of the sirloin.
Put the dripping or oil in a roasting tin and heat over a fairly high heat until simmering. Sear the beef on all sides until fairly deep brown, then transfer to the oven. Cook to your liking (10 minutes per 500g/1lb 2oz for rare, 15 minutes per 500g/1lb 2oz for medium-rare, 20 minutes per 500g/1lb 2oz for medium and 25 minutes per 500g/1lb 2oz for well-done).
Once the roast has finished cooking, remove from the tin and leave on a platter, covered with foil, to rest for at least 20 minutes. Strain off any fat and juices from the roasting tin and set aside.
For the gravy, heat the butter in a saucepan. Add the shallots and button mushrooms and cook until the shallots are a light golden-brown. Add the garlic and thyme and stir for another 2 minutes.
Sprinkle in the flour, and stir for a couple of minutes. Add the wine and allow it to bubble and for the volume of liquid to reduce by half. Add the stock (or consommé) and cook until reduced by a third. Stir in the tarragon.
Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add any juices from the roast beef, and if you want to extract the most amount of the flavour from the roasting tin, add the sauce to the roasting tin and stir vigorously over a low heat to incorporate the caramelised cooking juices (this is called deglazing). Transfer to a warm jug.
Serve the sirloin sliced with the gravy, piled into buttered baguette. Good with mustard or horseradish on the side.
My butcher sells rolled sirloin with an extra layer of fat tied into it, which helps keep it moist – but as more of this renders out during the searing and roasting process it does mean you end up with more dripping. The bread can be buttered, but it is also very good if you strain off the dripping from the roasting tin, season it will salt and mix with any juices which will collect underneath – you can use this dripping in place – or in addition to – the butter.