Every once in awhile, I like to challenge my tastes and my cooking by grabbing a new ingredient at the store and figuring out how to use it when I got home. It’s how I started liking brussels sprouts, it led to my first attempts at liking eggplant, and now it’s resulted in the cool sandwich you can see pictured above. I thought I’d explain the process so you can follow along if you’re up for it… don’t be afraid to be adventurous!
I noticed this ingredient in the meat section. Nestled between the various cuts and steaks of beef was a container of some weird, brainy-looking stuff that I assumed must be beef as well. It turns out what they had done was take normal steak (maybe a chuck or some other tough cut) and run it through a grinder to make basically an extruded meat paste. I know that sounds kind of gross, but it was surprisingly good in the end, so stick with me.
I took it home to figure out what to do with it. At first I thought that since it was so easily moldable, it might do well shaped into a ball of some sort:
But then I thought what a perfect day it would be for grilling, so I left the “meat ball” experiment for another day. I realized that a flat shape would do better on the grill, since it’s one-directional heat and cooks pretty quickly. I didn’t want something charred on the outside or raw on the inside, basically. So I too each ball and flattened it into a hockey puck shape. I know it probably seems counterintuitive to grind up a steak and then smush it back into a steak-like shape, but that’s just how it goes sometimes.
Now. What would go well with my mashed beef grilled hockey pucks? After a little brainstorming, I thought it just might make a great sandwich, since it was already kind of roll-shaped. I broke out some of my favorite homemade sandwich rolls and headed for the grill.
To fill out the sandwich, we brought along some “extras” and condiments: avocado, lettuce, onions, ketchup. I think there’s a lot of room for improvisation in that department; maybe we can come up with more ideas. The weirdest idea I had, which turned out to be the best one, was to put cheese on top of the meat discs to melt a little while cooking. I know what you’re thinking: isn’t this already a kind of fatty meat, do you really need to add fatty dairy too? Technically you don’t, no, but it tasted surprisingly delicious and seemed to compliment the beef perfectly.
So yeah! Just a little adventure in cooking; I don’t know how popular a grilled cheese-covered meat mush circle sandwich would be in your crowd, but I’d encourage you to at least try it before you move on with your life! Adventurousness and creativity are two of your greatest assets as a cook, and it pays off to step outside your comfort zone every once in awhile.
Let me know what you think!