- 500g rare roast beef (homemade or store-bought)
- 4 thick slices crusty sourdough bread (part rye is great for this)
- 1 punnet cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 4 Tbsp good quality olive oil
- salt, to taste
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 1 Tbsp hot English mustard
- 1 Tbsp wholegrain mustard
- 1 tsp coarse freshly ground black pepper
This is a sandwich in a bowl, a mix of England and Italy. I've taken my favourite bits of a roast beef sandwich and added cherry tomatoes, parsley and olive oil. I love the way the tomato juice moistens the crusty bread and the freshness of the parsley alongside the rich beef and mustard.
To roast the beef yourself, I suggest getting a 1kg piece of topside beef - it has good flavour, is not too expensive and is probably nicer cold than hot. Allow it to reach room temperature (out of the fridge for an hour or so) before starting. To roast it, heat your oven to 170°C and put a heavy pan on an element to get nice and hot. Trim excess fat from the beef. Season beef generously then rub with a bit of oil.
Sear beef for a couple of minutes on each side to get a good amount of tasty caramelisation - it should be nicely dark brown, not just a little grey. If your pan has an ovenproof handle, put it in the oven. Otherwise, move the beef to a roasting pan then put in the oven. Check the internal temperature of the beef after 30 minutes - once it gets to 45°C, remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes (the inner temperature will keep rising as it rests because the outer part of the meat is hotter). If it hasn't reached the right temperature yet, give it 5 minutes more at a time between retesting. If you have a much smaller piece of beef (say 500g), it will likely be done in more like 12-15 minutes.
To make the bread really tasty, toast it quite dark before cutting into bite-sized chunks. Put the tomatoes in a bowl and season well with salt to start drawing out moisture. Give them a bit of a squash with a fork to release the juices then add the bread. Toss around and press with a fork or by hand to allow the juices to soften the bread.
Drizzle about 3 Tbsp of the olive oil over the bread and tomatoes then add the parsley and toss around to mix. If you have time, allow to rest for 15 minutes to give the bread a chance to soften and soak up the flavours.
In a separate bowl, mix the mustards, black pepper and remaining olive oil to make a dressing. Slice the roast beef into chunky bite-sized strips and add to the bowl, mixing around to coat with dressing. Gently combine with bread mix and serve in a bowl. The flavours go well together but it's nice to keep them a little bit separated so you can taste them individually.