Monday, March 5, 2007

What's for lunch? Ground Meat Sandwich.

As the unofficial Queen of The Land of Carbohydrates, I love sandwiches. To me, lunch just isn't right unless it's something between two pieces of bread. (Lunch can also be pizza, but isn't that just a big open-faced sandwich?) But my decision to eat local has made sandwiches a more difficult proposition than they used to be. My sandwich of choice usually involves some sort of deli sliced meat, a couple of kinds of tasty cheese, plus other stuff. I no longer choose to buy meat from the deli because I don't know how it was raised, leaving me a choice of cheese sandwiches, peanut butter sandwiches, fish sandwiches. They're all good, but I miss a meat sandwich.

While bemoaning the lack of sandwich making material, I remembered something I loved as a child; a sandwich ingredient my grandmother Helen used to make. She would take meat left over from a beef pot roast and put it through the food grinder, along with mayonaise and onion. She called this, aptly enough "ground meat". It made a darn good sandwich.

I decided to adapt her recipe, making some changes to reduce the fat content. I've used it for sandwiches, inside tortillas to make taquitos and quesedillas, and spread on top of pizza dough. It's very versatile, and very yummy. As a sandwich, I like it with pepper jack cheese, slices of onion and spinach instead of lettuce. Made in the food processor, it's more of a meat paste than ground meat.

Ground Meat

1 small (1-2 pounds) beef roast (could also use pork, chicken, lamb...)
3-4 onions, quartered
3-4 cloves garlic, if desired

Place everything in the crockpot, cook until very tender. If the meat is very fatty, refrigerate over night to solidify the fat to make it easy to remove.

Remove meat from bones, cut into chunks about the size of an apricot.

Place several chunks of meat in the food processor, along with some of the onion. Add a quarter cup or so of the pot roast juice, and process until the meat is a smooth paste. If needed, add just enough more juice to keep the food processor from binding up- it shouldn't be runny or drippy. Repeat with the rest of the roast. You can also add raw onion to the paste and process it, but I prefer to put a slice of onion on the sandwich. I pack the paste into the small rectangular Zip-Loc or Glad freezer containers and freeze all but one.

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