How to make the Poachers Sandwich, use of bottom optional

I have been asked how to make the Poachers Sandwich so I will give you my version. First of all buy a really nice quality loaf, here in Newbury we have a fantastic bread stall at the market and you can try any sort you like but it is good to have a bit of a crust going on.

The other ingredients you will need are steak (any sort, hanger may be a bit tough, fillet a bit pointless, rump, sirloin or ribeye are my preferences for this) which you oil and place into a very hot pan.

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This is about six onions chopped finely with some garlic and slowly gaining colour.

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This is the onion mixture with the mushrooms added, the house is now starting to smell better than using those floral reed things. In fact why dont they sell reed like things that smell of barbecued chicken rather than old lady lavender?

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This is the final onion mixture, brown and caramel like and cooling. It is good to add some anchovies to this mixture. They add a richness not a fishness, they dissolve and are a fantastic accompaniment to beef as long as you don’t tell anyone. For some reason most people cant stand the thought of anchovies in their beef. Actually I often add things to food that I don’t tell anyone about, when my children were young they had spaghetti bolognese to which I had added chopped snails. I did this so that they could say that they had eaten snails but they weren’t terribly impressed when they found out. To be fair they do still talk about it so it is part of our famly history, how cool is it to make family memories from molluscs. I get it from my parents. Stories to come.

Team – it is ok, no anchovies have been added.

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These are the steaks in two frying pans so that they char and dont steam. I like mine rare but am making this for my Senior Managers Team meeting (how good a boss am I?) so am cooking it medium to well.

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This is the loaf cut in half and spread with a thin layer of butter but you could get away with not using butter at all. On top of that I have spread a layer of horseradish.

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This is the loaf with the onion and mushroom mixture on it, oh it smells so good. Chuck in some chopped flat leaf parsley at the end of cooking.

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The steak gets crammed on top.

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The lid goes on.

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It gets wrapped tightly in cling film, you will be pleased about this in a minute. Lots and lots of cling film.

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This is me sitting on the sandwich. The best thing you can do is put the sandwich between two chopping boards then put it under a sofa cushion and sit on it. It needs weight so that it flattens and all the juices from the meat, onions, mushrooms, garlic etc meld together and seep into the bread.

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This is the sandwich after one day. I had to take some slices off for my PA who wont be here tomorrow so will rewrap and squish for the final version. It wasn’t seasoned enough, use plenty of salt and pepper, it can take it, then eat and enjoy.

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