Not long ago in the inter-web world, the “shooter’s sandwich” — a venison sammich — gained mega popularity, primarily due to a British food writer deeming it the best sandwich in the world. A bold statement, indeed, so we wanted to investigate.
Here’s what the writer came up with … Loading a hollowed-out loaf of bread with venison steak, mushrooms, shallots, and a fat dose of horseradish yields a kind of portable Beef Wellington — the pinnacle of British cuisine reinvented as a portable, tasty trail snack.
Now, we’re giving it to you as a healthy, grilled version of a widely popular sandwich.
- 1 venison backstrap, smoked/sliced
- 1 French Bread loaf, unsliced
- 2⁄3 cup coarse brown mustard, divided
- 1⁄2 lb. bacon
- 3 Tbsp. butter, divided
- 8 oz. Portabellas mushrooms, sliced
- 2 green onions, minced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1⁄2 cup bourbon
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp. rosemary, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 3 Tbsp. prepared horseradish
- Salt and pepper
Slice off the top quarter or so of the loaf of bread, horizontally, to make a lid. Scraping with your fingers, hollow out the loaf by removing most of the fluffy bread, creating a bowl. Slather the bottom with about half of the mustard. Layer the venison strips to make sure they’ll fit snugly inside the bowl.
Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, flipping, until the bacon is cooked through but not crispy. Transfer the bacon to the bread bowl, laying the slices flat.
Add 2 Tbsp. butter to the bacon fat and increase the heat to medium-high. Stir in the mushrooms and onions and cook, until the mushrooms begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, along with salt and pepper, and continue to sauté for another 2 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and add the bourbon and brown sugar to the pan, and allow it to bubble down for a about a minute. Return the pan to medium heat, and once the sugar has melted add the cream. Stir for about a minute, until the cream has reduced to a sauce-like consistency. Stir in the rosemary, more salt and pepper, then set aside to cool.
Smear horseradish onto the strips, then spread the mushroom mixture over top. Slather the remaining mustard on the underside of the bread lid and set it back on the loaf.
Wrap the loaf in two layers of aluminum foil, sealing it tightly, and set it on a sheet pan. To compress it, place a heavy cutting board on top and then weight it down with whatever you’ve got on hand: bricks, weights from a barbell, anything heavy.
Allow the weights to do their work for at least 6 hours, or overnight in a refrigerator. To serve, unwrap the foil and slice into cake-like wedges. Serves at least 6.
— Adapted from Field & Stream