There are many, many celebrity chefs and cooks, but there are few celebrity butchers. Besides Pat LaFrieda, anyway. His family-owned company supplies meat and poultry to most of the high-end restaurants in the Northeast United States. In fact, a few weeks ago Matt and I were grabbing a quick lunch at the Shake Shack in the Upper West Side and looked out the window to see a LaFrieda truck unloading ground burger patties by the box.
This fall, the company decided to publish one of the more beautiful books I’ve ever held in my hands. It’s all about their company philosophy, how to butcher different animals, and gives a detailed breakdown of different parts of animals (lamb, cows, calves, pigs, chicken, turkey, duck, and more).
And with each chapter on each animal, there are recipes! This is the first one I tried from the book. This sandwich is a best-seller at LaFrieda’s retail space in Citi Field, where the New York Mets play. I’ve never been to their restaurant, because I’ve never been to a Mets game. I may have moved to New York, but my sports loyalties stayed in Texas.
Upon tasting, I can completely understand the popularity of this sandwich. If you do ever find yourself in Citi Field, please seek one out. Or make it in your own kitchen! Either way, this sandwich is delicious happiness. Just going through and editing the pictures is making me drool. I have to make this again… Enjoy!
Source: slightly adapted from Meat: Everything You Need to Know by Pat LaFrieda
2 tbs canola oil, plus more as needed
1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
About 3 deli slices Muenster cheese
1 cup beef stock
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
¾ lbs. beef tenderloin, cut into ½-inch thick medallions
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
2 hoagie rolls, toasted if desired, cut open but not completely split in half
In a large skillet, heat 1 tbs oil in the pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally so they don’t stick to the pan, until they are soft and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Spread the onions out in a somewhat flat, rectangular shape and then top with the cheese, cutting it to fit if necessary. Shut off the heat and let the cheese melt.
To make the jus, in a small saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat once it simmers and add the vinegar. Cover the pot to keep the jus warm.
Season the meat on both sides with salt and pepper.
In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the remaining 1 tbs oil over high heat. Add as many tenderloin medallions as will fit, not crowding them, and sear them on both sides until they are caramelized, 1-2 minutes per side. Remove to a plate or cutting board and repeat with the remaining medallions. Remove them to a plate or cutting board.
Chop the first batch of medallions into bite-size chunks (they do not have to be pretty) and set aside. Now chop the second batch as you did the first.
To assemble the sandwiches, lay beef tenderloin chunks across the bread, then use a very flat spatula to transfer half the onion and cheese on top of the beef on each sandwich. Again, pretty isn’t a requirement here, just get the meat covered. Drizzle a tablespoon or so of the jus on each sandwich, close them and serve immediately.
Makes 2 sandwiches.