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Man Food Watch™: Big basketball weekend means big sandwiches

The NCAA semi-finals this weekend rate some man food much more substantial than the usual six-foot party sub.

The NCAA semi-finals this weekend rate some man food much more substantial than the usual six-foot party sub.

So what’s hot, hearty and much more filling?

A humble, open-face pot roast sandwich.

Biggie-sized. Mucho.

Pot roast – a true All-American, just like b-ball

The term “pot roast,” coined in 1881, is only ten years older than the game of basketball, invented in 1891.

Both happened in the United States, and recipes for pot roast have made their way into American cookbooks for well over 100 years.

However, pot roast has its roots mcuh deeper in Americana.

Often called Yankee pot, our modern dish evolved from the boiled dinners of colonial New England.

A carry-over from Europe and the Britsh Isles, a boiled dinner consisted of cured meat stewed in liquid with root vegetables like carrots, parsnips and potatoes.

The switch from cured to fresh meat led to the rich, silky sauces of classical American pot roast.

More good news: Very economical to make, pot roast calls for the cheaper, tougher, more flavorful cuts of fresh meat – Boston butt, lamb shanks, beef short ribs, brisket and – most yummy – chuck roast.

Cooking a pot roast means braising the meat over low, gentle heat in liquid so that the marbled fat and other connection tissues render up their natural gelatin slowly for fall-apart tender meat and sauce that is to die for.

So make me a sammich!

If you’re like most of us, you’re watching how many carbs you’re getting from wheat.

Even more good news!

The great bread you choose for your enormous open face sandwich doesn’t have to have any wheat in it.

Most good bakeries will stock bread made from rice flour, potato flour or even quinoa flour.

If you just have to have wheat bread, choose a sturdy loaf with the muscle to stand up to your pot roast – pumpernickel, sour dough, crostini – like that.

Buy one whole loaf for every serving of pot roast.

GJE’s Open Face Pot Roast Sandwich

Building a manly game-day sandwich starts with a nice, meaty roast, nicely marbled and not too fatty.

One 2-5 pound chuck roast per sandwich, please, plus the veggies and sauce.


  • 2-5 lb. fresh chuck roast
  • 1 12-oz. amber beer – for example Sam Adams®, Newcastle Brown Ale®, Shiner Bock®, etc.
  • 1 glass dry red wine like merlot or cabernet sauvignon
  • 1 large or 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 2-3 medium carrots, sliced
  • 2-4 large turnips, peeled and diced
  • 8 oz. tomato sauce
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2-5 fresh garlic cloves, crushed and minced
  • Flour or your choice
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 12 or so whole black peppercorns
  • 2 cups chicken stock or water
  • 1 loaf bread of your choice
  • Butter, garlic butter, garlic-infused oil or aioli (pressed garlic mixed with olive oil)

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Salt and pepper chuck roast and lightly coat with flour.
  2. In a large pot, hear 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Brown roast on all sides.
  4. Reduce heat then add tomato sauce, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns and chicken stock and stir.
  5. Add water to cover.
  6. Bring to a slow boil, taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
  7. Add beer and wine, then re-taste.
  8. Reduce hear and let roast simmer for 1 ½ hours, adding more liquid as necessary to prevent drying and sticking.
  9. After 1 ½ hours, add the vegetables and cook another hour or util roast is fork tender, adjusting seasoning and adding liquid as necessary.
  10. When the roast is done, remove the pot from heat and let rest for 10-15 minutes.
  11. Cut bread loaf in half and toast or grill, then spread with butter, garlic butter, garlic oil or aioli.
  12. Build your massive sandwich on a dinner platter or in a soup plate.

Pile up the roast in either chunks or shreds over your bread, then smother with sauce and veggies.

That’s one hearty man-sandwich!

And nothing goes better with it than a nice deep red wine or some ice cold beer.

Go Gators!



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OFFICIAL BIO: K Truitt is a second-generation, native Floridian born in Jacksonville. Truitt worked in public higher education for 25 years and knows newspaper publishing, printing and graphic design. Contact:

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