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CH Wine ‘French Dip’ with Avocado-Horseradish Crema

This recipe was a lot of fun to create. If you don’t know by now sandwiches are my favorite food. And given the chance to create a signature sandwich, I will always look to create something awesome. When Jake and I sat down to talk about pairing Lot 362, a delicious and increasingly popular California Field Blend, we knew we wanted to red meat. Keeping with the California theme I suggested Tri-tip, a cut of beef unique to California and the west coast (note; what are all you east coasters doing?! This cut of meat is incredible, and perfect for BBQ. I feel like you guys are missing out!). In a playful banter back and forth, I threw out the idea of creating a signature ‘French Dip’ Sandwich to pair with this wine (another note, the origins of the ‘French Dip’ can be traced back to a diner in LA, keeping with the California theme!) Jake was into this idea and I took it upon myself to go from there. The bread choice was easy, Sourdough. I mean, really. There is no other choice. French dips are then also served with a generous side of Jus and a horseradish creme. I really liked the idea of doing a riff on the creme, and keeping the Jus classic. So, off I went into the kitchen to finish the idea of what is turning out to be an epic sando.

The inspiration for the steak marinade comes from a notorious steak from an incredible butcher in Palo Alto. Schaubs is located in Stanford Shopping
center and is a purveyor of very fine meats and seafood. I always enjoy just going in and looking at how beautiful the meat is. There is always one striking thing however behind the glass at the meat counter, and it is what Schaubs is most famous for. Its called ‘Fred’s Steak’ and it is hideously black. I mean dirty night sky black. You think to yourself, why would anyone buy this ugly ass piece of meat when right next to it there are perfectly marbled Rib Eyes and NY Loins. I’m getting off track. The Fred’s steak has a cult following because it is insanely delicious. A perfect blend of salty and savory combined with the sweetness of the meat. This is the taste I was going for in my own marinade for this recipe. You can see that the marinade is Worcestershire heavy with some added salt (soy) and this was a direct attempt to knock off the Fred’s Steak (They keep the recipe very secretly guarded so I was really just blind guessing). My unique twist was to add Caraway seeds, the common ingredient found in Rye Bread. It added an incredible savory and nutty taste which complimented the steak extremely well.

The last little bit of California that we were bringing into the dish was for the horseradish cream. I took a few different ideas and combined them to make one incredible accent that turned out to be the star of the dish. I created an Avocado Crema (did you really think I was going to make a sandwich without avocado?? #californiaonly). Combining fresh avocado, fresh horseradish, lemon and some chives the mixture was blended until almost fluffy. A generous amount was applied to our first bites and we were not disappointing. This accent has now made it on several of my menus and will continue to be a staple. It is really really tasty.

Finally topped with some caramelized onions, this sandwich was complete. Since its inception, I have created it a few times. Some for clients, some for myself. No joke, I’m addicted. I usually shy away from eating my creations right away to make sure that I have everything perfected and I’m leaving room for improvements. This needed none. Get after it.


For Tri-Tip; combine all ingredients, less meat, and mix well to create marinade. Place Tri-Tip in marinade and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to 24hrs. Remove from marinade 20 minutes prior to cooking, reserving marinade for jus. Preheat oven to 400*. In a hot cast iron skillet, place Tri-Tip fat side down, and brown for 3-4 minutes. Flip and place skillet in the oven for 15-18 minutes for Medium Rare. Remove from pan and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing thin. If grilling, cook tri tip 7-10 minutes a side over high heat.

For the Jus: In a small sauce pan, combine the reserve marinade with 2+ cups of beef stock. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes, remove from heat and set aside for serving.

For the Crema: combine all ingredients into a blender or food processor. Blend very well, until light green and has some Û÷fluff’ to the consistency.

On a large slice of toasted Sourdough, layer a generous helping of crema, a fork full of caramelized onions, and as much meat as you wish. Dip in Jus generously.