Cooking With Fire: The Sandwich

Oct 19, 2018

Simple Shredded Beef Sandwich
Credit Justin Cary

The sandwich is one of those a rare dishes that can pop up anywhere from fast food establishments to white-cloth restaurants.

The simplicity of the sandwich, which at its most basic is two pieces of bread with some sort of filling, downplays its ability to be a meal in and of itself that is packed with flavor.

But who invented this modern marvel?

Well… it’s not so modern.

The most famous story is this one: John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, was said to be very fond of gambling. So much so that he hated to leave the table to eat his dinner. During an unusually long game in 1762, he instructed his cook to bring him something he could easily eat while gambling.

His cook returned with sliced meat between two pieces of toast, a genius invention that Montagu then spread all over Britain, and finally the world.

Well, this is the story the Montagu family would like you to believe, but the only thing they can honestly claim is the name of the dish.

In fact, the entire story of the gambling escapade seems to be made up to promote Montagu as the inventor of the dish, when in fact during his trips to the Eastern Mediterranean he had seen various dishes including grilled pita bread filled with meat, which was served by the local Greek and Turkish vendors.

It is from there that Montagu brought the idea back to his home in Sandwich, where it received its name.

On this Cooking with Fire podcast, Josh Cary and Chef Tom Jackson take on this not-so-modern marvel with a simple smoked beef sandwich. 

Smoked Beef Sandwich


  • 1 (3.5 lb) chuck roast
  • 1/2 cup dijon mustard, divided
  • 2 poblano peppers, stem and seeds removed, sliced 1/4” thin
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled, sliced 1/4” thin
  • 1 cup beef stock

 For the rub:

  • 4 tbsp coarse kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp dried onion flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp dried garlic flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds

 For the horseradish mayo:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp prepared hot horseradish 

 For the sandwich:

  • sourdough bread, thick sliced
  • sharp white cheddar, shredded
  • butter, for toasting


  1. Preheat your smoker to 250ºF, set up for indirect cooking.
  2. Spread a thin layer of dijon mustard over the chuck roast. This will help bind the rub to the meat. Combine all rub ingredients and mix well. Season the roast with the rub.
  3. Smoke the roast until a mahogany red bark is formed, about 3.5-4 hours. Remove from the smoker, and increase the temperature of the smoker to 325ºF.
  4. Lay out two sheets of foil, large enough to wrap the roast. Place the sliced onions and peppers in the center of the foil. Place the roast on top of the veggies. Combine the beef stock with 2 tbsp dijon mustard. Pour the mixture over the roast. Wrap tightly with the sheets of foil. Return to the smoker.
  5. Continue cooking the beef until fork tender, about 2.5 hours. The internal temperature will be over 200ºF. Remove from the smoker. Remove and discard any large chunks of fat that did not break down during the cooking process. Shred the beef and toss in the onions, pepper and juices in the foil.
  6. To make the sandwich, preheat a skillet over medium heat. 
  7. Combine the mayo and horseradish and mix well. Spread the mixture over one slice of bread. Top with a healthy portion of the shredded beef mixture. Top with grated sharp white cheddar and the other slice of bread. 
  8. Melt the butter in the skillet. Place the sandwich on the melted butter. Cook until toasted. Flip and continue cooking to melt the cheese and toast the other piece of bread.