Rich, hearty beef stews are one of fall and winter's many gifts, offering a comforting meal that only gets better with time. That said, eating a bowl of beef stew over multiple dinners in a row can get old. However, you can repurpose leftover beef stew by turning it into tender and flavorful lunch meat.
The versatile and customizable Vietnamese bánh mi sandwich is the perfect pairing for a beef stew's savory and umami-rich flavor profile. The term bánh mi refers to the small, crispy, sandwich-sized baguettes French colonists brought to Vietnam. As a sandwich, bánh mi fuses French and Vietnamese cuisines by combining traditional Vietnamese-style cold-cut pork, fresh herbs, and pickled vegetables with French ingredients like mayonnaise and ultra-rich meat spreads like pâté.
However, the bánh mi sandwich has been diversified into countless varieties, from pulled pork to tofu to fish patty. Juicy chunks of beef from beef stew are just the latest and greatest banh mi filling. Beef that's been sitting in its stewed juices is as delicious as any cold cut and as rich and earthy as pâté. Beef's umami taste and chewy consistency gain a tangy crunch from pickled vegetables, a spicy bite from fresh chilies, and a blast of fragrant earthiness from cilantro and basil. Plus, the crispy baguette will soak up all of the juices that the beef has absorbed from its stew.
How To Build Beef Stew Bánh Mi
Bánh mi can be a hot or cold sandwich, which gives you a few options as to how the leftover beef should be prepared. If you want a hot sandwich, you could heat the beef stew and shred the meat with a fork in its leftover broth to achieve a consistency similar to pulled pork. On the other hand, time in the fridge helps solidify the beef and its juices, priming it for use in a cold sandwich. Cold beef is firm enough to cut into thin slices reminiscent of traditional Vietnamese pork belly.
When you assemble your sandwich, you'll need to hollow out the baguette or sandwich rolls to cradle all of the fillings. Typical condiments are maggi and mayonnaise, but tamari or soy sauce would help amplify the umami notes in the beef. Flavored mayos would also make a delicious upgrade. Juicing and zesting lime into mayo or blending chili crisps into mayo will amp up the tang and spice of bánh mi. Sliced or shredded beef goes on next, followed by pickled veggies, fresh chilies, cilantro, and basil. There should be an equal ratio of meat to vegetables.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.