Before having kids, I would make a BIG deal out of the Oscars. Every year I would host 50+ people either crammed into my apartment or at a venue kind enough to turn off the jukebox and turn up the TVs for the night. There would always be a massive spread of food, sparkling wine, $10 minimum buy in to the ballot box and enough feathered boa debris to start a parade. I didn’t care that much for birthdays, but the glamour and prestige (and deep down desire to one day win one myself) made the Oscars something worth celebrating.
My lifestyle (and freedom to drink the night away) has been altered since those days but my excitement for this award show remains in tact. So, this coming Sunday, March 2nd, I’ll be eagerly watching the 86th Academy Awards from the comfort of my couch, dressed in my pajama best (possibly borrowing a boa or tiara from my daughters’ toy box), and celebrating with the millions of other tweeps using the hashtag #Oscars. Wanna come to my Oscar party? Join the fabulous live conversation @hotpinkapron from 7pm est to midnight.
Like any decent party, we’ll require some good eats. Since I am madly in love with the film Dallas Buyers Club, and will be rooting for it to win every one of the six Academy Awards it has been nominated for, I’ll be preparing a cowboy-inspired sandwich as my personal party fare.
My inspiration for this recipe is pretty obvious — it’s literally in the name. I did, however, make a few creative adjustments to the classic clubhouse sandwich that I believe would make Ron Woodroof proud. A traditional club sandwich consists of: turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise. Since Woodroof doesn’t strike me as a low-fat turkey kinda guy, I decided to swap it out for beef. A pile of thinly sliced roast beef (don’t forget the dijon mustard!) would do the trick or you can do as I did and sear a few locally raised steaks; let rest and thinly slice on to your sandwich.
The onions caramelized in red wine are another original spin to this sandwich. Food really isn’t a focus in Dallas Buyers Club but there is an essential scene between Ron (McConaghey) and Eve (Jennifer Garner) that happens over dinner in an upper scale restaurant. Ron orders “your best bottle of Cabernet” from the waiter, turns to Eve and says, “Nice restaurant, beautiful woman. I feel like a human being again.” In this scene we watch the character of Eve open up a little to become more likable and our anti-hero, Ron, peak at a high point after facing the struggles of so many low beats. This is too crucial of a scene to deny some Cabernet in our sandwich.
For the bread, I went with a sliced sourdough because it’s a delicious white bread with a little extra chew that can hold up to the steak, and it seems to be hip as f*ck right now (suddenly featured as the bread choice in the restaurants and shops in my corner of Canada). I skipped the traditional third centre piece and just stuck with a simple, classic sandwich style — something a real cowboy could handle with one hand while grabbing a bull by the horn with the other.
- 4 slices of bread (pictured is sour dough but the choice if yours)
- 4 slices of bacon
- 2 medium-size steaks (eye of round is an affordable cut that doesn't require marinating or much prep)
- 1 red onion
- 1/2 cup red wine
- beefsteak tomato
- iceberg lettuce
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook bacon on low-medium heat in a frying pan on the stove top.*
- Have your steak(s) at room temperature; season with olive oil, salt and pepper and set aside. Preheat oven to 500°F. Using a well-seasoned cast iron pan, sear the steaks on medium-heat for about 2 minutes on each side. Place steaks in pan in the oven for approximately 4 minutes. Touch the centre of the steak, if it springs back it is done. Remove steak(s) from pan and set aside, on a plate, to rest while you prep the rest of your sandwich.**
- Cut off the ends of the onion, half and thinly slice. In a frying pan on medium heat, saute onion in butter until golden brown. Add red wine. Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring often as the wine reduces.
- Layer your bread, steak, onions, bacon, lettuce, tomato and do be sparse with the mayo.
- * If calories aren't on your radar this week, go ahead and toast your bread in that fresh bacon grease in the pan. Cooking the bacon in a cast iron pan makes this process easy.
- ** Thickness of steaks will dictate cooking time.
With an inspiring story based on true events and the incredible commitment from such high-calibre thespians like Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club hit all the right cues for me. I just love it. Of course, the ongoing references to my favourite dreamer, Marc Bolan, certainly didn’t hurt either. It is an AMAZING movie, one that I highly recommend to all.
GREAT but it’s not the only BIG contender for this year’s Oscars. Who’s your pick for Best Picture? Do you think Leo will overshadow McConaughey for his work in The Wolf of Wall Street? Feel free to leave your Oscar predictions in the comments below. And if you’re looking for some menu inspiration to reflect your own tastes, here are a few ideas for your consideration:
American Hustle: Well, they were at the house of the Cold Cut King when they met…
Her: I’d rather nap than eat when thinking of this film. Sorry, folks, but this movie bored the sh*t out of me. I’ll save my ‘Spike Jonze vs. linear storytelling’ rant for another post though. I guess if I had to prepare something, I’d make a classic margherita pizza inspired by Samantha and Theodore’s carnival date, when she has him close his eyes and order a slice of pizza. *yawn*
Philomena: Anything Irish will do. Think meat and potatoes and a dish that costs less than $10 to feed a crowd.
Gravity: Freeze dried fruit? Russian vodka?
Captain Phillips: This is a great excuse to explore Somali / Ethiopian cuisine. Flavourful rice dishes with stewed goat or lamb meat scooped up with canjeero (flat bread) would be my first choice, but the simplest solution would be a party platter of samosa.
The Wolf of Wall Street: I did love this movie too. I’m thinking sugar coated donut holes, maybe with a few extra lines of sugar on the side as a nod to Aunt Emma’s comment about Belfort “getting into the doughnuts” at his wedding to Naomi.
I haven’t had a chance to watch 12 Years A Slave or August: Osage County yet, so I leave it to you to comment with your menu ideas below. For some more Oscar meal inspiration, Epicurious.com has created a menu for each nominated film this year here.
With my sparkling wine chilling, menu prepared and my picks checked off on my Moviefone printable ballot, I’m ready to part-ay in glamourous Hollywood style — from my living room — this Sunday. Y’know, I don’t really miss the big parties of years past. Truthfully, I have everything I need right here, and with everyones’ make-believe-BFF, Ellen, hosting, what’s to miss??
Happy Oscars, friends. Enjoy! xoAdd to favorites