To be honest, it feels odd to call myself a ranch wife. Yes, I am married to a rancher, so yes, technically, I am a ranch wife. However, when I hear the term “ranch wife” I think of a wife that is at home with kids every day. A woman that does all the cooking and cleaning, but has no part in the true work of the cattle operation. Frankly, that’s not me and I know it’s not true of other ranch wives out there! We play just as an important role in the operation as our ranching “husbands” do. Yes, we do still cook, clean and care for our little ranch kids, but we also know how to ride a horse, drive the feed truck, spot a sick calf, sort cattle and many, many other tasks that it takes to make a family ranch successful.
On big work days, such as breeding heifers, it is my job to make sure that we have a meal to feed the crew that is helping us get the job done; as well as be available to help gather the cattle, record the data and load the AI guns for breeding. A little bit of preparation involving my crock pot (which is my best friend in the kitchen) goes into making this day a success. I assemble the ingredients for the lunch the day before so all I have to do is place the ingredients into the crock pot and turn it on. And for most work days, in the cooler months, it is a chili or a soup. However, I thought on this chilly winter day, I would mix it up a bit with a Hot Beef Sandwich! I took my inspiration from those yummy ham and cheese sliders on Hawaiian rolls and made a beef sandwich version, because it would just be a sin to serve ham to a bunch of cowboys on a big work day!
Now, don’t take this post to mean that I think I work harder as a ranch wife than other wives. Please understand that I know, that no matter what line of work you are in as a wife and a mother, I know you work hard.
And understand that I am not saying that I work harder than Arturo…our work is done as a team. He has many things to get in order to make sure that our “big work days” go smoothly and that we maximize our hired help’s time to the fullest.
So, I hope you enjoy these little “sammies” as much as our crew did when we were breeding heifers the other day!
Crock Pot Hot Beef Sandwiches
12 Slider buns
24 slices of deli sliced roast beef
6 slices of Vermont cheddar cheese, cut in half
1 tablespoon of horseradish
2 tablespoon of mayo
1 onion, caramelized
1 ½ tablespoons Dijon Mustard
½ cup melted butter
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Begin by preparing your horseradish mayo by mixing the horseradish and mayo together and set aside. To caramelized your onion, melt a tablespoon of butter in a skillet and place your sliced onion in skillet on low and covered for 30-40 minutes until soft and caramelized.
Slice your buns and spread your horseradish mayo on one side, place one to two slices of roast beef along with a half of slice of cheese and some caramelized onions.
Melt the ½ cup of butter and mix in the garlic powder, Dijon Mustard and Worcestershire sauce.
Place sandwiches in the crock pot and poor over the butter mixture. Place the crock pot on warm and let the cheese melt! On warm it will take a couple hours and then the sandwiches will be fine to sit and stay warm and yummy! Then enjoy!
You can also do these in the oven by building the sandwiches the same way and placing them in an oven safe pan. Pour the butter mixture over and place in the oven at 350 for 10 minutes covered and uncovered for an additional 2 minutes. However, the cock pot allows me to leave them and get the work done I need to and then come back to them when it is lunch time.