I use a 3 1/2 to 4 pound chuck roast, well marbelized with fat, and if you can find a bone-in roast, that 's better yet (but it's almost always boneless chuck that you find at the grocer). I like to quickly rinse the roast in cold water just before I lay it on the cutting board to coat it with seasoned flour. Place the following ingredients in a small baggie and shake the closed bag to mix it up:
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp Jane's Crazy Mixed-Up Salt (if you can't get this seasoning, use Seasoned Salt instead, but Jane's is by far the best)
1/4 tsp pepper
Use your hands to generously pat the seasoned flour into the roast, on both sides, flipping the roast a couple times and repeating the process.
In a Dutch Oven or Roasting Pan large enough to hold the roast, heat 1 TBSP oil over medium high heat - you want your pan and oil to be hot enough to sear the roast well when you put it in the pan. When the oil is just about to the smoking point, put the roast in and cover the pan. Let the meat sear until nicely browned on the bottom, then flip the roast. Let it sear for a minute or two on the second side, then add:
1 cup Beef Stock (I much prefer the boxed Stock to the canned broth - it just seems to give the gravy a much richer taste in the end)
Cover the roasting pan and place it in a pre-heated 300 degree oven. Roast for 4 to 5 hours, until the meat is "fork tender" and falls apart easily. I check the roast each hour, quickly opening the lid, just to make sure the stock has not evaporated. As long as your pan has a good seal on it, this shouldn't happen. But if necessary, add more stock to the pan.
About an hour before the roast is done, prepare the mashed potatoes. Peel 6 large red potatoes (these work better - at least for me - because they are much moister than the russets, so the mashed potatoes are creamier); cut into 1/4th, and place them in a large saucepan - rinse the cut potatoes 2 times in cold water, then cover them in fresh cold water and place the pan over medium high heat; boil until tender. This is usually about 30 minutes, but it depends on the size of your cuts, so just cook them until you can easily insert a fork into a potato. Drain potatoes well, reserving 1 cup of the water for the gravy. Add the following to the hot potatoes:
4 TBSP butter
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Jane's Crazy Mixed Up Salt (use regular salt or garlic salt if Jane's Salt is not available)
1/4 tsp pepper
I use a hand masher, but you can use an electric mixer or however you chose to mash the potatoes into a creamy yet firm texture. Add more milk if potatoes are too stiff. Place the mashed potatoes in a buttered casserole dish, cover with foil, and place in the oven to keep warm while you make the gravy.
To prepare the gravy:
Melt 2 TBSP butter
Stir in 1/4 cup flour to make a paste
Stir in enough Beef Stock to thin the paste enough to pour.
Remove the finished roast from the pan and place it on a plate; cover meat with foil to keep warm.
Place the roasting pan over a medium flame and bring the liquid to a gentle boil (I usually seem to have about 1 1/2 to 2 cups liquid in the pan when the roast is done - if you have less, just use the Beef Stock to increase your liquid).
Use a whisk to gradually whisk in the butter/flour/stock liquid.
Add 2 TBSP Beef Base - I use Tone's (I prefer beef base to buillon - has a richer flavor and is really worth having on hand, but if you can't find this, try Knorr's Beef Buillon Extra Large cubes)
Add the 1 cup of reserved potato water
Add 1/2 cup Beef Stock
Taste the gravy and see if you want more seasoning. I usually find I don't need to add anything at this point, since I have the seasoning from the flour coating and the stock and the beef base. If you think you need more seasoning, add salt and pepper to your taste. Beef Base will also give you more saltiness.
Keep the gravy warm while you uncover the meat and use 2 forks to pull the meat apart into small to medium chunks.
You are now READY to assemble...
How to make it
To assemble the sandwich, place a piece of white bread on a large plate (my husband insists on good old Wonder or Tastey Bread for this sandwich - the softer the bread the better, according to our tradition!).
Layer the bread with some meat.
Place another slice of bread on top of the meat.
Slice the sandwich in 1/2 and seperate the 2 halves to make room for the potatoes.
Place a big scoop of hot mashed potatoes between the sandwich halves
Smother bread and potatotes completely in gravy.
Serve immediately. Prepare to nap afterwards..........