Confession No. 69 — Mea Culpa

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it’s time to play catch-up and hopefully get myself removed from the ‘naughty’ list over the next few weeks.

Concessions and apologies are always a good way to start.

First, to my doctor — I know you’re probably baffled as to why my weight hasn’t changed during the past couple of years, especially since I’ve been walking miles every day and eating a low-fat diet. Truth is, I need to clarify that whole exercise thing with you next time we meet.

To the car salesman (I think your name is Christian) — I knew that my wife was going to mop the floor with you. She can be like that sometimes … but mostly when we’re buying cars. I learned this a long time ago at a Honda dealership in New Jersey, when she bit the head off the salesman, then me. This is why I pretended to browse your lot while y’all were negotiating. I hope you have begun to recover from this experience.

To my guitar instructor — Man, I think both of us know that I’ve spent more time trying to become the next Dave Grohl than practicing those chord transitions. Sorry, dude. I wanted to serenade my wife with ‘Times Like These.’ It didn’t work out as I expected. I’ll follow your instructions from here on.

To the crew of Flight 746 — I know. I have some growing up to do. My bad. Also, I didn’t require the Kosher meal. It just looked better than what you were serving. Shalom?

To the drive-thru attendant at Rusty Taco — It was a joke. I suppose it was in poor taste. Please accept my sincere apologies.

To my neighbors and friends — Sorry we didn’t get Christmas lights up before Thanksgiving. We really don’t prefer mixing up the holidays if we can help it. Such is why we don’t keep the Christmas tree up through Easter, or have Independence Day décor up at Halloween. We know the rest of you ate turkey in the shadows of your Christmas tree … and that’s cool. Again, we prefer to enjoy one holiday at a time.

To those strangers in that Dallas elevator — It was me. Sorry.

And to my children — I had the money. I just didn’t want to spend it on you at the time. I’m always spending on you. I really wanted a couple of things for myself. I’m really sorry I told you that I was broke. I’ll probably be apologizing this time next year for the same offense. Hopefully, you’ll get over it.

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Tired of turkey yet? We are. The days following Thanksgiving for us are always akin to coming off a diet — we tend to eat everything that’s non-turkey or dressing related. That means anything with lots of beef. My Beef & ‘Basa Sandwiches certainly fit the bill. Who the hell decided on turkey for Thanksgiving anyway?

Beef & ‘Basa Sandwiches

w/ Caramelized Onions & Cheddar Horseradish Sauce

Beef & 'Basa Sandwich

I make no apologies for my Beef & ‘Basa Sandwich with Caramelized Onions and Cheddar Horseradish Sauce. You shouldn’t either.

Beef & ‘Basa Sandwiches w/ Caramelized Onions & Cheddar Horseradish Sauce
I make no apologies for my Beef & 'Basa Sandwich with Caramelized Onions and Cheddar Horseradish Sauce. You shouldn't either.
Recipe type: Sandwich
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6
  • 1 lb – Deli roast beef, sliced very thinly
  • 13 oz pkg – Polska Keilbasa, sliced about ½-inch thick and warmed (I use a skillet)
  • 1 – Large yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 TB – Vegetable oil
  • 6 – Sandwich rolls, toasted
Cheddar Horseradish Sauce
  • ½ cup – Mayonaise
  • ⅓ cup – Sharp Cheddar, grated into fine shreds
  • 1 TB – Prepared horseradish
  • 1 TB – Stone ground mustard
  • 1 tsp – Louisiana-style hot sauce
  • 1 tsp - Freshly ground black pepper
Caramelize the onions & Fry the Sausage
  1. In a sauté pan or large skillet, heat vegetable oil to medium. Add sliced onion. Turn occasionally with spatula until onions are limp and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  2. Turn up the heat to medium-high and give the kielbasa slices a quick 5 minute sauté.
Make the sauce
  1. While onion is cooking, combine sauce ingredients in microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Place in microwave for about 10-15 seconds, until cheese is melted.
  3. Whisk until totally combined and melted cheese is blended into sauce. – You may alternatively do this step over medium-low heat in a small saucepan.
Assemble the sandwiches
  1. Place a good three-finger pinch of onion on the bottom of the roll; top with generous amount of roast beef and 4-5 sausage slices. Spread sauce on the top roll and add a couple of extra dollops over meat.



  1. Buddy, I never EVER apologize for those elevator incidents. Here’s the secret to a happy life…
    Wait on the elevator with a big bucket of Skittles until there are a lot of people on there with you. When you “let one loose”, wait till the door opens and then scream “TASTE THE RAINBOW!” at the top of your lungs, pour the Skittles all over the elevator, and run.

    If all else fails, swat at flies that don’t exist. It’ll freak out your fellow passengers AND disperse the scent. Not that I’ve tested this theory or anything…

  2. Taking On Magazines says:

    I think your wife and I would get along while you and Hubby wander the car lot. He hunkers down in the car while I head back into a store for the 50 cents that they didn’t take of the sale item. It’s how we roll. I want to try that kosher meal thing. Great idea.

    No need to apologize for the sandwich, just for not sharing it with us earlier. I’m loving the Cheddar horseradish sauce. Wow.

  3. juanitascocina says:

    So, I make a version similar to these. And I don’t apologize. Except for that one time…when I dumped in a bit too much horseradish. Ooops.

  4. I think your wife and I are sisters. We had our Thanksgiving yesterday (sans Christmas decorations as well) and I’m already moving on. Most of our leftovers are already in the freezer. What a very pleasant surprise indeed to read that kielbasa was in the list of ingredients for your sandwich. And that sauce! My husband would be all over this sandwich.

    • Terri – When I was editing this late last evening, I really wanted to mention that this is a man’s sandwich. I mean, I’ve all but eliminated vegetables and there are two types of meat on there — both hearty. I experimented with a few add-ons but decided that they would better compliment other sandwiches (coming soon). The Cheddar and horseradish sauce is perfect for red meat. But I found that it’s also one of those dressings that you dip your chip — or finger — in to avoid wasting any. My wife, without that sauce, probably wouldn’t have finished the sandwich.

  5. No apologies need to them youngens…they gotta learn early, there’re ain’t no handouts in life…not entitlements…lol!! Spend and splurge on yourself, that’s my mantra, dang, who else will? Now, tell me, who? Name one person? Do I sound like Ebenezer? Great post and recipe, my friend! :)

  6. Please make no apologies for that beautiful sammy…Delish. You made me laugh which I needed this morning. Wonderful post.

  7. Lovely rare roast beef. And great combo to boot :)

  8. Oh my heavens. This looks SO good. I am adding this to my menu for this week’s grocery shopping. As usual, LOVED the post :) You always make me laugh…and nod my head.

  9. Damn that looks like a great sandwich! And I’m with you, I remember when Christmas happened after Thanksgiving!

  10. Awesome!!! good looking sandwich too, and I’m a girl! :)

  11. Thats my kind of sandwich!! Liking the humouressness!

  12. I so enjoy your sense of humor. Pray tell, what happened at Rusty Taco and in the elevator? Do I really want to know?! I know you do not believe you belong on stage doing a stand up act, but I must ask, have you ever heard of The Moth, on public radio? Real people telling real stories live? You would be awesome. I insist. You can look it up here: (I removed the link prefix so as not to invade your comment space with an actual link). Great post, again.

    • Thanks, Granny. You really don’t want to know about the Rusty Taco or the elevator. ;-) Other than being a master of ceremonies for this and that or the high school musical (I tried out on a dare), I’ve never really been on stage. I was a talk radio co-host for a few years and even the host of my own show for a little while (low ratings, but the advertising was sold out) and I never learned how to stay on topic. Seriously. I could start with a story about the first time I ever ate spaghetti and meatballs and — within a few sentences — be in the middle of a rant about why some people call it gravy (opposed to sauce). Within a few sentences of that, I’d be reminiscing about the smell of beer in my hometown, which used to be home of the Schlitz Brewery. I’ll look for the show on NPR, just because of your encouragement. I really do appreciate your kind words.

  13. Hmmm. I tend not to care for roast beef sandwiches, as they always seem to be lackluster, bland, etc….This however, looks genius! Sauteed veg, AND cheddar horseradish sauce. It’s sort of what would happen if a philly cheesesteak and a roast beef sandwich had a baby. AWESOME

  14. I’m so disappointed you didn’t start by making your own roast beef. I don’t know if I can follow youf blog anymore. ;) Sandwich looks wonderful, wish I was having that for lunch instead of a stupid salad. Hope your Thanksgiving went well. And we don’t put up Christmas till after Thanksgiving either. Tree went up Monday, I did the outside lights last night and Mrs. G decorated the tree. Still a few more things to do…

    • I can honestly say that I have never roasted a beef for the purpose of making a sandwich. Hope all is well. Let me know if you are willing to make a trip to Tyler. There is a BBQ joint there that gets 5 stars — with 52 Yelp reviews. I want to test it out.

      • No kidding? What’s it called? I skipped Lockhart on the way to the ranch for Thanksgiving in order to give Luling City Market a try, but they were sold out by the time we got there. Doh!

  15. Maybe your wife & I could go car shopping together. My husband won’t even go with me anymore. I get cranky when they say “well what would you like to pay?” What kind of question is that? I’d like to pay the the lowest price you gave the guy who was the best negotiator (would that be your wife?).
    That sandwich looks a whole lot better than Thanksgiving turkey. And why would I want to eat leftover turkey that’s been sitting for 5 hours on a counter in a hot kitchen then driven 2 hours back to my house? I don’t think my sister in law likes me at all.

  16. I have been guilty of ordering Asian, gluten free, even kosher meals on international flights so we get served first…is that bad? And in Australia, we have turkey with all the trimmings for Christmas, so our turkey odyssey has just started!

    • I think it’s not bad at all … especially since I’m guilty too. Many people here in the U.S. do the whole turkey thing for Christmas, whereas I’m a beef person. This year, however, I’m seeking some comfort with a big Tex-Mex spread.

  17. Dear Funny Guy, your apology is accepted, (just this once) but next time you Ride Through the Drive Through on a tandem bike, dressed as a chicken in rubber boots, with your wife behind you looking at something off in the distance, while you order the rusty duck, wrapped in thanksgiving chicken feathers with extra shmapple sauce and triangle ( not curly, thank you) fries, with no salt ok and hold the pickle schmickle and how long has the Pekin Pepsi been standing? Would you Please lift your beak so we can ALL see your face, for the camera, thank you. And thank you for choosing the Rusty Taco for your dining pleasure. Yours, The Drive-Thru Attendant at the Rusty Taco.
    Love your work.. c

  18. Couldn’t agree more with the holiday overlaps! How about “Black Friday” starting at 8pm on Thursday for a lot of stores….ridiculous.

    I waited until the Monday after Thanksgiving to put up the outside Christmas lights and start the indoor decorating.

    • True. My ‘Black Friday’ was earlier anyway — in the form of Amazon. We had accumulated more than $200 in Amazon gift certificates and shipping was free. Why subject ourselves to the crazies when the guy wearing brown (who my wife thinks is sexy) can just bring it to our door?

  19. I thought I was the only one that tried to use “Times like these” to get laid….. Great post bye the way.

  20. Love your blog such content and photos, thanks for stopping by and following me. Rock on Adam! Cheers!

  21. Adam – this is a fantastic sauce/spread! I was on Pinterest when someone pinned something I had pinned ages ago from The Foodie Army Wife and she used this on the sandwich. I made both for supper tonight and woweee! My son in law stood at the counter as they were cleaning up and licked the bowl clean after putting the extra in a covered container! I’m going to post about it all and will put a link back – if you don’t mind. I didn’t change a thing on this recipe so I will not put the recipe on my blog. They will need to come here to get this lovely little gem! Thanks for making Saturday supper at the Davidson’s such a hit!

    • adamjholland says:

      You are very kind, Kelli. Thank you. — And you are more than welcome to link, copy or whatever. I’m easy when it comes to those things. :-)

  22. Coming over from Kelli’s blog to check out this sauce. Getting ready to make it with fresh grated horseradish. Hope it works because your recipe looks delicious!


  1. [...] Our role model and guide for today will be The Unorthodox Epicure. We meet our teacher as he candidly offers his Confession No. 69 – Mea Culpa. [...]

  2. [...] Our role model and guide for today will be The Unorthodox Epicure. We meet our teacher as he candidly offers his Confession No. 69 – Mea Culpa. [...]

  3. [...] HOLY YUM, this Sandwich looks AMAZING! It has Keilbasa = YUM,  Onions= YUM YUM, horseradish = YUM! Beef & ‘Basa Sandwiches w/ Caramelized Onions & Cheddar Horseradish Sauce [...]

  4. [...] first recipe from my elite group of bookmarks is for a sandwich called “Beef and ‘Basa.”  It comes from Adam Holland who runs a blog titled “The Unorthodox Epicure – [...]

  5. [...] first recipe from my elite group of bookmarks is for a sandwich called “Beef and ‘Basa.”  It comes from Adam Holland who runs a blog titled “The Unorthodox Epicure – [...]

  6. [...] Beef & Kielbasa Sandwiches with Sauteed Onions (via the Unorthodox Epicure) [...]

  7. […] Back to Adam…I made his cheddar horseradish sauce just exactly like he wrote it and I highly recommend you do as well.  He’s got a wonderful sandwich on there as well.  Since I made no changes in his recipe, you can find it HERE. […]

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