My Onion Steak Sandwich
I was inspired to make the above sandwich after trying a ‘Texas Beef Brisket Sandwich’ from a local take-out eatery not long ago. I didn’t actually try to reproduce that sandwich exactly, rather I deviated quite a bit from the original while keeping the two main qualities I really liked. For starters, brisket is not a commonly available cut up here and I needed to substitute for that. Also, whereas the take-out version just used mayonnaise on the buns, I jazzed up my condiment quite a bit.
What I really enjoyed about the Texas sandwich was that the beef was cut into meaty chunks rather than slices or shreds, and, better still, the topping was composed of the those Crispy Fried Onions that I blogged about just recently. As I hinted in that post, I actually made that particular batch of crispy onions with this very sandwich in mind…
This is the original sandwich that inspired my creation. It was very tasty and nicely juicy (and the fries were pretty good too). I will say though, that, despite my less than stellar presentation or photography, my version looks a bit better than theirs.
I first thought about doing a simple pot-roast as a source for my beef but my local store had a good price on Sirloin Tip cuts so I went with those instead. Here, I just quickly grilled a couple of lightly seasoned steaks and let them cool. I only needed one of these to make my sandwich so I had the other one in a bun with raw onions and melted Swiss cheese a day or so later.
I made a condiment from diced, raw green bell pepper, mayonnaise and a little garlic paste. For a bit if heat, I added some finely chopped pickled chili (in this case pickled Cherry Peppers, which you can see in the jar beside the bowl). I made this up a few hours ahead of sandwich assembly and left it in the fridge for the flavors to blend.
I diced my steak into nice size chunks and quickly sautéed them over high heat. To keep the meat moist and add some sweetness a long with a hint of smoky taste, I added a tablespoon or so of BBQ sauce. After cooking, I allowed the beef to cool a little bit. I wanted the meat warm on my sandwich, but I wanted to avoid putting it on the bread while overly hot.
The assembly is simple and begins with freshly baked ‘Sub’ rolls spread with butter. Now, if you are going to try making these yourself, you may want to next pan-grill the bread (butter side down) to get a toasty effect. I don’t like that much, myself, so I didn’t bother with that. Afterwards, it is just a simple matter of spreading the pepper condiment on the bottom half, placing the beef chunks over it, then topping everything with the crispy fried onions.
All in all, this was a delicious creation but I had a couple of criticisms… First, this was a very messy sandwich to eat and, while many people like gooey, drippy burgers and sandwiches, I do not and would like to change that next time. Secondly, I added green peppers not only for their sweet taste, but also for an additional crunchy texture. Here, though, those qualities didn’t come through sufficiently. Next time, I think I could address both the messiness and the texture issues by using just a little mayonnaise mixed with hot sauce and garlic, and replace the diced green pepper with large strips or rings and maybe a little lettuce as well.