Crispy Onion Steak Sandwich
If I had to choose one food to survive on for the rest of my life. I would probably pick sandwiches. After all, you get bread, and a filling which can be just about anything. One of my favorite sandwich fillings is beef, either cold, or hot, and the hefty specimen pictured above is a creation I came up with after being inspired by a restaurant offering that paired tender beef with deliciously sweet fried onions.
Above, you can see the ‘Texas Beef Brisket Sandwich’ which provided me with the aforementioned inspiration. It was a delivery order from the Big Racks Barbecue Restaurant up North in Iqaluit, the capital of the Nunavut Territory. Big Racks is the only barbecue joint within 1000km and, though I never dined inside the place (it is very tiny), I did order quite a few meals from there before I moved from the Territory.
Anyway, the sandwich and fries don’t look especially attractive, I grant you, but they were both pretty good. The Brisket is slow-smoked and served in thick slices on a bun with Mayo, Barbecue Sauce and what they advertised as Crispy Onions. It is a generous helping of beef and the thick slices were extremely tender and still nicely juicy. The Onions, to be honest weren’t especially crispy in this case (and are a little hard to see in the picture), but they were fried to a beautiful dark brown and were really sweet.
When I first decided to reproduce the Big Racks sandwich (after a fashion), I was determined that my Onions would indeed by crispy and so I chose to use some that were already pre-made using my own
Crispy Fried Onion Recipe. You can buy the same thing commercially in some places, but homemade is much better and you can make a large batch well ahead of time as they keep really well and are great to have on hand.
I decided to use plain Beefsteak rather than Brisket here. Brisket was only available in huge pieces and, in any event, I was going to be pan-frying, not smoking in a barbecue. In point of fact, I ended up liking this much better and have used it ever since for this simple recipe. The only caveat, should you choose to try this yourself, is to not skimp on the price of the steak, and get something that is decent quality and well marbled.
The first thing you need to do is to pan-sear your steak. Here, I am actually doing two steaks, one of which was used to make cold sandwiches the following day). The steaks are lightly seasoned with a little Garlic Salt, and then quickly seared over high heat until nicely browned but still rare at the center. Remove these from the pan and allow to cool.
For the dressing (which is a bit more ambitious than the Big Racks condiments), stir together the Mayonnaise, Garlic Paste, the Green Pepper, and the chopped Pickled Chili. Allow this to rest for a little while to blend the flavors. In this case, I have used pickled Red Cherry Peppers, which can be seen as red flecks in the mixture shown above. These are very mild Peppers (even more so than Jalapeños), and you can switch up to something a little more fiery if that suits your taste.
When ready to make the sandwiches, dice the steak and then quickly stir-fry, stirring in the Barbecue sauce as a glaze for the last few moments of cooking.
To assemble, butter both sides of your sandwich roll. If desired, you can pan-grill this butter side down to make it toasty. My preference is to not do this, but you must make it the way you like best.
Spoon the dressing over the bottom roll, and spread a little over the top to, if you like. Layer the meat over the dressing, top with the onions and close the lid. That’s it… grab a whole handful of paper napkins and go to it!
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Crispy Onion Steak Sandwich
- 1 Submarine Sandwich Roll
- 8 oz Beefsteak
- 2/3 Cup Crispy Fried Onions
- ¼ Cup Mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp. Garlic Paste
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped Green Bell Pepper
- 1 Tbsp. finely Chopped Pickled Chili Pepper
- 1 Tbsp. BBQ Sauce
- Pan sear the Steak until browned but still rare, then allow to cool.
- Prepare the dressing by stirring together the Mayonnaise, the Garlic Paste, the Green Pepper, and the chopped Pickled Chili. Allow this to rest for at least 30 minutes to blend the flavors.
- When ready to continue, dice the steak and stir-fry it in a pan over high-heat until hot, then stir in the Barbecue sauce for the last few moments.
- Butter the Roll, pan-grilling to toast, if desired, then spread with the dressing, spoon over the beef, and add the Crispy Onions on top.
- Close the sandwich and serve warm.