Steak Sandwiches with Herbed Mayonnaise

I’ve made these sandwiches at LEAST five times since I first happened upon the recipe back in March.  This is rare for me (rare, get it?) because normally I’m all about trying new and different recipes so that I fresh, family friendly material to share here.  But we all need easy dishes that are simple to pull together – recipes you can practically make with your eyes closed, and this is one such meal.

I have to confess that I’ve messed with and tweaked the original recipe six ways to Sunday.  I’m pretty sure I’ve never made it once as it was written.  First, I’ve changed up the cut of steak – the original calls for skirt, which we all like (I especially like it for tacos).  But have you ever tried the marinated hanger steak they have in the meat case?  It’s awesome.  I think we had it 10 times last summer.  Anyhoo, one day back in March I was being indecisive at the meat counter and before I could say “I’d like some skirt steak please” I blurted out, “I’ll take two pounds of mushroom marinated hanger!” and I’ve never looked back.

(By the way, don’t be dissuaded by the ‘mushroom marinated’ part, even if you have picky eaters at your house.  You won’t find any pieces of mushroom on the steak.  If there were, my kids wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole, and it would never have earned a spot in the DamFam Dinner Hall o’ Fame.)

I won’t bore you with all of the changes I made, other than to tell you that I also switch up the bread based on what’s available.  The original recipe calls for ciabatta rolls (always yummy), but the first time I made this sandwich, the bakery was out.  I swapped in Ecce Panis French rolls, and they worked out great.  They’re on the smallish side, so you’ll end up with more of a slider-sized sandwich, but no one here seems to mind that.  Besides, using smaller rolls helps with portion control, which can’t be a bad thing, right?

Sendik’s Demi Baguettes are on sale this week, and they would work here too – just make two or three larger sandwiches and cut them into thirds.  Or halves.  Or don’t cut them at all and eat the whole darned thing yourself, I’ll never tell.


Serves:  4 – 6
Source:  adapted from this recipe

2/3 c. mayonnaise
1 1/2 T. red wine vinegar
1/2 t. dried oregano
1 T. chopped fresh basil
1 small garlic clove, minced

6 French Rolls, or 3 demi baguettes (Sendiks Demi Baguettes are on sale), halved horizontally

2 red bell peppers (red bell peppers are on sale)
2 red medium red onions, sliced into 1/3″ rounds

1 1/4 – 1 1/2 lbs. skirt steak, cut crosswise into thirds (**see note**)
Olive oil for brushing

Prepare barbecue (medium high heat).  Whisk first 5 ingredients in medium bowl.  Set aside.  Pull out some of inside of bread, forming thick shells.  Brush peppers, onions, cut sides of bread, and steaks with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Grill vegetables until charred and just tender and steaks until cooked to medium-rare, about 8-10 minutes for vegetables, and 3 minutes per side for steaks (**see note). Let steaks rest (tented with foil) for ten minutes.  Grill bread, cut side down, until golden and toasted, 2-3 minutes.

Cut steaks diagonnaly against the grain into 1/3 to 1/2″ thick slices.  Arrange steak, peppers, and onions over bottom halves of bread.  Spoon mayonnaise over.  Top with bread, pressing slightly to compact.  If using baguettes, slice into six sandwiches.

**NOTES** Black Angus New York Strip Steaks are on sale, you could easily swap them in.   I used the marinated hanger steak as mentioned.  For the hanger steak, I usually cook it for three minutes, turn it, three more minutes, turn it, and a final two minutes.  This yields medium rare nearly every time.  I don’t have much experience with strip steaks, so grill them to your liking.  :-)

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous | May 31st, 2011