Friday, February 4, 2011

Balsamic Steak Sandwich

Who likes a good steak sandwich? Greasy tender beef, loads of cheese, crunchy vegs all topped on a soft bun. Oh ya. You can find them at any local pub, and I  hear Philly is the place to get a good one ( ha ha). Some foods are meant to be greasy, cheesy and extremely unhealthy for you, and most people could agree that a steak sandwich is one of those things. Especially with a side of fries, a big ol glass of beer and friends at sleezy bar (at least...those are my memories of a steak sandwich!)

But alas, uber fattening food is no longer part of my everyday anymore. So how to compensate? Try to make one at home. But it will never be the same, I can never get it to taste just right (but then again, I am making healthier choices, so how could I ever make it taste the same). So .. lets swap fat for flavour. Be BOLD. Sounds like a plan. Instead of using pounds of cheese, I choose to use a type with big flavour, but just less of it. Instead of using gallons of butter, I used spices. See the pattern?

All in all, I must say this little experiment worked out quite well - (not the same as a bar steak sandwich). But definitely tasty. My BF actually said that this was the BEST steak sandwich he has EVER eaten! WOW. (But to be honest, I am not sure how much to rest on his words because he loves me, which means he loves everything I cook lol),  It was a bit healthier, the flavour profile was more mature - in fact the sandwich was a little more..."gourmet" (go figures!)

Note: This is definitely one of the more complicated recipes I have posted so far. But in my opinion, it is still easy, but there are just a few more steps then I usually use. For you beginner cooks (or the picky ones) out there, no need to be intimidated! How about just trying 1 or 2 of the steps I provided, see if you like it. I guarantee it will still taste good. I just sometimes like to get carried away and do everything all at once. 

Balsamic Steak Sandwhich

I am going to break this down into 3 parts: meat, cheese, veg.

- Grilling/marinating/ steak. (I use the cheap stuff  (because I am poor). But by all means, if you can afford a better cut of meat such as a sirloin- go for it!)
- 1 tsp of garlic powder
- 1 tsp of onion powder
- 1 tsp of thyme
- 1 tsp of S&P
- 3 Tbsp of Olive Oil

- Typical cheese - provolone, swiss, mozza.

My choice today was Munster (and a bit of light mozza ). Very strong flavour, so I didn't use a ton of it. Please don't feel like you need to run out and find some. I had it on hand so thats what I  used. Another awesome choice would be to use Blue Cheese.

- 1 onion
- 2-3 cups of mushrooms
- Peppers (typical choice once again, but unfortunately I did not have any on hand so I didn't use them)
- 3 Tbsp of Balsamic Vinegar

- 2  whole wheat Ciabatta buns.

Okay lets go. In a bowl, coat steak with olive oil and spices. Rub the steak (nice). If you have time to leave the steak marinating, please do. But I don't usually, so I just went for it. In a medium-high skillet, cook the steak to your temperature of choice (meaning med-rare, medium, well done). I am going to be honest, I have not mastered this cooking technique so yes, I do cut into the steak to see how far along it is (TERRIBLE I KNOW). Once you are satisfied, remove from pan and cover with tin foil so it can rest  (keep in mind it will continue to cook under tin foil, so undercook it in the pan).

Slice up vegs. Add mushrooms and onions to the same pan you cooked the meat in. Once they cook for a bit (onions are translucent), add the balsamic vinegar. You will smell this right away and it smells great.

Cut up your steak into slices. Open up your bun. Add steak, add vegs. Top with shredded cheese of choice. Now, pop it under the broiler for a few minutes to melt the cheese.

Now eat. It. Up!

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