Thursday, October 18, 2007

Steak Sandwiches

Before my two girls were born, Sandra and I had a friend, Michael, living in the room that the girls would eventually call theirs.

It was late in January, and I had some food show on PBS playing. I wasn't listening very carefully, as I was making breakfast at the time. However, I heard enough that a strange steak sandwich was being made.

How strange, you may ask? Well, instead of putting some meat between a couple of slices of bread or on a torpedo roll, the person filled a round bread boule with steak, cheese, and other stuff (including tomato sauce!). The resulting sandwich was baked in an oven, and then cut into quarters to serve.

Well, I told Sandra and Michael about this sandwich, and they were both intrigued. Neither one was interested in the tomato sauce part, but both like the kind of steak sandwiches you could get from sub shops locally.

Well, I went out, purchased the bread, some steak, some cheese... and the rest is history.

I'm sorry I don't remember the cook that introduced me to the concept, but this sandwich has become a regular staple for our family on Super Bowl Sunday, and a few other times during the year.

Steak Sandwiches

I saw somebody prepare something like this on television a day or so before Super Bowl back in the mid-1980s. It has been a staple of our Super Bowl Sundays ever since.


1 large bread boule

2 Tbs butter

1 cup thinly sliced onions

¼ lbs sliced mushrooms (optional)

¾ lbs shredded steak

½ lbs sliced provolone cheese, sliced into thin strips

Heat oven to 350°F.

With a bread knife, slice the top off the the bread boule. With your fingers, hollow out the bread inside the boule to about ¼" thickness maximum.

Warm a flat-bottomed skillet over medium heat and add butter. When the butter has melted, add the onions, stirring with a wooden spoon to ensure the layers separate until transparent. Add sliced mushrooms (if using) to the skillet and sauté until they go soft. Move the onions and mushrooms to a side of the skillet.

Add the steak in small amounts, allowing each piece to stretch out to make contact with the bottom of the skillet in order to heat quickly. As the pieces brown, move them with a wooden spoon to the side and add more pieces until all the steak is heated through.

Take a couple of slices of provolone cheese and slice them into thin strips. Add the strips of cheese on top of the meat, and combine the meat, onions, and mushrooms to mix everything thoroughly. As soon as cheese starts to melt, remove from heat.

Assemble the sandwich: put a third of the remaining strips of provolone cheese on the bottom of the bread boule, followed by half the meat mixture. Add another third of the cheese on top of the meat, followed by the rest of the meat. If possible, stir the warm meat and cheese together inside the boule. Add the remaining third of the cheese on top of the meat, and put the sliced-off top of the bread boule to reassemble the bread.

Put the sandwich onto a cookie sheet and place into the oven. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until the bread is a bit crispy and the cheese inside is fully melted.

Carefully cut boule into quarters with a serrated-edge knife. Serve warm.

Bon Appetit!

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