Wed Jan 26, 2011
I tend to consider myself a pretty nice guy. Heck, for six months out of the year I invite all of my friends and then some over to my house consistently for some grilling and barbecue. Even if there is some narcissistic component to that (who doesn't like to be told their cooking rocks), my main joy is watching other people be happy and relish in the good times. Still, there's an evil side to me that lurks underneath, and I have all the proof right here, concealed in this very steak sandwich.
My wife is full time worker and student. This means twice a week she wakes up at 7, gets to work by 9, ends at 5, takes an hour and half commute to school, leaves there a few hours later and finally arrives home at the time I'm usually getting ready to go to bed. On these days I tend to eat at fast food joints I'm ashamed to mention, then reward her long day with a favorite, quesadilla with pepper jack and jalapenos. This way when I tell her I ate at ---way or Fr--cas while she digs her teeth into pure comfort, she can take solace in the fact the she's really not missing anything during her busy schedule.
That's the norm, but there are breaks. Usually it's with drinks and dinner with my boys, but one particular night last year, I found the need to quickly turn something out to get up on Serious Eats the following day. Seeing as the wife wasn't going to be home for hours, I used this opportunity to smoke up the house with some indoor grilling action.
I can't wait until ungodly hours to eat, so instead of cooking for two, I started this steak sandwich by shopping for one. I got a minuscule amount of meat, a small red onion, a handful of arugula, and one Ciabatta roll and set off on my lonely, yet delicious, path to dinner.
After a bath in some Guinness, the steak and onions took to the cast iron grill. While those were resting, the bread got a quick browning and then spread with the always delicious Boursin cheese. Stack on that some arugula, sliced steak, and grilled onion rings, and you have yourself on mighty fine looking sandwich.
Truth be told, I'm not a huge steak sandwich fan—too many wrong cuts used or meats sliced the wrong way, creating something hard to eat—but this thing was just phenomenal. The bread had a great crunch that held meaty, peppery, sweet, cheesy goodness between the slices. I was so super duper excited about it that while my wife sat and ate her customary quesadilla that night, I boasted of the excellence I had create, using phrases like "only if she could try it too" and "it was just sooooo good." As much comfort laid between those two flour flour tortillas in her hands, it was hardly enough to hold back the spite that was brewing inside, and I quickly learned all the evil I had just imparted with this solitary steak sandwich.
Guinness-Marinated Steak Sandwich
Adapted from Taming the Flame by Elizabeth Karmel
2 lbs flank steak
1 pint of Guinness beer
2 large red onions, cut into 1/2 inch rounds and skewered through the middle
1 5.2-ounce container Boursin cheese, frozen
4 Ciabatta rolls
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Pat the steak dry with paper towels and place in a shallow, nonreactive container. Place onion slices on top of the steak and pour in the Guinness. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.
2. Remove steak and onions from the marinade and brush lightly with oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat indoor grill over high heat until very hot. Place steak and onions on grill and cook until both have browned nicely, 6 to 8 minutes, then flip and continue to cook until other side is browned and the meat is done to your liking, another 5-6 minutes for medium rare. Remove from grill, shave a thin layer of Boursin on the top of steak and onions and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Brush bread slices lightly with oil and place on grill. Cook until nicely toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Spread a layer of Boursin on both grilled sides of bread. Slice steak into long 1/4 inch slices against the grain. Place a handful of arugula on the bottom piece of bread, top with steak and onions and serve.