Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Open Faced Steak Sandwiches

Hello good lookin'. That's what I said when I made these sandwiches. What, you don't talk to your food? Weirdo.

I won't go into much detail on how to cook steak- I'm sure if you Google "how to cook a steak" you'll get a million links (I just tried it: there are over 8 million hits). Here's how I cook steak: Heat a cast iron skillet over med-high heat. Dry meat with a paper towel. Just before cooking, add a pat of butter to the pan and season steaks really well with salt and pepper. Cook to medium rare; I used 1/2-inch thick beef tenderloin steaks so they took only about 3 minutes per side. Let rest on a plate covered with foil for 10 minutes before slicing. I think it is a travesty to not make a sauce when you have beautiful beefy browned bits stuck to the pan, hence the pan sauce pored over the sandwiches.

 I baked an amazing loaf of bread for this sandwich the day before. I'm glad I decided not to half the recipe because now I have a second loaf in the freezer. If you don't have a delicious homemade Rosemary and Garlic Loaf, be sure to use a good hearty bread. This is not the time, nor the place, for Wonder Bread folks.


  • steak, cooked to your liking and sliced thinly
  • two slices of bread per person
  • shredded cheese (I used this kind)
  • baby spinach or arugula
  • caramelized onions (see below)
  • balsamic pan sauce (see below)

Preheat broiler and move oven rack to top position. Place bread on a baking sheet. Top with steak, then onions, spinach, cheese. Broil until cheese is melted. Top with balsamic sauce. Eat with a knife and fork.


Slice onions into thin half moons (I use a mandoline). Saute over medium-low to medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper until onions are very soft and golden (you don't want them to brown at any point though). Extra caramelized onions can be kept in the fridge- I always make lots so that I have left overs.


While steaks are resting, turn pan down to medium heat. Add a small pat of butter, a big splash of balsamic vinegar, a dollop of Dijon mustard, and pepper. Whisk to combine and get all the nice bits off the bottom of the pan. Simmer until slightly thickened and keep warm over medium heat until ready to use. Add in any juices accumulated from the steaks resting or when you cut the meat as well.


  1. Amy, Dear

    This is one beautiful sandwich, but then you knew that! I have found that if you ask 100 people to make the same sandwich, only a small number of them (maybe 2) will make it with this kind of passion. It shows through immediately. Thanks for sharing. I'm coming back for sure. Love your blog, Keri


  2. You know what, I hadn't even realized that this was kind of an extreme amount of detail for a sandwich until you mentioned it! I just love good food :)