i dare say, that is a dreadfully good sandwich.

Red sky in the morning, vegetarians take warning.

I guess I could have put something prettier above the fold, but I want people to know what they’re getting into here: a great big hunk of cow. More specifically, a full steakhouse on a bun. Steak, onions, stinky cheese, butter, spinach, the whole nine yards. Stuffed first into a bun, and then down my gullet. And then I called for the humidor and settled into my Louis XIV wingback to enjoy a fine single malt and peruse the latest issue of Angioplasty Afficionado. Tally fucking ho, my good chap!

Red sky at night, carnivore’s delight.

We don’t eat this sandwich very often, because we don’t eat a ton of beef; if we’re going to eat meat, it’s either going to be bacon, or more bacon. But this sandwich is a fast and fun way to have a steak dinner without a lot of work or a lot or money. Some crusty seared steak, a pile of balsamic-glazed caramelized onions, fresh spinach, and a generous shmear of gorgonzola butter on some nice crusty ciabatta makes an easy weeknight meal fit for Little Lord Fauntleroy himself.

The sandwich is forgiving and variable: you can use almost any cut of beef you have around, as long as you slice it in a way that makes it easy to chew, or substitute grilled chicken breast instead; you could even use sliced deli roast beef for a 2-minute version. Caramelize the onions with or without balsamic, throw in some fennel or fresh herbs (thyme would be tasty), roast some red onions in the oven, or use shallots instead. Roasted portobellos would make a fantastic veggie version.

Whole Foods assures me that this cow lived in a comfortable duplex with some roommates, and received a bolt to the head of only the finest milled and polished steel.

The sandwich has a couple of important components:

  1. The protein. If I’m in a splurge-y mood, I’ll get a boneless rib-eye; otherwise I usually go with skirt or eye round, both of which are pleasantly chewable when sliced against the grain. If you’re using chicken or portobellos I can’t help you, but if you’re using beef, you’re going to want to salt both sides of the meat very generously. Very. This will give you a fantastic crust when seared, and the salty crunch goes amazingly well with the rich and pungent, mildly sweet gorgonzola.
  2. The onions. I’ve waxed rhapsodic about my love of caramelized onions before. I throw some balsamic in mine toward the end of cooking to deepen the sweetness and add a gorgeous dark glaze. Make extra. Trust me.
  3. The compound butter. I like a gorgonzola dolce, because you can add a nice creamy layer of it to the sandwich without overwhelming the other components with stink. When you tell your guests that you’ve made a compound butter they will think you are fancy, and only you will know that all it means is “mix softened butter and cheese;” I like 2 parts cheese to one part butter. Feel free to use the blue cheese of your choosing. You could even skip the cheese altogether and make an herb or garlic butter instead, but I would recommend strongly against that (unless you’re going to make the gorgonzola butter and the herb butter).

Unrelated question: Do you think Marc Summers hates his life? I mean, really, “Unwrapped”?*

You can be eating this sandwich along with a salad and homemade vinaigrette 30 25 minutes after you walk in the door, so I’d like my cooking show now Food Network, thank you very much. The onions take the longest, and the steak, compound butter and salad can be thrown together while the onions color.

And here’s what you’ll get: The compound butter will melt over the warm beef, mixing with the onions to make a rich, creamy dressing for the sandwich. The sear on the meat will produce a noticeable crunch that adds texture, and the salt will enhance the flavor of the meat while both popping through and creating a yummy salty/sweet thing with the gorgonzola dolce. The spinach will add a nice little bite and some color; arugula or watercress would be excellent as well, if you were of that persuasion (I am not, but I don’t begrudge you if you are).

*Answer: Yes.

Steakhouse on a Bun
Caramelized Onions

Pre-heat your oven to 425. Coat the steak liberally with salt. Heat an oven safe pan over high heat and add a very thin coat of canola, peanut or veg oil. Sear one side until a dark brown crust develops, then flip the steak transfer to the oven and roast to your desired level of doneness, 130 degrees (which will rise to 140 after resting) for medium. Remove the steak to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before cutting into strips.

Soften the butter. Mix in gorgonzola to your desired level of pungency.

Cut the bread open. Smear on some compound butter, pile on some steak, add a layer of onions and throw on some spinach.

Eat the sandwich.

Did you want something more in-depth? Come on, it’s a sandwich. You can do it, I know you can.

47 thoughts on “i dare say, that is a dreadfully good sandwich.

  1. Steak sounds good. I was thinking about that tonight. It looks perfectly cooked. I’m all about this sandwich.

    Does Marc hate his life? Maybe. He has a new show now-Ultimate Recipe Showdown. Maybe that has made him happy. Extra cash.

  2. I’m drooling all over my keyboard! That is one hell of a sandwich! I love, love, love gorgonzola dolce! And carmelized onions, and steak! You can see where this is going. I’ll be making this tomorrow night especially for American Idol. Hmm. I might just get some jewelry out of my husband for this one! ;)

  3. I made a proper rare steak the other night and hubby said I couldn’t post it because it was too rare….I think it would have been a great post like yours. Your combo of flavors are unbeatable.

  4. emiline: i’m pretty sure he either hates his life, or he’s actually an automaton.

    heather: best. billboard. ever. i must find a way to integrate that pic into the site.

    susan: whoa! let me know what kind of goodies it gets you (and how you like it)!

    claudia: with a sandwich like this, you don’t stop to think about petty thing like “fat grams” or “blood cholesterol.” you eat, and you eat mightily.

    nina: thanks! you should totally post your steak.

    erin: heh, glad you liked it!

    KJ: you are correct!

    mary: but in a good way, right? like, “the surgeon general recommends that you should eat more of this delicious, delicious sandwich.”

    if y’all want me to post more often about my daily bowl of yogurt with wheat germ, i can. but i’m pretty sure you’d just come crawling back for more steak sandwich.

  5. I make something very similar to that…….those are yummy. Yours looks great. We did steak salads last night w/sundried tomato fries on top. The spinach cancels out and fat from the beef (good thinking). As for Marc Summers……..I guess you gotta pay your bills, right???

  6. sandiwches are actually one of my very favoritest foods. but I haven’t craved one in quite a while. till now.

    by the by, have you seen this one?


    I’ll link you to HER page, but it was actually one of my first posts and I liked mine better. ;)


    it’s amazing how few ingredients go into both yours and hers and yet it’s absolutely droolworthy.

    p.s. I just noticed your comment box says “Keep it clean.” hahahaha. ah, coming from you… ;)

  7. pixie: thanks!

    stacy: sundried tomato fries? even though i generally don’t like sundried tomatoes, i’m intrigued.

    melissa: wow, her sandwich is really not fucking around. she doesn’t even cut the butter with cheese!

    the comment box came with the free theme, and i haven’t bothered to change it since my custom template should be along any day now. i had duly noted the irony!

  8. i just came across your big hunk-o-meat….er…blog today. it cracked me up and then made me drool. that sandwich looks awesome!

    and i only have 2 words about marc summers: DOUBLE DARE.

  9. ashley: glad you like it here! and yes, there is double dare. who didn’t want to slide down the whipped cream slide, or reach into the giant nostil to find the flag? but those days, sadly, are over.

    dani: thanks! i appreciate it.

    cakewardrobe: if you were to just make the compound butter and onions, you could then use them on a roast beef sandwich, as i might have done today.

    leigh: in fact, i did pair it with beer. homemade beer, made by my very own sweetie, as a matter of fact. and it was fucking satisfying, i tell you what. i was veg for about 7 years, and now i’m totally overcompensating.

  10. drooooool.

    ok, so i come from Philly originally. sometimes i want ‘smackdown’ (wink – that was for you, babe) on people trying to fuck w/ the originaly too much. BUT, sometimes growns peoples need to eat growns peoples food. This is the exception. Keeping that meat medium rare and using salty gorgonzola and carmelized onions (a fave of mine too), well damn… you’ve done it! It’s approved by a philly-girl.

    oh and in response to the marc sommers (?) comment – Not only does marc summers hate his life, each time I happen to flip by that stupid-ass show, i begin to hate mine too. don’t even get me started (if you read my blog you’d see i’m really not even a minor fan of the food network). holla! – amy @ http://www.weareneverfull.com

  11. Whole Foods assured you this cow lived in a comfortable duplex??? That’s it, you are officially on my blogroll….

  12. amy: that means a lot to me. it really does. and i’m with you on the marc summers thing – cuz if you’re actually watching “unwrapped,” you do have to wonder what happened to your life that you thought watching “unwrapped” would actually be a good idea.

    leena: we are kindred spirits.

    kitty: i’m flattered!

  13. Ohdearlordthatlooksgood.

    After reading this post, I can say I’ve never been so happy to be a mere 30 minutes from tucking in at Blue Smoke! (OK, I lied. It’s un-possible to be less than giddy at the prospect of ribs, brisket, and mac & cheese.)

  14. leigh: thanks! my man is getting pretty damn good with the homebrew.

    amy: ooh, you’re going to blue smoke tonight? jealous, jealous, jealous.

  15. Hmm. Giant assured me that the little steak I bought the other day came from some poor little cow that lived a sad and unhappy life. I still think its going to taste pretty good, especially if I serve it like this. In fact, I think that cow would be happy and proud to end up tasting so good.

    [I'm not sorry to never shop at Fungus Fields (aka WF) ever again.]

  16. Howdy! This post couldn’t be written much better! Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept talking about this. I most certainly will send this post to him. Pretty sure he’ll have a very good read.
    Thanks for sharing!

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