Friday, January 13, 2012

“Steakage” – Changing the Shape of Your Steak Sandwich

Hot dogs and hamburgers are fine for the regular season, but when the playoffs and Super Bowl roll around, you need to upgrade the tailgate menu to something a little more special, like this “steakage” steak sandwich.

The name comes from the fact that the steak is being treated more like a sausage link. The problem with a traditional steak sandwich is it usually consists of a thin slice of beef, grilled and served on a thick sandwich roll. The steak to bread ratio is way off, and it’s very easy to overcook the meat.

Here, by cutting our steak into thick strips, we not only have a more geometrically appropriate piece of meat for our smaller bun, but we are able to get a nice sear on the outside without having to worry about the inside overcooking.

I used a gorgeous flat iron steak, and I really hope you can get one from your butcher, but if you can’t, this technique should work for other cuts of steak as well. NY strip, rib eye, top sirloin, and tenderloin could all be made to work. The key is something that can be cut into a large slab first, ideally about 1 1/2-inch thick, and then into strips about the same width, and as long as your bun.

I was very happy with these, and really enjoyed the little extra something the grilled mushrooms provided. The smoky salad added an earthy texture to the grilled beef, and it was all tied together nicely with the barbecue vinaigrette. To make this easy and versatile condiment, simply combine 3 parts barbecue sauce, with 2 parts vegetable oil, and 1 part cider vinegar.

So, if you were planning on splurging for your next backyard tailgate, and want to serve something a little out of the ordinary, then maybe give this whole “steakage” thing a try. By the way, it goes without saying that this would rock with cheese on it, but the American Kobe beef I was lucky enough to use was so exquisite that I didn’t want to cover it up. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 6 portions:
1 fully-trimmed flat iron steak
6 hot dog buns
1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
mayonnaise and arugula leaves as needed

For the mushrooms salad:
8 oz brown clamshell mushrooms, grilled, separated
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

For the bbq vinaigrette:
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp cider vinegar

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