Friday, August 13, 2010

Steak Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions's been a long time. This past week, I got to go back to Minnesota to visit my family and we were super busy, so there didn't end up being much time to post. Hopefully, we're back in the swing of things, now!

The day after I got back from MN, our very dear friends, Jeremy, Julia and their adorable daughter Zoe stayed the night with us on their way to a conference. We were so thrilled to be able to visit with them! Among so many things that we enjoy about these friends, one is that we both get really excited about great bargains. Jeremy said he makes a point to never pay more than $2 a pound for meat, which is a principle I try to adhere to as well! Stock up when it's on sale.

Anyway, after our friends a somewhat underwhelming breakfast (I made a dutch baby pancake and doubled all the ingredients except forgetting to double the didn't puff up very well and was kind of a brick. Oops), I tried to make up with lunch. Here's what we had:

Steak Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions
makes about 8 sandwiches

2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon butter

2 pounds steak, trimmed of any visible fat or icky bits and thinly sliced against the grain into bite-sized pieces (I used very thinly sliced sirloin for $1.98/pound)
2 tablespoons butter, divided
Canadian steak seasoning, to taste
kosher salt, to taste

2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1-2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup chicken or beef broth

8 buns, split open (bolillo or torpedo shaped rolls work great)
8 slices cheese (used Munster)

In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and spread into a single layer. Reduce heat to low and allow onions to cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden. For really great caramelized onions, you need to be patient (allow about 30 minutes). While they are cooking is a great time to be trimming and slicing your steak. Otherwise, you can also do the onions ahead of time and keep them in the fridge to reheat when you need them since the rest of this goes together really fast!

After steak is cut into bite-sized pieces, season with steak seasoning and kosher salt.

In a small bowl, combine ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire and broth, stirring until smooth.

After onions are caramelized, remove from heat and set aside. In the same skillet, raise heat to high and melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add half of seasoned steak pieces in a single layer and sear for 1-2 minutes on each side, flipping once. You don't want to stir the steak around too much because continuous contact with the pan is what will give you the golden brown sear on the meat. Once steak pieces are browned on both sides, remove from heat and set aside. Melt remaining butter and repeat process with remaining steak. After the second batch of steak is cooked, remove from heat and add to the first batch.

Dump sauce mixture into the skillet and stir constantly over high heat for about a minute or until thickened and bubbly. Pour over steak bites.

*whiles you're cooking the steak, you can also toast the buns slightly by putting them on a baking sheet and covering loosely with a piece of foil and warming them in a 350 degree oven while you're cooking the steak. In fact, you can put your onions and the cooked steak in the oven to keep warm along with your rolls while the sauce is being made too!

To assemble:
Spread a scoop (about 1/4-1/2 cup) of steak mixture making sure to get some of the sauce from the bottom over an open roll. Top with 1-2 tablespoons of caramelized onions and a slice of cheese. If you want to be really decadent, you can also add a slice of crispy bacon, too (what can I say, they had a special on pre-cooked bacon and we figured everything's better with bacon, right?).

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