Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Beef + Bread + Juices = Friggin' Amazing.
There's nothing to me like a great steak sandwich. I used to live in West Seattle and there's an amazing steakhouse called Jak's Grill. It has the most tender, melt in your mouth steaks in the universe. I remember the first time my sister and I went there for dinner and I ordered the steak sandwich, like I do most everywhere I go, medium rare, because people who eat steak well done...well, let's just say they don't deserve their tastebuds.
(I hold these people in the same sour light as those who order Ahi well done. If you do this, stop reading, exit the blog, and don't come back until you've thought about what you've done. Ok? Hmmm....tangent off (I hope).)
I asked the server to have the cooks slice the steak before they put it on the bread. Usually a steakhouse uses a cheaper piece of meat for the sandwich, and I'm sure as entertaining as it looks, I don't like to gnaw on large pieces of meat in public, blood and juices running down my chin. Now, in the privacy of my own home...
When it arrived at my table, it was whole. As a former server myself I was a little miffed that my explicit request had been ignored. Then, I bit into the sandwich. My God was it an existential experience. Sour, chewy bread wrapped around perfectly grilled, fork tender steak. I still have no idea to this day what they do to get their beef so tender, but I'd happily give up a little toe to find out. I realized then that cook must have thought I was insane, asking for it to be sliced. Thank goodness for cooks and their knowledge of the food they prepare.
As a point of interest, my steak sandwiches are not like that. I don't have any tips on tenderizing meat except for the ones I posted here. This is exactly how I prepared my meat and it turned out perfectly. Also, this combination of ingredients is not a recipe. In my opinion, if it's so easy a trained monkey could do it then it doesn't qualify as a recipe. But, I recommend this specific method of preparing a steak sandwich. Because there's only one person I know that loves a steak sandwich more than I do. That's right, R. I'm talking about you. And speaking of trained monkeys, you and S. should try this out. You'll love it.
1 loaf sourdough bread, French loaf style
Steak, cooked to your liking
Au Jus (I know, it's wrong. But, it's also delicious together.)
Take 1/4 cup softened butter and combine with 1 clove minced garlic and two tablespoons chopped fresh basil, or 1 teaspoon dried basil.
1. Cut bread to the length of your steak, halve and slather both sides with herbed butter. Put back together, buttered sides facing, and wrap in foil. Heat in a 400 degree F oven for ten minutes.
2. Remove foil, place steak in between bread pieces, cut on the diagonal, dip into Au Jus if desired, devour.