[Note: This recipe got a refresh and fresh photos in March 2018.]
One of my dark cooking secrets is that I am incredibly picky. The list of foods I don’t want to eat is miles long. People like me have to learn to cook, it’s the only thing saving us from a diet of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. And well, barely that recently, while we’re being honest and stuff.
Among the items on the ridiculously long list of things I have no desire to eat is steak. You see what I mean? I can see your face. You’re outraged. You’re going to fill my comment section with recipes and links to steakhouses and swear that if I’d only eaten steak there, I would see the greatness that is steak. But people, I want to tell you something: I’ve been to just about every good steakhouse in New York City (don’t laugh — I like the sides, and the company of red meat-eaters) and none of them has turned my disinterest in broiled slabs of beef on its head.
Which is why it shocked nobody more than me — well, that’s not true, Alex was downright floored — that when I spied Ina Garten making, of all things, steak sandwiches on an old Barefoot Contessa episode a few weeks ago, I instantaneously knew that I had to make steak sandwiches for dinner that very night. It looked so freaking good. Perhaps my insides were crying out for iron? Maybe Alex’s dreams that I would one day embrace the greatness that is steak were finally due to come true? Nah, it just looked that good. Oh, and it didn’t taste half bad either. I might even have to make it a habit?
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons smooth Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
- 2 tablespoons sour cream (to make this dairy-free, just use additional mayo)
- Kosher salt
- 1 (16-ounce) 1-inch thick New York strip boneless beef top loin or hangar steak
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil, or a neutral high-heat oil such as grapeseed
- 2 medium-large yellow onions, sliced in thin rings
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (if desired)
- 2 large or 4 medium (about 6″) focaccia or ciabatta buns, split and toasted, if you wish
- 1 cup baby arugula
Season the steak liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large sauté pan over high heat until it’s almost smoking, then sear the steak on each side for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low and cook the steak for about 7 to 10 minutes, turning once, until very rare in the middle. Remove to a plate and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Slice the steak into thin strips.
Using the same sauté pan, heat another glug of oil over medium heat. Add the onion, thyme, if you’re using it, salt, and pepper and sauté for 10 minutes, until the onions are brown and sweet, stirring occasionally.
To assemble the sandwiches, spread both sides of the split bun with the mustard-mayo mixture. Place a layer the steak strips on top of the mayo, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and top with the onions. Place the baby arugula on top of the onions, and cover the sandwiches with the top half of the buns.