7.26.2008

New Jersey Steak Sandwich


When I was a recent college graduate (only about 20 years ago), my first "real" job was as a commercial real estate appraiser in downtown Chicago. I was single, commuting into the city on the train, wearing sneakers with my stodgy business suits, and carrying a briefcase with not much more than a folder, pen and a few business cards in it. My daily lunch group consisted of similar college grads in similar business attire who's main noontime topic consisted of where we were going to happy hour after work. One of our frequent lunch destinations was to a Chicago dining institution - Al's Italian Beef. The only item I would order was a hoagie roll dipped in au jus and loaded with italian beef and peppers. With a side of fries and a Coke, I could feel my cholesterol rising at the young age of 22.

Being at a different point in my life (18 years of marriage, 3 kids, and far from the world of real estate appraisal) and living in another city (actually a small, northern New Jersey town), I get the occasional craving for an italian beef sandwich. I came up with the New Jersey Steak Sandwich to remind me of lunching with my co-workers while working in the Big City.

I streamlined the process of making the sandwiches by grilling up two marinated london broils earlier in the week. One was for dinner that night, and the other was wrapped in foil, placed in a resealable bag, and stored in the refrigerator until later in the week. That way when dinner time rolled around on Friday, all I had to do was saute some onions, make a simple cheddar cheese sauce, and assemble the sandwiches.

I served the sandwiches with slices of watermelon and kettle chips. No Thank You boy opted out of the cheese sauce (crazy kid), and My Oldest and My Middle One decided to top from plain pasta from the refrigerator with the cheese sauce to make their own mac and cheese to go along with the steak. I still have enough left for a few more sandwiches for lunch the next couple days. The Husband is going to be a happy man.

New Jersey Steak Sandwich

for the marinated steak -
1 london broil - about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds
4 garlic cloves, mashed
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons hot sauce
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for the marinade. Place the london broil in a resealable bag and add the marinade. Marinate for about 4 hours. Prepare a barbecue and grill the london broil over a hot fire for about 8 minutes per side for more on the rare side. Remove from grill, let cool and then wrap in foil, place in a resealable bag and stash it in the refrigerator.

for the sandwiches --
4 tablespoons butter
1 large Vadalia onion, sliced thin
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon pepper
1 cup beef stock


Heat a large saute pan to medium high and add butter. When it begins to foam, add the sliced onions and saute for 15 - 20 minutes or until softened and browned. Add Worcestershire sauce, pepper, and beef broth and bring to a boil. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes then reduce the heat to low to just keep mixture warm.

for the cheese sauce --
2 cups milk
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a small saucepan, stir the milk and cornstarch until the cornstarch dissolves. Heat the mixture over medium high heat until it begins a gentle boil, stirring occasionally. Cook for about 3 - 4 minutes or until mixture thickens and coats a spoon. Stir in the cheese, mustard and salt until the cheese melts and the sauce is combined. Set aside.

To assemble the sandwiches --
1 cooked london broil
1 batch of sauteed and seasoned onions
1 batch cheddar cheese sauce
6 long rolls

Remove the london broil from the refrigerator and slice into bite sized pieces.

Add the meat to the onion mixture and just heat through. Slice the rolls and top with a generous portion of the meat and onions and a large dollop of the cheese sauce. Replace the top of the roll and smash down a little. Serve with plenty of napkins.

16 comments:

Kevin said...

That sandwich looks great! Just look at all of the cheese sauce dripping out of it.

Lisa said...

Yum! And the cheese sauce really must make it good! Is that a picture of ther Jersey shore? Just came back from Sea Isle yesterday. Just love the shore!

EAT! said...

kevin - it was really good!!

lisa - i am so jealous. that is a picture in Manasquan that my daughter took of the inlet.

PaniniKathy said...

That sounds really tasty to me! What a great use of leftovers. I'm also intrigued by the method you used for your grilled onions, with the Worcestershire and beef broth - combined with the sweet Vidalias, I imagine they'd be super-flavorful and delicious. I'll have to try that approach!

Cheryl said...

That looks really good! I have never made a cheese sauce before, now I might try !

Robin Sue said...

Now I love a good cheese steak, Yum! Love your new header, it fits perfectly with your blog, the menu list and calender, PERFECT!!
Wow we are all getting dolled up around here, we should have a party!

Rindy R said...

Love the walk down memory lane - Takes me back to my favorite place in Chicago for beef on a bun - Portillo's! Love the new header as well!

Bridgett said...

What a yummy indulgence. I love all the cheese sauce oozing out!

Dragon said...

The steak look perfectly done. And I look the gooey cheese and onions. Yum!

Krysta said...

i just ate dinner and now i'm hungry again.

Jan said...

That looks like one hell of a sarni. Great job!

amandalouden said...

OMG, I am so excited, I HAVE A LONDON BROIL IN MY FREEZER. I am sooooooo going to make this.

MaryBeth said...

How funny, my husband and I just created our own version of a Philly Cheese steak and posted it on our blog. Take a look and tell me what you think. http://dunkincookingthesemi-homemadeway.blogspot.com/

Grace said...

i'm a huge fan of a philly cheese steak sandwich, and i believe you've one-upped it. that cheese sauce sounds sensational, and the other components are pretty great too. bravo.
now if you'll excuse me, i need to wipe my chin--it looks like the bread on your sandwich, except it's covered in drool rather than cheese sauce... :)

Grace said...

i'm a huge fan of a philly cheese steak sandwich, and i believe you've one-upped it. that cheese sauce sounds sensational, and the other components are pretty great too. bravo.
now if you'll excuse me, i need to wipe my chin--it looks like the bread on your sandwich, except it's covered in drool rather than cheese sauce... :)

kellypea said...

Oh jeez, this looks good. The flavors, that cheese? It's just about dinner time, I skipped lunch, and now I'm looking at that sandwich. Must. Make. Dinner.