My husband is a HUGE fan of what he likes to call “Steak Sammaches”. I suspect this is him being cute. Back when we first started dating he used to make his “Famous Steak Sammaches” and they were AWFUL. I ate them because I really liked him, but I suffered through it. A slab of meat on a roll, covered in seasoning and A1 sauce. Not my idea of a delicious meal.
Over the years, I’ve taken charge of making the “steak sammaches” although now I just call them Cali Cheese Steaks, an updated versions of the famous “Philly Cheese Steaks”. This is due to an addition of several “California” type things.
Firstly I use a soft Mexican sandwich roll called a Bolillo. They are very similar to Hoagie rolls. I also use Pepper Jack cheese instead of whatever the heck kind of cheese is on a true Philly steak. I’ve never had one, but it is on my bucket list. Instead of just grilled onions and peppers, I caramelize my onions and add my peppers in during the end. I use a regular green bell pepper, but if you wanted to get even more “Cali” on me, you could go with an Anaheim chile! Ha!
You will need:
- 1-2 lbs Steak of your choice, thinly sliced
- 2 Green Bell Pepper, sliced
- 2 Sweet Onions, thinly sliced
- 2-3 slices of Pepper Jack Cheese, per sandwich
- 4 Bolillo Rolls
- 1/2 cup Beef Stock
- salt and pepper
Start by cooking your onions. I add a bit of fat to the pan, either oil or reserved bacon drippings. Get it hot and toss your onions in, stirring occasionally until golden.
Once the onions are nice and beginning to caramelize, add your peppers to the mix.
Once the peppers and onions are almost done, remove them from the pan and reserve. Add your beef to the pan, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until about half done.
Once beef is cooked halfway, add peppers and onions back into the pan.
Continue cooking for a few more minutes, or until the juices begin to “dry up”. Add about 1/2 cup of beef stock and deglaze the pan to get all the good browned bits off the bottom. Continue cooking on low, until the beef stock has reduced and beef is fully cooked.
Prepare your rolls by slicing them open, almost all of the way through. Take one slice of cheese and cut it in half, placing both slices at the bottom of the roll. This is my little trick for keeping the juices from the meat from making the bread soggy and your sandwich falling through the bottom of your roll. Think of it as a delicious cheese barrier.
Line a baking sheet with foil and arrange all of your sandwiches on it. Fill each sandwich with a heaping portion of the steak mixture.
Top with 2 more slices of cheese and broil on low for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Serve with fries, or your choice of sides. This sandwich is also excellent dipped into hot au jus, for a Cali Dip!
A vast improvement on the old slab-o-meat sandwiches my hubby used to make, yes? Drink with a margarita or a corona and enjoy a little taste of Southern California!