A few weeks ago, we were asked about our version of the Philly cheesesteak. That is a recipe that’s already all over the entire internet, so we did not find that very interesting. And that’s not because we don’t like the Philly cheesesteak. What’s not to like about meat and cheese on bread. You can even start a war in the states if you use the wrong colour of bell peppers on your Philly cheesesteak. We did not want that on our conscience.
We’ve used roughly the same ingredients as a Philly cheesesteak and turned it into something much better. At least that is our opinion. Feel free to try it out, and we would love to hear what you think.
We start with marinating the flank steak. We are going to do that in pickle juice and some other things. The pickle juice gives the meat a fresh taste, and the acid ensures that the connective tissue is broken down so that the meat becomes even more tender. That is what you want for a steak sandwich.
The salsa we use for this sandwich is made with roasted bell pepper, onion and jalapeño. And we do that roasting in the easiest way directly on the coals. “But then everything will burn!” That is precisely our intention. The only thing that will burn is the skin, and we will not use that anyway.
And while we are at it, we also throw the lime in between the coals. You know it is ready when it bursts open. Then you hear something hiss, and you can take it out of the barbecue.
The rest of the vegetables should eventually look like this. Burnt all black. You achieve this by regularly turning them so that everything burns evenly.
If you leave the bell pepper and jalapeño aside for a while, you can rub the burnt skin off the vegetables with your hands. With the onion, you peel off the outer skin.
Then you remove the seeds and glands, and you can throw everything in a blender to make the salsa. We still had a few cloves of smoked garlic in the fridge, so we throw that in too. The result is a salsa that you have not yet tasted like this.
We put the half-moon grates and the cast iron plate in our Kamado Joe so that they can get nice and hot, and then we can remove the flank steak from the marinade to grill.
Grilling flank steak is not that difficult. The point is that you just keep a close eye on the meat. Over direct heat, you turn and move the meat until you are satisfied with the outside, and you reached a core temperature of about 50 to 52°C (122 to 126F). Then you let the flank steak rest.
The grill plate has now also become hot, so we can grill the onions on it. With a bit of oil and by stirring regularly, all onion rings become soft and brown. Just before we take them off, we add a little Worcestershire sauce. This makes them even browner and gives them even more flavour.
While resting, the meat rose slightly in temperature and reached 56°C (133F). That’s perfectly medium-rare. If you accidentally overshoot or if the meat gets stuck at 50°C (122F), that’s no problem. This meat is fantastic anyway.
You now cut the meat against the grain, and that is for a reason. If you think of meat as a bundle of muscles, then you can understand that if you cut those muscles in half, you get a more tender piece of meat. You can clearly see here that you have obtained a cross-section of those muscles after cutting.
This is also the time when we sprinkle the meat with a bit of salt. It was not necessary for the marinade as brine. Just before grilling was also not convenient because most of it would fall off during the many times you turn the meat.
Now we are going to build the baguette. We have a nice little one here, but you can, of course, use a large one. Start with the thinly sliced flank steak, then the grilled onion, a few generous scoops of roasted salsa, and then we throw a little cilantro over it. Not everyone likes cilantro, so you may have to ask that first.
Finally, we put a few slices of cheese on top. We have used dry mozzarella here. Not the mozzarella from the bags. Ask your cheese farmer. He is happy to help you.
It is helpful that you have asbestos coated hands or a good heat-resistant glove in the next step. We wrap the bread in a piece of aluminium foil and grill it for another ten minutes on the grates with the grill plate on top. If you push it down, you can turn the baguette into a huge panini.
This is the result. A delicious crispy sandwich with tender meat and delicious salsa. The cheese has melted nicely throughout and keeps this cheesesteak sandwich from falling apart.
- 600 grams of flank steak
- 200 grams of dry mozzarella
- A small baguette
For the marinade
- 50 ml of pickle juice
- 1 tbsp mustard
- 1 tsp Tabasco
- 2 cloves of garlic pressed
For the onions
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 white onions
- 2 tsp Worcestershire
For the salsa
- 2 red peppers
- 1 jalapeño
- 1 red onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- Mix the pickle juice with the mustard, Tabasco and the crushed garlic cloves. Pour it into a zip lock bag and add the flank steak. Let this marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours.
- Light the barbecue with charcoal and wait until all the charcoal has a grey ash layer. Then throw the peppers, onion, jalapeño and lime directly on the charcoal. Turn everything regularly until the peppers, onion and jalapeño are black all over and the lime bursts. Then remove them from the barbecue. Place the grates and grill plate to preheat.
- Let everything cool down for a while, and then rub the burnt skin off the peppers and jalapeño. Remove the outer skin from the onion. Remove the seeds and glands from the peppers and jalapeño. Toss everything with 2 cloves of garlic and the juice of the lime into a blender.
- Remove the flank steak from the marinade and pat it dry with some kitchen paper. Grill it on both sides to a core temperature of 55°C (131F) and let it rest.
- Cut the onions into thin rings and grill them in a little olive oil until soft. Then pour over some Worcestershire sauce and toss them over again and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Cut the flank steak against the grain into thin slices and sprinkle with a bit of salt.
- Cut your baguette in half and cover the bread with the bavette strips. Then you can scoop the onions and salsa over it. We love fresh cilantro, but you have to see it for yourself. It is delicious. Then slices of mozzarella on top, and you close the baguette.
- Wrap the baguette in a piece of aluminium foil and roast it over direct heat with something heavy on top for 10 minutes. We used the grill plate.
- Unwrap the baguette and cut it into a convenient size to share.