Steak Sandwiches | Remembering Dad

Amazing steak sandwich layered with caramelized onions, mozzarella cheese and barbecue sauce. 

Steak Sandwich | Amazing steak sandwich layered with caramelized onions, mozzarella cheese and barbecue sauce.

Just to be clear this is a steak sandwich, it is not a Philly Cheesesteak. I make those too, but the cooking process differs slightly from this one. So just for the record for all you purists, this is in no way a Philly Cheesesteak. It’s just as damn good as one though.

I think by now you must realize how much I like steak. I’m a beef girl. I was brought up that way. My Dad was a beef guy. I grew up in a family that loved beef of any kind. Steak was a rarity growing up though. When we did have it my Dad usually chose sirloin. He loved sirloin steak. I am not a fan. I love rib steak, and striploin.

Dad would say it’s all how you cook it. Which is very true. Some cuts need marinating, some do not. You just need to get to know your beef, and what to do with what different cuts.

A lot of what I learned about cooking was actually from my Dad. My Mom passed away when I was 15, and she was one of those women who did all the cooking in the house. She did pretty much everything really. Sort of Wonder Woman if you ask me.

After my Mom passed away we all needed to rally together to make the household functional. My Dad decided we would all take turns cooking. It was my Dad, my two brothers and myself. On occasion we had my brother’s friends living with us. My brother Scott had a buddy named Kip, he lived with us for a while. My other brother Ken had a friend named Stewart, he lived with us for a long time. My cousin Brian also lived with us for a while. So basically I was surrounded by hungry dudes. You learn to get competitive with them. And you learn to be a carnivore.

This recipe is one my Dad really loved. He would gobble up copious amounts of these. The sign of a good sandwich is not having a scrap left.

Steak Sandwich | Amazing steak sandwich layered with caramelized onions, mozzarella cheese and barbecue sauce.

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Steak Sandwiches

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

Steak Sandwiches

Amazing steak sandwich layered with caramelized onions, mozzarella cheese and barbecue sauce.

Ingredients

  • 2 Spanish or Sweet onions, sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • Dash of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 pounds of boneless rib steak, sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce, use your favourite kind
  • 4 Hoagie buns, split

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment. Set aside.
  • Start your onions first. They will take longer than the steak. Heat the canola oil in a skillet over medium heat until it glistens, add the onions. Add a hit of salt to speed up the sweating process, and keep stirring every now and again, but not constantly. You can lower to a medium low setting if they are starting to cook too quickly. Slower is better with onions, so don't rush the process. Once the moisture is out hit them with the butter and continue cooking until they caramelize. The process should take about 15 minutes on a nice medium heat, or up to 25/30 on a lower heat. Transfer to a plate and set aside till needed.
  • Slice the meat as thinly as you can. It's helpful to have the meat cold during the cutting process if you're not adept with your knife skills. So you can pop it in the freezer for 15 or 20 minutes before cutting it if you like. Then let it warm up for 20 or 30 minutes before cooking. Meat cooks better if it's not super cold. Trust me.
  • Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat until it glistens. Add the beef and cook while stirring it about occasionally. You can cook it to your taste. I'd recommend 3 to 5 for a medium rare, and 5 to 8 minutes for well done, which is how we like ours.
  • Add some salt and pepper, and any other spices you might like to jazz it up.
  • Butter your hoagie buns and toast them slightly on the inside by placing them on a hot skillet. Only takes about 2 minutes. Now place them cut side up on the cookie sheet.
  • Toss about a quarter of your cheese on the bottom, then add your meat and spread it evenly on each bun. Now toss the rest of your cheese over top.
  • Place in the oven and cook just till the cheese melts. This only takes about 5 to 8 minutes depending on your oven and how brown you want your cheese. You can go as much as 10 minutes if you like crispy bits.
  • Remove from the oven and drizzle barbecue sauce over top.
  • Close those bad boys up and let the good times roll. You'll need some napkins, I guarantee it.
  • Enjoy with a big old steak and cheesy smile!

Notes

If you're a good multi-tasker you can knock this recipe out in about 30 minutes. I start my steak while the onions are cooking so everything just comes together at the same time.

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Steak Sandwich | Amazing steak sandwich layered with caramelized onions, mozzarella cheese and barbecue sauce.

Each year I write about my Dad on this day. I share some of his favourite recipes each time. I wrote about him last year and shared my recipe for his favourite Spicy Lasagna. I’ve shared my recipe for Black Forest Cheesecake which he loved so very much and insisted I make on holidays. And I’ve shared posts without recipes, that are more about me sharing his story with some photos.

I feel like it’s important to share his story. Each year I get so many emails thanking me for sharing our family story with the readers. It’s never easy to write about but I feel like if it helps one person it’s worth doing. Cancer is beast, one that steals too many of our loved ones. It binds us, everyone who has been touched by it is connected to others who have been through it.

Dad

 For me it was the best, and worst, time of my life. My Dad was a very stoic man, not the warm and fuzzy type. So I never really felt like I knew him. There were always walls you couldn’t break down with Dad. But through the illness the walls came down between him and I. For the first time in my life I felt like I knew my Dad. It was a gift and one I treasure. However it was way too short.

What I’ve learned from losing both my parents is not to take things for granted in life. It makes you realize that life can be short and you want to spend time making memories with people you love.

Dad Canoeing

I’ve come to realize there’s no room in my life for drama, chaos, or negativity. This year I made some really positive changes in my life, and removed some people that were making my life miserable. I have no tolerance for it at this point in my life. It was difficult to do but necessary, and the results have been life changing. Some relationships, like the one with Dad, can be saved. Some cannot. There’s wisdom in knowing the difference. I feel at peace with life for the first time in a really long time.

I think that’s what we all sort of crave in life. Learning to accept yourself for who you are. Learning not to let others dictate how you feel about yourself. Knowing your self worth really does come from within. It’s a tough thing to learn in life. To rely on yourself for happiness, what a concept right. Personally I don’t think you will never find acceptance and inner peace from external sources. It comes from finally making the decision to love yourself, flaws and all.

Me, Dad, Scott camping

For me that is what I took away from losing people in my life. I want to focus my energy in life on the people I love, and the people who accept me for who I am. I think that was the coolest thing I learned from my Dad. While he was gruff and difficult he was not judgemental of people at all. He really believed everyone had the right to go through life the way they want. That everyone had their own demons and issues. His whole life was about doing what he loved, when he wanted to do it and how he wanted to do it. He never looked for approval, because to him his own approval was all he ever needed. To be that okay with who you are is utterly amazing. I’m close to it but not quite there yet. One step at a time. Like Dad taught me.

Dad and Me on my Wedding Day

Thanks for hanging in there till the end. I know these sentimental posts are not my usual light, fluffy, silly style. Luckily I only write them a few times a year. Bloody exhausting to write, and I’m sure to read.

A huge thanks to those who endlessly support my rattling about my parents. I think losing them both, particularly my Mom at a young age short of shaped who I am. I feel like this sort of honours how awesome they were. So sharing them with you is part of the healing process for me. I appreciate that you take the time to read about them. It means so very much to me.

Toodles and smoochies! xx

 

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Comments

  1. 1

    Good sandwich, great post. Life is too short to put up with nonsense. Always good to remember the past, and learn from it. Toodles and smoochies indeed!

  2. 2

    Kim, I started to comment here yesterday then got pulled away from my computer and didn’t make it back again, so I’m back today to let you know I think your post is awesome. People relate to this because everyone has some kind of event in their life that shapes them and often times more than just one! My Nanny was the biggest part of my life and I miss her every single day.

  3. 3
    stephanie says:

    What an excellent, touching post. I really enjoyed reading this – thank you so much for sharing. (And good to know you know your meat…I need help in that area! My hubby bought some minute steak, Can that be used here or for…?)

    • 4
      Kim Beaulieu says:

      Thanks so much.

      I wouldn’t use the minute steak for this but a lot of people do use them for sandwiches. You can also just pan fry it, and some gravy. I like them for things like stir fry or fajitas. Just get your pan hot prior to dropping this kind of steak in the pan, cook for a minute or so on each side. We use minute steak in wraps too.

  4. 6

    Hello Kim, I know you must miss your dad so much but he would be very proud of you and your post. I know exactly why your dad loved this sandwich and I think my husband and hungry teenage boys would love it too.

  5. 7

    Thank you, Kim. A nice recipe. I remember your story and last year. Happy Mother’s Day to you.

  6. 8

    I am glad you feel like you are at a better place in your life this year. This is a very touching post and of course a wonderful recipe to boot!

  7. 9

    Sending you love and support from my neck of the woods… xox

  8. 10

    Kim, you are such a brave, strong, sensitive, brilliant woman. It’s amazing how you open up and share your story, and I want to thank you for that. And give you a hug xxx

    I’m a carnivore too, so these sandwiches are def. taking me to my happy place <3

  9. 11
    Kim Porter says:

    Your post made me cry today. My dad is battling pancreatic cancer and was just told he may have a year left and to go live it. My mom is beside herself and I am feeling emotions I’m not quite sure I know how to identify yet. I’m flying back to TX soon to be with them and plan on making this for my beef loving family. Thank you for always sharing…it’s a blessing!

    • 12
      Kim Beaulieu says:

      I’m so sorry Kim. That’s heartbreaking. My best advice would be to spend as much time with him as you can. If you ever need to talk just email me.

      I went for lots of counselling at the cancer centre when my dad was sick. It really helped me.

  10. 13

    Kim, you have traveled an amazing journey and Look where you are now. Life threw you curve balls and you made lemonade of it. I am being silly, but silly is soooo good. I am thinking a good dose of silly might be the cherry on top. You have ‘life lesson’ material thrown at you and you learned! More importantly you are applying. Truly that is amazing. I am smiling, as I’m typing this. I am so glad didn’t miss this blog. Oh yeah. the sandwich. I grew up on a farm. Steak became Ho Hum in my growing up years. But I have long passed out of that state of mind. This sandwich looks delish and a winner for females as well as males.

  11. 14

    You had me at steak. And sandwiches.

    I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your Dad…AND Mom. Goodness, Kim. My best friend of 35 years just lost her husband 2 weeks ago. He was only 48. They have two children, 8 and 10. I’m in the process of helping plan the memorial and my heart aches for that will not be “their story.” Life is so fragile :(

  12. 15

    I could totally forgo the bread and just it that luscious filling!

  13. 16

    I’m so sorry you’ve lost both of your parents :( That has to be so hard. What an amazing post though. You need to focus on things that matter and the people who matter, not everything else. <3

  14. 17
    Ginny McMeans says:

    I couldn’t make it all the way through – at this sitting. Excellent post and I feel for you! Much love. And … to lighten it all a little … Love your sweet onion and barbecue sauce mix on your sandwich.

  15. 18

    Thank you for sharing such a heartfelt story with us. I’m so sorry you have had to endure such profound losses. I think you have the right idea, surrounding yourself with positive people who genuinely care about you. Don’t waste your time on negative people. h
    Also, these sandwiches look excellent. I can see why your dad loved them!

  16. 19

    I love how you honor your dad with these posts each year…and all the wonderful family photos. And your philosophy on life is spot on. You’re definitely an inspiration. And, by the way, every dad in my life would adore these sandwiches! Me, too. xx

  17. 20

    What a touching post!! Thank you for sharing this with us. And a great sandwich, too.

  18. 21

    Thanks for sharing such a touching post about your dad. I’m sorry for your loss, and yet happy you’ve found some deeper meaning through it all. Sharing life with the people who really matter is such an important thing to remember.

  19. 22

    Wow. Thanks for sharing about your dad and how your relationship changed and formed after your mom passed away. I’ve never met my birth father and I’m always interested in father-daughter relationships. I’m sure it helps that you’re both beef people, because these sandwiches look amazing. I’m hungry now. Thanks.

  20. 23

    Beautiful photos, Kim! Of you and the steak!

    Two days until BlogHer- whoop!

  21. 24

    Kim – this post brought the tears but it was beautiful. What a touching post and remembrance of your dad!

  22. 25

    Super huge hugs! My husband and I “cleaned” our lives of negative people last year and it’s been so amazing. Life is too short! *Love these steak sandwiches, hubby will love them too!”

  23. 26

    This is MY kind of sandwich!! Love everything about it; it’s actually making me hungry!

  24. 27

    Kim,
    Remembering your loved ones in such a lovely way is wonderful. It keeps them with you all the time.
    Annamaria

  25. 28

    xoxo That’s all.

  26. 29

    (((Kim))) I know how difficult it is to write about personal challenges and tragedies. This is a wonderful post and tribute to your dad. He sounds like he was a wonderful person. I am so sorry for what you have had to go through and at such a young age :(. Cancer sucks!! My mom has stage 4 breast cancer, my daughter has battled melanoma at the young age of 19, and my husband a brain tumor. These things take their toll but they sure do teach you a lot don’t they? I try to live life like your dad. No expectations of others!! Just accept others as they are, and only accept people in my life who accept me for who I am. When you have lots of obstacles to overcome you learn life is too short – just live and let live! You are a very strong and amazing woman. I’m so happy to have met you (online) and look forward to meeting you in person. The sandwich sounds delish! pinning!! (((hugs)))

  27. 30
    Anonymous says:

    You have touched my heart! God Bless you. I am anxious to try your sandwich.

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