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
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Amazing steak sandwich layered with caramelized onions, mozzarella cheese and barbecue sauce.
Recipe type: main course
Serves: Serves 4
  • 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 to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup barbecue sauce, use your favourite kind
  • 4 Hoagie buns, split
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment. Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Add some salt and pepper, and any other spices you might like to jazz it up.
  6. 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.
  7. Toss about a quarter of your cheese on the bottom, then add your meat and spread it evenly on each bun. Top with caramelized onions. Then toss the rest of your cheese over top.
  8. 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.
  9. Remove from the oven and drizzle barbecue sauce over top.
  10. Close those bad boys up and let the good times roll. You'll need some napkins, I guarantee it.
  11. Enjoy with a big old steak and cheesy smile!
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.

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.


 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.

Some of my Dad’s favourite recipes: 

Spicy Lasagna | | One of my Dad's favourite recipes. Every time I make it I think of him.

 Spicy Lasagna  

Santa Cookies aka No Bake Coconut Macaroon Cookies | | Simple to make, these cookies will be a sure hit with your family, friends, and the big man himself.

 Santa Cookies aka No Bake Coconut Macaroon Cookies

Chocolate Peppermint Bark | | Super easy to make, this bark is ready in minutes. Layer some chocolate, toss some peppermint on top and it's perfection!

 Chocolate Peppermint Bark

You should also check out  my Top 10 Main Course Recipes Dads Will Dig post. As well as my Top 10 Dessert Recipes Dads Will Dig post. I tend to eat like a dude so I seem to have a knack for dude food. It’s a gift. A pretty yummy gift.

Thanks for reading. A huge thanks to everyone has taken the time to leave comments on this one. It means so much to me to have people share their own stories. Thank you for letting me into your lives. I appreciate it.

Disclosure: Posts may contain affiliate links. I earn a small commission if you purchase any items I recommend. Thanks for supporting my blog. 

Toodles and smoochies! xx

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  1. says

    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.

  2. 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…?)

    • 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.

  3. says

    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.

  4. says

    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

  5. 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!

    • 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.

  6. says

    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.

  7. says

    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 :(

  8. 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.

  9. says

    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!

  10. says

    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

  11. says

    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.

  12. says

    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.

  13. says

    (((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)))

  14. Sandy says

    I just found your site. I love reading your stories about your parents. They must have been wonderful. Keep them coming. Can’t wait to make this sandwich and try your other recipes. Thank you.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Awe, thanks Jennie. I miss my dad. He was such a pain in my butt, but I miss him anyway. Lol. It’s fun to look through all his photos. Sure wish I had gone to Alaska with him. You always think there’s more time right. I’m so glad he got to go though. He said it was the trip of a lifetime.

  15. TW says

    found your stories about your dad inspiring. Especially about him not looking for approval, his own approval was enough. Think I am going to start living my life that way! Thank you

  16. Narda says

    This was an amazing post. Love to hear you talk about your dad, he sounded like a wonderful man. Reminded me of my dad who I recently lost who also liked to cook.

  17. Clarissa says

    I cried reading your post, a good cry losing a parent is so hard!! I lost my dad when I was 17, I had a 2 year old at the time. He was very upset with me because I became a teenage mom but we made peace 6 months before he died. I really wish he could see my son now, he is almost 20 and in the army :) thank you for sharing and I will be making your sandwich soon, god bless!!

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Hi Clarissa. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave me a comment. I’m so sorry you lost your father so young. I have much empathy, I lost my mom when I was 15 so I feel for you so very much. Not many people know this but I never fought with my mom as a kid, then we had our first blow up the day before she passed. I lied to her about something and she was so upset with me. Not that I did something wrong but because we always told her everything. So she felt so slapped in the face that I didn’t tell her the truth. I beat myself up about it for years and years. It was horrible, 20 years of torturing myself over it. Then when my dad got sick and we made peace with the past I realized how silly it was to carry that for so long. She would have forgiven me, I just couldn’t forgive myself. I was finally able to let that guilt go. I bet your dad was ultimately proud of you, you rose to the occasion and raised a fabulous son. I think he would be so proud of you, and your son if he was here.

      I had my son young. I was 19 and in an abusive relationship. My dad was so worried for me. I think sometimes fathers don’t communicate well, and maybe what we perceive as disappointment is really fear and concern. I turned my life around but I’m sure there was a time he was incredibly concerned for me, and about me. I’m so glad I made peace with my dad, and I’m so happy you were able to make peace with yours. We all deserve peace in life.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experience with me. It always helps us heal when we share our lives with others.

      Reach out any time. xx

  18. Cissy Hassell says

    Ran across your steak sandwich recipe while trying to find something new to fix. Are the carmelized onions a side dish? If not, when do you put them on the sandwich?

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Hey Cissy, thanks for swinging by. And thanks for catching that. Not sure what happened. That step seems to have disappeared, so I edited it back in. You add the onions over top of the meat as you stack the sandwich. So cheese, steak, onions, then more cheese. Hope that helps. Hope you love the sandwich. And thanks again for the heads up about the error. Always appreciated.

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