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.
Places to stalk Cravings of a Lunatic!
- 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. Top with caramelized onions. Then 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!
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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Toodles and smoochies! xx