Amazing steak sandwiches layered with caramelized onions, mozzarella cheese and barbecue sauce. This recipe will become one of your family favorites!
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.
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.
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- 2 Spanish or Sweet onions, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- Dash of salt
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 2 pounds boneless rib steak, thinly sliced
- 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
- 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!
Some of my Dad's favourite recipes:
Santa Cookies aka No Bake Coconut Macaroon Cookies
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.
Thanks for visiting today!
Check out my recipe index for more amazing recipes. You can find more sandwich recipes and tons of snack recipes.
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Aly ~ Cooking In Stilettos
Kim - this post brought the tears but it was beautiful. What a touching post and remembrance of your dad!
Angie | Big Bear's Wife
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!"
Connie | URBAN BAKES
This is MY kind of sandwich!! Love everything about it; it's actually making me hungry!
Annamaria @ Bakewell Junction
Remembering your loved ones in such a lovely way is wonderful. It keeps them with you all the time.
xoxo That's all.
Marion@Life Tastes Good
(((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)))
You have touched my heart! God Bless you. I am anxious to try your sandwich.
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.
Beautiful! Thank you♡
Jennie @ The Diary of a Real Housewife
My mouth is watering over this sandwich. Great stories on your father. I love the pictures
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.
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
Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. My dad was an interesting guy. Never dull. Miss him a lot.
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.
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!!
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
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?
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.
I have made these a bunch of times...they are soooo good! Thanks for the recipe!
I'm so glad you like them Noelle. Thanks for taking the time to let me know. I really appreciate it.
Came across your recipe and started to read your blog. It couldn't have come at a better time. I currently care for my mother, stage 4 terminal. What you said hit home. It was as if you were writing directly about me. Thank you. With out you knowing, you reached me at a time that I needed a boost so to speak.
First of all, I'm so sorry to hear about your Mom. It's never easy to watch a parent go through that. If you ever need someone to talk to never hesitate to reach out to me.
I highly recommend counselling through the hospital if it's available. I had a serious meltdown in the hospital once because the doctor treating my father basically told my Dad he deserved to be sick because he wasn't following his orders. My Dad was terrified to do radiation because his sister, who died of colon cancer, had an incredibly bad reaction to treatment. So he was hesitant to do radiation but was doing chemo. After his second round he was too sick to walk or function so we had to rush him in. I stood there with my Dad who was completely emaciated and not cognitive while the doctor told him he deserved this. I quietly got my Dad settled in a room then went to the doc's office with a witness and ripped him to shreds. It was awful but I just snapped. They suggested therapy because I was losing my mind trying to take care of him and balance my life too. I thought they were being dramatic because of my outburst but it was the best thing I ever did. My Dad was super difficult and we had a complicated relationship but the counsellor helped me cope and stay sane. I learned to let myself feel things and not push everything away for later. To this day I tell people it was the best and worst experience of my life. Getting to know my Dad better and understand who he was and why he was that way was a gift. A painful one, but a gift nonetheless.
If you ever need advice or someone to talk to please feel free to email me. It's a hard thing to go through alone. Sending you lots of love and empathy.
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!
Aw, thanks for this comment Tara. It made my day.