For my final sandwich, I plucked up the courage to face a really big fear: cooking steak. My man absolutely adores steak and orders it every chance he gets when dining out. Too scared of failing to measure up to those dishes, I refused to buy beef—let alone make it for dinner—and always chose chicken instead.
How could I learn unless I actually tried? I’m pretty sure the sky wouldn’t fall if I under seasoned it, or the world wouldn’t end if I turned it into leather. So. Deep breath. March into the store, meander to the back, and…
Freeze. Holy cow, how many different cuts of beef are there?? I thought it would just be ground and… Well, steak. Turns out Safeway sells at least 9 bazillion, half of which sound exactly the same. (Bottom round roast, bottom round steak… Top round roast, round tip roast… Tri-tip, sirloin tip, round tip… Both a dyslexic’s and speed reader’s nightmare!)
I grabbed something with a reasonable price tag, staggered to the cashier, and finally stopped hyperventilating when I buckled myself safely into my car. Back at home, I whisked together a quick marinade for the meat and let it sit in the fridge all day while I tried (unsuccessfully) to forget about it. But I did actually cook the steak, I did actually eat a piece, and I did actually grin at the end.
I did it, I cooked steak, and I’m actually excited to do it again!
Spicy Steak Sandwiches
Lemon juice can be substituted for the lime, or even white or rice vinegar if you aren’t a fan of citrus. Serve with coleslaw to round out the meal.
¼ c. lime juice (about 6 key limes)
¼ c. water
2 tbsp chili garlic sauce
½ tsp salt
1 lb steak, trimmed (I used stew meat—it doesn’t have to be expensive!)
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 whole-wheat sandwich thins
- Combine the first four ingredients (lime juice through salt) in a Ziploc bag. Cut the steak into 1”-wide strips, and add to the bag. Squeeze all of the air out of the bag, seal, and chill for 3 hours, or overnight.
- Cook the onion over medium-high heat in a large pan lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray, stirring frequently, until it turns translucent. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and continue cooking and stirring until the onion turns golden. Remove from the pan.
- Recoat the pan with nonstick cooking spray, and cook the beef in batches over medium-low heat for about 2-3 min per side, or until just cooked through. (The time will vary with how thick your pieces are.) Let the steak rest for 5-10 min.
- While the steak rests, toast the sandwiches thins in a toaster oven until light golden brown. Put one-quarter of the steak on the bottom of each sandwich thin, and top with one-quarter of the onions and the top pieces of bread.