7.06.2019

Seasonal Alignment

It’s summer in Tucson.

That is like saying it’s winter in Antarctica.

But I love it. It’s hot, dry, and slow.

Until monsoon season, that is, when stupefying hot collides with indescribable wet. Between dazzling electrical shows, though, it’s still slow.

When we lived back East, grilling season was summer and it was brief. The grill came out Memorial Day and was put away after Labor Day... or maybe Columbus Day, if you were lucky.

Here in the Sonoran Desert, grilling is an all-season sport. Other than ever-changing seasonal vegetables, there is nothing to distinguish what meats get grilled in the summer from those which get grilled in autumn, winter, or spring.

Except, for some reason to me, steak sandwiches. They were a summer standard growing up in our home. Mom marinated, Dad grilled, and Mom sliced them, turning them into irresistible sandwiches with her special sauce.

Right now, it’s summer both here and back East. The seasons are aligned and it’s time for a steak sandwich, with some nice red wine. I paired the sandwich with a Côte-Rôtie. Head over to the Provence WineZine to read more about this wine.

An aside: I’m back to believing there’s a spy in my kitchen. I made this on Sunday, June 23rd and, on Monday morning, June 24th, Melissa Clark announced in The NY Times: Grilled Flank Steak with Worcestershire Butter. Seriously? Am I frightened? Flattered? Paranoid? I will go with flattered.

~ David

Grilled Steak Sandwich
(my recipes for Focaccia and Worcestershire sauce are linked below)

1 flank steak, roughly 1 1/4 pounds
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (I used Sicilian lemon white balsamic)
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 pieces
Focaccia, about 5-inches square, or 4 sandwich rolls

2 tablespoons
Worcestershire Sauce
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

First thing in the morning, prepare and marinate the steak. Place a double layer of aluminum foil — about 24 inches (60 cm) — on the counter. Place the steak in the middle.

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sugar, paprika, Dijon mustard, dried basil, dried oregano, salt, and black pepper. Pour half the marinade on the steak and spread it evenly. Turn the steak and spread the other side with the remaining marinade. Wrap tightly in the foil (this keeps marinade on both sides) and place in the refrigerator to marinate for the day (overnight marinating is okay, too).

About an hour before serving, remove steak from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Heat your grill (charcoal or gas, or you can use a cast iron pan on the stovetop). About 12 minutes before serving, unwrap the steak and grill 3 minutes on one side, and 2 1/2 minutes on the other for medium rare. Place cooked steak on a cutting board, cover, and let sit 5 minutes.

To serve, prepare the sauce by heating the Worcestershire sauce and butter together until sizzling. Set aside. Slice the focaccia or rolls.

Flank steaks are a tough cut of beef and, in addition to being marinated at least 8 hours, they need to be sliced very thinly on a 45-degree angle against the grain; improper slicing will leave it tough.

Divide the sliced meat among the focaccia/rolls and top with a drizzle of the sauce. Serve with a green salad. 

Serves 4.


28 comments:

  1. Flattered definitely David ! Enjoy the day :-)

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  2. Ahh, flanks steak sandwiches I can't help but think of my dad when I look at the beautifully grilled shards of steak in this post. A plate of freshly sliced flank steak was something my dad called earthworms and salamanders. And he always made us choose which we wanted the earthworms or the salamanders! The earthworms were the long skinny pieces that come from the center of the flank steak. They were usually quite rare and could practically be twirled around a fork like spaghetti. They were not at all tough, but satisfyingly chewy. But salamanders were shorter, meatier and more well done. They came from the ends of the flank steak. Do you have a preference for earthworms or salamanders?? GREG

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    1. I love this story, Greg. I don't know why but I can envision the entire scene as a 1960s homemade movie... slightly yellowed with time.

      I think I would have to say that I prefer the salamanders, Greg. I like the slightly charred bits - the sweetness they give. But, if a few earthworms crept in, well then, so be it.

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  3. Yes, well, here we go ! In Australia we would not know what grilling outdoors means :) ! One barbecues on the barbecue outside and grills in the grill drawer of the stove or on the stovetop indoors ! Simple !! In my area barbecues get put away perchance May-September. All that said I do love your steak marinade recipe which methinks would suit any kind of steak or chops . . . love steak sandwiches also and am likely to try this for some business lunch come next week. Worcestershire is very British and naturally in my pantry but I seem o make little use of it: promise to try ! Love the photo !!

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    1. I love how words mean so many different things within one language! Of course we also use barbecue for out-of-door cooking, and grilling for indoor, as well... but then there is the crossover... And if you want a real treat, Eha, check out my recipe fro homemade Worcestershire sauce!

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  4. Oh yes, I'd much rather be in very hot and dry than very hot and humid, which is what I just endured for a month in Italy! BRUTAL. These sandwiches would be a favorite for my husband who loves beef, but I'm just not that big of a beef girl. I should probably venture into some more recipes like this one! Looks good, David! Stay cool!

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    1. I think you would like this one, Christina - especially the Worcestershire butter!

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  5. David, you make simple dishes look sumptuous and complex dishes look like something I could dare to dream to try. I'm so grateful for your blog!

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    1. Wow - this is probably one of the nicest comments I could ever receive! Thank you!

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  6. That steak couldn't look more perfectly cooked. Exactly how I would order it! Love that your parents each had their role with this. Love food memories of this sort. And that sauce! Yes please!

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    1. The nice thing about the sauce, Valentina, is that you can make sure it’s GF for your son!

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  7. Dear David, lovely food memories, beautiful pics with very, very pretty props and, yes, a wonderful recipe - and you should feel flattered...;)
    Liebe Grüße aus dem sonnigen Bonn!
    andrea

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    1. Food memories are often our strongest and best... thanks, dear Andrea!

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  8. I love the picture of the roadrunner in the embroidery- he is a recurring theme in your photos. And that flank steak- can't wait for 'grilling season' to begin!

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    1. You have a bit of a wait, Fran - but it will be worth it! Yes, the roadrunner and armadillo are quite fun!

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  9. I'm not sure if I could live in a desert climate year round, but one things for sure, I'll take dry heat over humidity every time! And one of those steak sandwiches, please...

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    1. We are the same, Frank - and you have quite the humidity index their in the DC area!

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  10. Flank steak is wonderful stuff. SO much flavor. One of the best cuts of steak to grill, IMO. Haven't had a steak sandwich for ages -- of course I'm craving one right now. :-) Thanks!

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    1. We are of the same mind, John - the flavor of flank steak is the best!

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  11. we're not steak eaters in this house but your sandwich does indeed look delicious. i too make my own Worcestershire sauce. it has an amazing flavour doesn't it? yes we talk about cooking on the BBQ rather than grilling but we know what you mean:-) cheers sherry

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    1. Homemade is always so much better! Glad you make your own, too!

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  12. oh yes i meant to say i love that armadillo on your tablecloth/tea towel(?)

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  13. David, I love a good steak sandwich, and this is definitely a good one! One day I really must make your garlic-free Worcestershire sauce.

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    1. You will love the Worcestershire sauce! Now that I think of it, wasn’t it my Worcestershire sauce posts (A Killer Condiment) that brought us together, Jean?

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  14. Great minds, David! I'm so dreaming about this steak sandwich! Especially with the focaccia and the Worcestershire butter sauce. Delicious!

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    1. Thanks, Kelly. The Worcestershire Butter is good on so many things!

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