On the eve of his departure (he’s headed to Korea for field work), Tito took one look at our leftover steak and channeled Nino, who must have been the big Italian dude in charge of the menu at Nino’s on Charles street in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood, where we lived a few years back. I never actually met Nino, but based on some of the subs the place offered, I don’t think it’s outrageous of me to assume he was a pretty hefty guy.
Our favorite was the steak sub, which we usually opted to convert into a steak and egg sandwich topped with melted provolone. We dubbed it The Steak Bomb, and when our 5th floor walk-up got hot in the summer, it somehow made everything better. Perhaps it was just cheaper than any of the salads sold on our street.
The S.B. was a toasty, buttery bun, loaded with hot sauteed onions and shaved steak that had been mixed with scrambled eggs, topped with a slab of provolone, and melted just enough, in the pizza oven, if I remember correctly. It was massive, and it was a sandwich of commitment. You know the type: once you pick it up, you either have to keep holding it and finish it, or put it down and risk having it explode with all its supernatural sandwich force all over your plate/lap/clothing.
Here’s our home version. Considerably smaller and much less greasy, but not for lack of trying. We just don’t have a twenty-year-old griddle, that’s all.
The Steak Bomb
Recipe 152 of 365
For some reason, writing out a letter-by-letter recipe for a steak bomb seems like utter sacrilege.
Here’s the idea:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and heat a big cast iron pan over medium heat. Melt a hunk of butter in the pan. Open up two big hoagie rolls and smear the insides around in the melted butter. Toast them in the oven for a few minutes, until just colored around the edges.
Add a little olive oil to the pan, and saute half an onion, sliced very thin, for about 10 minutes, or until good and brown. Add a mess of thinly sliced leftover steak (about 1/2 pound), and some bell peppers, if you please, and saute until you get that good meat aroma going.
(Did you forget about the rolls? Put them on a baking sheet, this could get messy.)
Skooch the onions and steak to the edges of the pan, and add a bit more butter to the center of the skillet. Crack in two eggs, let them cook there until the whites begin to gel a bit, then scramble them in the center of the pan. Mix them up with the steak and onions.
Put a little cheese on the buns. (Provolone would be ideal, mozzarella or cheddar would work; I used string cheese, because hey, you got what you got.) Pile the steak/onion/egg mixture into the buns, and slap some more cheese on top.
Bake the sandwiches until the cheese is good and melty, about 5 minutes on the top rack.
Now, eat it. Without putting it down.
And no, using the sweat from your beer glass to clean your hands afterwards is not shameful.