Strip Steak Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions and Gruyere

Dsc01587 March 2nd, 2008 will go down in history as a very big day for Peanut Butter and Julie, because today marks my 100th post.   It seems like only yesterday I was blogging about Halloween and glazed pumpkin doughnuts…..  I am having a great time writing about my kitchen conquests, and my friends and family are having an even better time sampling them.  Thank you for your comments and for continuing to visit.  I look forward to the next hundred postings.

The honor of the 100th Peanut Butter and Julie post goes to (drum roll) Strip Steak Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions and Gruyere, a mouthful to say and an even bigger mouthful to eat.  Trust me, I watched Eric gobble his down last night, and you might want to seriously consider serving these with a knife and fork!  Marinating these steaks and then grilling them at a high temperature makes them tender and juicy.  Pairing them with nutty caramelized onions, tangy Gruyere, sweet and sour pickles, and crusty buttery bread makes one incredible sandwich.  It’s almost like an upscale version of the famous Philly cheesesteak.  And whether you are loyal to Pat’s or Geno’s version, you’ll surely be a fan of this colossal creation.  Here are a few tips for sizzling steak sandwiches:

  • Although I prepared the sandwiches using strip steaks, you can use other cuts, such as rib-eye, flank, or tenderloin tenderloin.
  • If you like your caramelized onions to have more of a "sweet and sour" flavoring to them,  continue to add more cider vinegar throughout the cooking process until they reach your desired flavor.
  • As a serving suggestion, cut russet and sweet potatoes into thick wedges.  Toss in olive oil, Dsc01579 ground coriander, mustard seed, coarse sea salt and ground pepper and roast at 425F for 25-3o minutes, tossing occasionally.  Serve alongside the sandwiches.
  • For an additional layer of flavor, try adding caraway seeds or fennel seeds to the caramelized onion mixture, prior to sauteing in the skillet.  Crush the seeds a bit prior to adding them in order to help them release their flavor.  If you don’t have a mortar and pestle to do this, use the bottom of a heavy mug or small saucepan.
  • Try substituting extra sharp cheddar, provolone, swiss, or blue cheese crumbles for the Gruyere cheese.
  • Instead of ciabatta, try substituting sourdough, whole grain, or roasted garlic loaves of bread.  Make sure that you use a fresh bakery bread however, as it is an important component of the sandwich.
  • Be sure to allow the steak to rest for a few minutes after grilling.  This allows for the juices to accumulate on the inside.

Strip Steak Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions and Gruyere

Serves 4


1 cup fresh orange juice

1/2 cup lime juice

1/4 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon ground cumin

4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

2 pounds New York strip steak, trimmed of excess fat

For caramelized onions

2 yellow onions, sliced into 1/4 inch rings

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon light brown sugarDsc01574

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste


1 loaf ciabatta bread (16 inches), split horizontally and quartered crosswise

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

6 ounces Gruyere cheese, thinly sliced

Bread and butter pickle slices (optional)

Prepare marinade: In a shallow dish, combine the orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, cumin, and garlic.  Add the steaks, turning to coat, and refrigerate, covered, for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

Make the caramelized onions: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the olive oil, onions, brown sugar, garlic, and vinegar and stir to mix. Cook until the onions are golden, stirring often, about 25 minutes.  Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.

Preheat a grill pan to medium-high and preheat the oven to 400F degrees.  Pat the steaks dry and season with salt and pepper.  Discard the marinade.  Grill to desired level of doneness, 5-6 minutes on each side for medium rare.  Let rest.

Butter the pieces of bread and grill, buttered side down, for 2 minutes.  Place the Gruyere on the bottom halves and bake in the oven until melted.  Slice the steak thinly, against the grain.  Top the cheese with pickles, steak, caramelized onions, and the top halves of the bread.  Halve each sandwich and serve. 

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