- 2 x 200 - 250g/8oz-9oz pieces trimmed skirt of beef
- 4 garlic clove, smashed and peeled
- small bunch thyme
This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…
- 6 tbsp olive oil
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- 1 oblong loaf sourdough bread
- 1 beefsteak tomato, sliced
A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…
- 6 long leaves Cos lettuce
For the sauce
- 50g cocktail gherkin, finely chopped
- 1 heaped tbsp capers, finely chopped
Capers are the small flower buds of the Capparis shrub, which grows in the Mediterranean. As…
- 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves finely chopped
- 7 tbsp good-quality mayonnaise
- splash Worcestershire sauce
- 4 shakes Tabasco sauce
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…
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Up to 2 days before, place the meat in a dish with the garlic, thyme, 4 tbsp of the olive oil and some freshly ground pepper. Cover and chill until needed. To make the sauce, tip the gherkins, capers, red onion and parsley into a bowl. Add ayonnaise to just bind the ingredients. Season to taste with Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco. Set aside.
Heat a pan until very hot and starting to smoke. Remove the meat from the marinade and sear the meat in the pan for about 20 mins until it’s really browned and cooked to medium-rare. If the pan isn’t big enough, you may need to do one piece at a time. Set the meat aside to rest.
Trim the loaf to a rough rectangle that will fit both steaks side-by-side, then cut the loaf lengthways into three.
Give the pan a wipe with kitchen paper, then place back onto a low-ish heat with the rest of the olive oil. Fry each slice of bread on both sides until crisp and browned, adding a drop more oil to the pan if necessary.
When ready to assemble the sandwich, carve the steak into thin slices. Starting with the bottom of the loaf, build up with half the lettuce leaves, then a generous spreading of the sauce, half the tomato, then a layer of sliced steak. Top with the middle piece of bread and repeat the layers, finishing with the top of the loaf.
Press down lightly on the sandwich and secure four times along the loaf with long wooden skewers. Using a very sharp bread knife, carefully cut between the skewers to give you 4 tall sandwiches. Serve the sandwiches with chips and any remaining sauce in a side dish.
Skirt, the cut I’ve used in this recipe, is what the French call onglet and the Americans call hanger steak. It's often used for mince; but its marbled texture and intense flavour make it a great cut for steak. If your butcher doesn’t have it, go for flank, which will give a similar result. If you are buying steak from the meat aisle, choose rump over a more expensive cut like sirloin or fillet.
Keep the fat in
Cuts such as onglet aren’t as tender as prime cuts, so it’s best to marinate the meat for as long as possible and only cook it medium-rare at the most or it will toughen further. If you like your meat well-done, I suggest you use a rib steak, as it has lots of fat running through it, so it won’t dry up or toughen as much as the leaner cuts.
When I worked for chef Albert Roux, he gave me one of the best steaks I’d tasted. It was skirt, a cut of beef we don’t use for steak in Britain – though a savvy butcher will take it home to grill. It’s not as tender as fillet, but has lots more flavour; it’s the perfect cut for my steak sandwich
Do it on the barbie
Skirt is also the perfect cut for the barbecue, as cooking a whole piece of meat and carving it is easier than cooking individual steaks.