December 15, 2010

Harissa Steak Sandwich

It has taken me a year to find the harissa for this sandwich. Yes, one whole year. It became sort of a quest, actually. I looked at every store I could think of, and finally broke down and purchased some on the Internet. (I should of done that in the first place, but I was determined--for some odd-ball reason--to find it in an actual store...weird, I know.) After a year of wanting to try this recipe, I finally, FINALLY got to make it last night. And you know was good. Really good. Really, really good. Mainly, I am just relieved that my quest for harissa is over. Whew!

Harissa Steak Sandwich
From: Jeffery Saad, via the Aggie's Kitchen website

1 10-12 oz. New York strip steak or steak of your choice
3 Tb Harissa
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tb olive oil
1/2 C. mayo
1/4 C fresh chopped mint
1/4 C chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic chopped
Pinch of salt
Sandwich rolls or bread of your choice
1 yellow tomato or tomato of your choice
2 C arugula leaves (watercress is good as well, spinach if you want less spice)

Heat up your grill, grill pan or sauté pan to medium high.
Season the steak with salt and pepper. Rub 1 Tb of the harissa on each side of the steak.
Wipe down grill with a little oil. Place steak on grill and cook for about 3 minutes. Flip. Cook 3 more minutes (this will yield MR depending on the thickness of the steak. Adjust for your taste and for the size of the steak).
While the steak is cooking place the mayo in a medium size bowl.
In a small sauté pan over med heat add the olive oil. Once hot add the mint and garlic. Cook for 30 seconds just until you smell the perfume of the garlic and mint. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and a pinch of salt. Turn the heat off and stir. Stir mixture into the mayo. The warm mixture will immediately permeate the mayo with flavor and give it a beautiful color. Stir the remaining 1 Tb of Harissa into the mayo.

Grill the bread if you like. Spread mayo on both sides of the bread.
Slice the steak and lay across the bread.
Top with sliced tomato and arugula.

Makes 2-4 tasty sandwiches depending on how much meat you like!


*New York, Rib eye or Filet mignon will be a treat and will be very tender. The thicker the steak the better because you can get a nice crust on the steak and still have a MR, juicy center. A thin steak will often over cook by the time you get a crust. You can use a less expensive cut that will also be flavorful but I would recommend cutting it thin before grilling so it is more tender. The key is to not overcook the meat or you will lose the juiciness and tenderness. Also, make sure to let the steak sit for ten minutes before slicing to allow the juices to re-absorb. They will then absorb into your bread instead of being left on the cutting board.

*Don’t let the mint and garlic turn brown unless you like the more toasted flavor. I like to preserve the delicate perfume of the mint and garlic which then permeates the mayo and creates a fresh, bright balance to the deep, spicy richness of the harissa.

*Make sure your grill, grill pan or sauté pan is hot and oiled before you place the meat down or the moisture of the harissa will make the steak stick.

The Result:
My camera battery needs to be recharged, so I didn't get a photo of this yummy sandwich. We all loved it; even our picky boy, who ate it up. I am happy to have some of the leftover mayo mixture, because I think it will be a great topping for other things (I am thinking on veggie or salmon burgers, or even thinned out and used for salad dressing.) Yum! If you can get your hands on some harissa, then I highly recommend giving this sandwich a try.

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