Best Steak Sandwich Recipe Ever: The Chimichurri Cheesesteak
I took a little trip recently and embraced my best inner semi-retired life down in Florida and decided to pretend every day was a Food Network gameshow creating some amazing sandwich recipes for you using my favourite way to cook: off my bbq. The first sandwich I made is my own take on the Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich, because of course, I can’t just keep a classic sandwich a classic sandwich. I really looked at what are the core parts of this sandwich: meat, cheese and bread, and then evaluated how I can do it differently. I have to say this is probably one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever made. I used some beautiful AAA beef tenderloin, and grilled it to perfection using the reverse sear method, beautifully grilled onions on the cast iron, made the most epic cheese frico which is just thick-cut pieces of Provolone cheese that become crispy and golden on the bottom and gooey and melty in the centre. To give it some freshness and acidic flavour, I made some Chimichurri sauce with fresh herbs, lime juice and apple cider vinegar to balance it all out. Keep reading to find out more about my fool-proof reverse-sear method using indirect heat on your bbq that will make your steak melt-in-your-mouth perfect every time, or jump to the full recipe for this epic Chimichurri Cheesesteak Sandwich.
The first step of the recipe is to take your beautiful AAA beef tenderloin and brush it with some olive oil so it doesn't stick to the grill. Cook on indirect heat for about 30-40 minutes, or until the meat has reached an internal temperature of 110F-115F degrees.
While the meat is cooking, you are going to start to make all the toppings for the sandwich. The first thing to make is your chimichurri sauce using a serrano pepper, garlic, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, fresh parsley and cilantro, olive oil and salt. For best results, make sure to let the pepper and garlic lightly pickle in the apple cider vinegar as you chop the rest of the ingredients.
The next thing to make are your grilled onions. Thinly slice your onion into rounds and then grill in your cast iron pan with some olive oil. The onions are ready once they have some nice colour and are caramelized, some will be a bit softer and others will have a nice crunch.
Don't worry, I didn't forget about the meat! Once the beef tenderloin has reached the proper internal temperature (110F-115F degrees) pull it from the bbq and then crank up the heat to high. The only seasoning you need on the beef is some salt and pepper on all sides, and then place it back on your raging hot grill to sear it for about 2-3 minutes per side. Once done, remove from the bbq and let rest, about 10 minutes and then thinly slice the meat for your sandwich.
The last topping for the sandwich is the coolest part. While a traditional Philly Cheesesteak uses Cheese Whiz, I went a different route and grilled up some thick-cut Provolone cheese in my cast iron. It doesn't take long for the cheese to get crispy and golden on the bottom and bubbly and melty on the top. Add the grilled Provolone on top of the sliced beef, grilled onions and chimichurri sauce.
And there you have. The best steak sandwich you will ever have. I rolled mine up in some parchment paper and cut it in half and just look at that epic cross-section.
What is Indirect Heat?
to then wanIf you know me, you know that I am a big fan of the reverse-sear method for cooking steak on the bbq. The method is pretty straightforward and it’s all thanks to cooking your meat on indirect heat. You get a slower cook, with no flames or flare ups, but that same amazing bbq flavour. All you need to do is turn on one of the burners of your bbq on high and keep the rest off. If you’re using a charcoal bbq, you can keep the coals to one side and place your meat on the opposite side of the grill. Make sure to keep your bbq closed while using this method so your temperature stays consistent, it usually needs about 30-40 minutes depending on the thickness of the cut of meat, and after that point you can open it up and using a probe thermometer you want it to be reading around 110F-115F. Once you hit this internal temperature, you take the meat off the bbq and then want to crank up the heat on your bbq to high. Once the grill is raging hot, put your meat back on to sear each side for 2-3 minutes. You'll have the perfect steak every time. Keep reading to find out how to make the most epic steak sandwich using this amazing grilling hack.
And now for the full recipe...
Chimichurri Cheesesteak Sandwich
Makes 2 large sandwiches (serves 2-4 people)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
2 lbs AAA Beef tenderloin
1 baguette cut in half, or 2 crusty sub rolls
4-6 slices thick-cut Provolone cheese
1 large white or Vidalia onion
1 Serrano or jalapeno pepper
4 cloves garlic
¼ cup Apple cider vinegar
1 bunch Italian parsley
1 bunch cilantro
2-4 tbsps Olive oil
Cast iron skillet
How to make it:
Brush the beef tenderloin with olive oil on all sides. Cook on the barbeque on indirect heat for 30-40 minutes.
While the beef is cooking, make your chimichurri sauce. Start by finely chopping the serrano or jalapeno pepper and place in a medium sized bowl. I used about half the serrano pepper, but you can use more or less, depending how much heat you like. Mince your fresh garlic and add to the pepper. Pour the apple cider vinegar into your bowl to just cover the pepper and garlic, so they start to lightly pickle. Finely chop your parsley and cilantro and add to your serrano, garlic and vinegar mixture. Add juice from four limes and stir. Add a little bit more apple cider vinegar and 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and mix. Add a pinch of salt and stir again then set aside.
To make your grilled onions, remove both ends of the onion and the skin, and cut into about a ¼ inch thick rounds. Heat your cast iron on your bbq, or if it has a burner use that. Add olive oil to the pan and once hot, add in your onions.
While the onions are cooking, check on your beef tenderloin. Once it has reached an internal temperature of 110F-115F remove from the grill. Turn all the bbq burners on high to get it raging hot. As the bbq is coming up to temperature, make sure to flip your onions.
Next, season your beef tenderloin liberally with salt and some black pepper on all sides. Put the beef back onto the raging hot grill to get a nice sear, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Once seared, remove from the heat and let rest, about 10 minutes.
Once the onions are softened and nicely caramelized, remove from the cast iron and set aside. Keep your cast iron off the bbq and to the side for later use.
To prepare the cheese, use the cast iron from the onions and place it back onto the bbq or burner and add your thick cut Provolone cheese to the pan. Let it melt and crisp up around the edges, about 2-3 minutes. The bottom of the cheese should be a nice crispy golden colour, while the top is still light coloured and a bit melted.
To build your sandwich, take your sub bun and cut it in half, but not all the way through, leaving it slightly attached at one side. Place the bun on the grill for a minute or two to warm it up. Then, cut your beef tenderloin into thin slices. To assemble, place your grilled bun on a large piece of parchment paper and open it up, place down your steak on one side of the bun, add the grilled onions, top with the chimichurri sauce and the melted cheese. Using a fork, tuck the cheese into the bun so it can be closed. Fold the parchment paper over the sandwich, then fold in each side and roll it up. With a serrated knife, cut the sandwich in half and enjoy. You can crush the whole thing yourself, or be nice and give half to a friend, but likely you will want to crush the whole thing yourself because it is pretty epic.
Make sure to subscribe to my newsletter so you never miss out on a new recipe, follow me on all my social channels @chefmattbasile and check out my YouTube Channel for the full step-by-step recipe video.