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Steak Sandwich

Steak sandwich pieces side-by-side and stacked on top of each other on a wooden table.
Jamie Oliver's steak sandwich isn't your ordinary 'wich. Caramelized onions, sharp mustard, and lemony watercress means you'll want to buy extra flank steak at the butcher so you have leftovers.
Jamie Oliver

Prep 10 mins
Cook 45 mins
Total 55 mins
4 servings
590 kcal


  • 1 (minimum 14 oz) flank or skirt steak
  • 2 sprigs rosemary (optional)
  • 2 large onions
  • 5 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (3/4 oz) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 loaf ciabatta
  • English mustard such as Colman’s (optional)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 handful watercress


  • Remove the steak from the fridge, place it on parchment paper, and let it rest for 30 minutes or so to come to room temperature.
  • Meanwhile, peel the onions, removing the papery outer layer as well as the first layer of onion (reserve this for chicken stock, vegetable broth, or soup). Slice the rest of the onion into 3/4-inch-thick rounds. Place the bay leaves, butter, a glug of oil, and the sugar into a large frying pan or cast-iron skillet on medium heat. Once the butter melts, place the onions in the pan in a single layer, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes. Pour in the vinegar, pop the lid on, reduce the heat to low, and cook for around 35 minutes, or until beautifully golden and caramelized on the bottom only, adding splashes of water to loosen if needed. Remove and discard the bay leaves, if desired.
  • Meanwhile, pop the ciabatta in the oven, turn the oven to 225ºF (107°C), and let it alone until it's warmed through.
  • If desired, place 1 sprig rosemary beneath the steak and 1 sprig rosemary on it. Cover the steak with parchment paper and bash it with the bottom of a heavy pan to make it roughly the same thickness throughout and to tenderize it. Season the steak all over with salt and pepper. Place a large nonstick heavy-bottomed skillet on medium-high heat. Once the skillet is screaming hot but not smoking, drizzle the steak with olive oil, then put it in the skillet and cook for 3 minutes on each side for medium doneness, or for more or less time to your liking. Place the steak on a plate and let it rest for 1 minute or so. Then slice the steak 1/2 inch thick and toss the slices with its resting juices and a drizzle olive oil.
  • Cut the warm ciabatta in half lengthwise. Rub the cut side of the ciabatta with the steak’s resting juices, then spread on some mustard, if you like. On the bottom half of the ciabatta, layer the caramelized onions, the steak, and a little lemon-dressed watercress. Plop the remaining ciabatta on top, press it down lightly, carve it into decent chunks, and get involved.


*What can I use instead of flank steak?

This recipe is written specifically for flanks steak and, obviously, will be the best with that delish steak. However…if you can’t manage it, then a slab of skirt steak will also make the cut. Both are leaner cuts that need to be prepared in the same way. Finally, chuck steak is another option that will come pretty close as long as you slice it thinly, across the grain.