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RBR Tailgating: Return of The Once A Month Steak Sandwich

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One of my favorite football watching foods pops up for the annual Alabama-Clemson reunion.

This is the first rerun I’ve allowed on this site. There’s a slight variation this go round, but I posted this recipe originally on October 24th, 2014. I was going to say that I repeated it because it’s a winner and we should have a winner for that final. The plan was to milk a few paragraphs out of that notion but honestly, since I’ve been doing this I’ve only had a few tacos, a burger blend, a chicken stew, or so fail the team so winning recipes as superstitious boons don’t carry a lot of cachet round these parts.

The truth is that I’m bringing this back because it’s the easiest and most likely to please a football crowd offering I’ve put forth. I also like the idea of repeating a recipe because, well… here we are again. Us vs. them. There are plenty of Dabo detractors on this site and I sympathize. But you can’t look at what he’s done and shrug it off.

I think a lot of the Dabo criticism stems from the belief that he will get “called home” when Saban eventually retires in 2037. His style and how he handles his public relations are at odds with what we consider “Alabamian.” The results don’t matter so much as the fit. For a multitude of reasons I don’t believe he will ever coach in Crimson.

Who wants to follow Saban? We as a fan base are embracing this moment, this run, and we damn well better. There will be talent out there, but how many bright futures want to be eclipsed by the shadow of Our Dark Lord. Hell, it was hard enough being compared to Bryant.

And Dabo has built something amazing at Clemson. He doesn’t need to be an inheritor. I suspect any overtures from Tuscaloosa would be listened to, but eventually declined. That’s okay. If Clemson fans want to say that we can’t steal their coach we can point out that if it wasn’t for Saban whipping up on poor Tommy Bowden you wouldn’t get Swinney and your program might be a bit more interesting than NC State every few years. You’re welcome.

One final note on the I-noticed-something-weird front. We are playing the Tigers for the fourth time in as many years in the playoffs. This is the fourth Tigers we’ve played this year. That’s unlikely to ever happen again. Such fearful symmetry.

The Once a Month Steak Sandwich

- flank steak

- soy sauce

- French bread

- Roma tomato

- arugula

- provolone

- sesame oil

- garlic

- red wine vinegar

Start by poking the steak with a fork. As I mentioned last time I posted this I poke it because my mom once told me that helped the marinade seep into the flesh. They are such tiny holes. I have no idea if this matters but I do it because she was a) my mom, and b) a very good cook. Do it as you will.

I didn’t do proportions in the recipe as it’s a sandwich and can be eyeballed. So put whatever sized flank you bought in a shallow dish. You’ll want the steak to lay flat. In my experience the typical flank cut fits nicely in a 9”x13” pyrex. Pour soy sauce to cover three quarters of the meat. Flip it around a few times to coat, and then let marinate for fifteen minutes, flip over and marinate for another fifteen minutes.

I like to broil this on high (or “HI” as the digital display reads) for four minutes per side assuming the standard butcher’s cut, but feel free to grill or whatever. I like mine medium rare. Again, feel free to follow my example, bring it up to medium, or keep cooking until you have shoe leather. It’s your steak.

Let the meat rest and then cut in to be sure it’s cooked to satisfaction.

This is key. Cut the meat as thinly as you can. Flank sometimes wants to be tough. Take away that ability. Ribbons.

Take four or five slices of bacon and make grease. Eat the bacon, feed it to the kids or the dog. The actual meat is secondary. We want that sweet flavorful byproduct.

Slice some French bread into six inch pieces, shave off the crusty tops and bottoms and then slice lengthwise.

Dip the inside surface of each slice of bread in the bacon grease.

Add steak, sliced provolone, sliced tomato, and… you’ve made a sandwich before so I’ll skip the directions here.

I do recommend tossing the arugula in a simple vinaigrette made with garlic, sesame oil, and red wine vinegar. A little salt helps, but in this case isn’t necessary (first time I’ve ever said that I think) as the meat is bathed in soy goodness to give the whole a pleasant flavor. The vinaigrette adds a complimentary nuttiness.

I like mine grilled in a Panini press. If you don’t have one, bake the sandwich open faced in an oven at 400˚F oven and hold back the tomato and arugula until you remove it from the heat. Either Panini or oven, cook until the bread is crisp and the cheese is melted.

It’s a simple crowd pleaser that can be made for two or twenty with minimal effort.

If you’re planning a get together for the game, there are a few steps you can take to make the event as close to attending the live game as possible.

First, think about your close knit friends. Who amongst them is the least likely to care about college football? Once you’ve identified that person press like mad to have the event held at their house. Bonus if they both have no interest in the game and a well appointed but distant and uneasily accessible lake or country house at least a few hours from where you live. That’s closing in on the Santa Clara experience.

Here we go, once more.

Enjoy, no injuries, and Roll Tide.