Flank Steak Sandwiches with Tomato Chutney
The full-bodied combination of ingredients in this sandwich—Manchego cheese, arugula and a piquant chutney seasoned with sherry vinegar—owes much to the Spanish countryside. Beefy flank steak stands up well to refrigeration, so grilling the night before is a great option for serving the sandwiches at a picnic.
For the tomato chutney:
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 1 large canned chipotle chile in adobo, plus 1 to 2 tsp. adobo sauce
- 3 Tbs. sherry vinegar
- 2 Tbs. firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 6 canned San Marzano tomatoes, drained, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch (2-cm) chunks
- 1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
For the sandwiches:
- 1 flank steak, about 1 lb. (500 g)
- 1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 6 pieces plain focaccia, each about 3 inches (7.5 cm) square, split horizontally
- 6 oz. (185 g) Manchego or aged pecorino romano cheese, thinly sliced
- 2 cups (2 oz./60 g) baby arugula
- 1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml) mayonnaise
To prepare the chutney, in a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the shallot, chile and sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and salt. Bring to a simmer, stirring. Cover and cook until the shallot is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and Worcestershire sauce. Partially cover the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
To prepare the sandwiches, place the flank steak in a large baking dish and brush both sides with the oil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Let stand for at least 1 hour at room temperature or up to 3 hours in the refrigerator. If the steak is refrigerated, bring to room temperature before grilling.
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill or preheat a cast-iron stove-top grill pan over high heat. Place the steak on the grill rack over the hottest part of the fire, or in the grill pan, and cook without moving it for 5 minutes. Turn and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the steak registers 130° to 135°F (54° to 57°C) for medium-rare, 4 to 6 minutes, or to your desired doneness. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.
Cut the steak against the grain into thin slices. Spread the chutney on the focaccia bottoms. Layer with the sliced flank steak, cheese and arugula. Spread the focaccia tops lightly with the mayonnaise and place on the sandwiches. Serve immediately. Serves 6.
Recipe adapted from The Cook & the Butcher, by Brigit Binns (Weldon Owen, 2011)