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A Steak Bomb Sandwich is a lip-smacking, fully-loaded steak and cheese sandwich that is sure to please any picky eater!

Steak Bomb Sandwich


Sometimes, my husband Jack goes a little over the top when he’s cooking.  And in the case of this Steak Bomb Sandwich – that’s a very, very good thing!

What is a Steak Bomb Sandwich?

A Steak Bomb Sandwich is a hot and messy steak sub or sandwich made with shaved steak and melted provolone cheese, plus sautéed onions, sautéed green bell peppers and mushrooms. It’s essentially ‘the bomb’ (aka very, very delicious) and that’s what inspired the name.

According to one school of thought, the Steak Bomb Sandwich is believed to have originated in New Haven, Connecticut at a burger restaurant called Louis’ Lunch.  (Another interesting tidbit: Louis’ Lunch also claims to have invented the first hamburger!)

But the Steak Bomb Sandwich is so beloved throughout all of New England, lots of other sub shops have tried to claim it as their own invention. Jitto’s Restaurant in Portsmouth, New Hampshire calls itself “The Home of the Steak Bomb.” And USA Subs in Derry, New Hampshire even went so far as to get a trademark on the name – just to get a leg up on their neighborhood competition!

Some versions of the Steak Bomb Sandwich include salami in the mix for some added zesty flavor. And at most sub shops in New England, you can order it with or without ‘hots’ (hot pepper relish).

Steak Bomb Sandwich

How do you make a Steak Bomb Sandwich?

Our Steak Bomb Sandwich combines tender shaved steak, melted provolone cheese, caramelized onions and peppers and mushrooms that we sautéed in bourbon, plus we slathered our homemade roasted garlic aioli onto the roll. (Don’t you want to take a bite out of this right now?)

Just use your favorite sandwich or sub roll for this recipe.  Here in New England we always go for ‘bulkie rolls’ from Rhode Island-based Calise Bakery (they are the best!) but any Kaiser, hoagie, sub, grinder, or soft crusty sandwich roll will do, as long as it can hold up to the juicy filling in this loaded steak and cheese sandwich.


Steak Bomb Sandwich

What kind of steak do you use when making a Steak Bomb Sandwich?

Some sub shops use steak tips for their Steak Bomb Sandwich, but a good-quality, shaved ribeye steak is traditional (and easier to eat).

Don’t be embarrassed to buy pre-shaved steak at the grocery store, or from your butcher. Most home cooks (including us) aren’t able to hand shave the ribeye steak thin enough for this type of sandwich (unless you happen to own a meat slicer).  Just be sure you buy shaved steak and not the pre-ground steak that is formed into strips – it’s definitely not the same tender cut of beef that you want to use when making this Steak Bomb Sandwich.

Served with our Roasted French-Style Potatoes (and a little Roasted Garlic Aioli on the side for dipping) – this is a hearty and delicious meal!

This post originally appeared on A Family Feast in March 2013. We’ve updated the photos.

You may enjoy these other Sandwich recipes:

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Steak Bomb Sandwich - A Family Feast

Steak Bomb Sandwich

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: entree, sandwich
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


  • 1 large peeled onion, sliced into five thick slices
  • 2 large green bell peppers sliced into long thick slices
  • 1 12-oz package button mushrooms
  • 5 tablespoons butter, separated
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, separated
  • Pinch of sugar
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Few grinds of pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds shaved steak (two 12-ounce packages)*
  • ¼ pound sliced provolone cheese (8 slices)
  • Bulkie or sub rolls
  • Roasted Garlic Aioli


  1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt one tablespoon of butter with one tablespoon of olive oil. Place the onion and pepper slices into the pan and slowly sauté for 15-20 minutes until browned and caramelized, stirring and flipping occasionally. Add a pinch of salt, a few grinds of pepper and a large pinch of sugar and stir to combine. Cook on low for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. While onions are cooking, heat a large skillet over high heat with one tablespoon of butter and one tablespoon of oil. (Mushrooms will be cooked in two batches). Once butter mixture is hot, place half the mushrooms in and stir. Cook for 2-3 minutes and flip each slice and cook for another 2 minutes then remove to a bowl.
  3. Repeat with one tablespoon of oil and butter and second half of mushrooms.
  4. When the second batch of mushrooms are cooked, add first batch back in with second batch and pull pan from burner. Add in bourbon and slowly place back on flame. The mixture should flame up and then burn off the alcohol. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
  5. Once the peppers and onions are cooked, add cooked mushrooms.
  6. Heat large skillet or flat griddle over medium high heat and add one tablespoon of olive oil and one tablespoon of butter. Add in half the steak and with two wooden spoons or tongs, pull steak apart and turn and cook for 2-3 minutes until cooked through. Season with a little more salt and pepper. Remove to the pan with the peppers and onions.
  7. Add remaining oil and butter and cook the rest of the beef then add to the other pan.
  8. Stir the mixture around and heat to hot. Make four large piles and place provolone slices over each pile and cover pan to melt the cheese, about one minute.
  9. Spread roasted garlic aioli onto bulkie roll or sub roll. With a spatula slide a serving of the steak and cheese mixture onto each roll and enjoy. We served ours with Roasted French-Style Potatoes.


I have found vast differences in what markets call shaved steak. Typically what you find in the market is steak shaved off a frozen block of beef scrap pieces. They put the scraps together into a square shape, freeze it and slice it paper thin. What you get after the meat thaws out is a lot of weepy tough pieces. In my opinion, the best option for shaved steak is a rib eye that you have a butcher shave for you. It cooks up quickly and is super tender and flavorful.

Keywords: steak bomb sandwich, steak sub


Steak Bomb Sandwich

Steak Bomb Sandwich

Here are our old photos:

This Steak Bomb Sandwich recipe combines tender shaved steak, melted provolone cheese, caramelized onions, mushrooms sautéed in bourbon, and our roasted garlic aioli into one amazingly good steak bomb sandwich.

Steak Bomb Sandwich - A Family Feast

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  • John Barron wrote:

    OMG! I have had many good (and bad) cheese steak hoagies over the years but this was amazing. I made these for my family tonight and it was a home run. I will never do them any other way.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks John! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • allison j burgueno wrote:

    This was excellent. I used other mushrooms, but other than that I followed the directions.
    It’s a little involved, but when ti comes together, the flavor is really nice. Good recipe and great comfort food!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Allison!

  • Darryl Dogan wrote:

    I’ve been making something very like this for years for my wife, minus the bourbon, sugar, and provolone. Some recipes call for Worchestershire sauce, which I haven’t used. My recipe uses Greek Seasoning on the meat and mozzarella slices instead of provolone, although either one would work, really… I use whatever bread I can get under this current crisis. Sometimes it’s bolillo rolls from Kroger’s (which are crusty) or lacking that, I’ll just grab a thing of sub rolls and toast them. And ordinarily (although I didn’t tonight) I serve it with an au jus dipping sauce, although I didn’t tonight. She never knew the difference.

    • Martha wrote:

      Sounds delicious Darryl! Thanks for the suggestions!

  • Jim Giovannetti wrote:

    I made this recipe for 15 at a tailgate gathering and people went crazy for the BOMB! Thank you for sharing and 4 people asked me for your recipe! Loved it and the fact that I made too much so I have delicious leftovers.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Jim! So glad the recipe was a hit! (Enjoy the leftovers!)

  • Debbie Green wrote:

    This was really good and easy! I just used onion buns, which I thought might be a little soft for the liquid, so I broiled the tops and bottoms separately. Then I piled them with the filling, placed the cheese on the bottom halves a and stuck them back in the broiler. I didn’t have the ingredients or time to make the garlic aioli, so it could have used a little kick of some kind of sauce. Is there another homemade sauce that wouldn’t be quite as time consuming? Also how do you get a flame from the bourbon unless you light it with a match?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Debbie – We cook with a gas stove so no match required, but if you cook with electric, you will need a match. The Garlic Aioli recipe really is quite easy – the most time consuming part is roasted the garlic in the oven. (You could do that ahead of time.) Hope you’ll give it a try!

  • Rita Cooper wrote:

    The ricotta cheese cookies were amazing.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Rita!

  • Bridget Beardsley wrote:

    Made theses twice now ,they are truly the bomb ,just mouth watering delicious &my son loved them .

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Bridget – so glad the recipe was a hit!

  • Sue wrote:

    Very good cooked the onions longer and added red bell peppers to the mix as well.

    • Martha wrote:

      Sounds delicious Sue!

  • Joyce wrote:

    Oh my gosh….WOW! That is not even enough to describe the flavor of this sandwich. I added sliced pepperoni to the recipe as that is how most places make their steak bombs in Rhode Island. THe potatoes, my favorite potato recipe by far. I do not usually eat white potatoes, but made them with the Yukon Golds. So glad there were only four of us for dinner tonight, would not have had enough, they went fast! And of course the roasted garlic aoli. I have never made aoli before, this was so easy. And oh my gosh, what a great addition to the sandwich, and the fries, and my fingers…lol it is that GOOD. I am looking forward to making more of your recipes.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you so much Joyce! (Adding pepperoni is a great idea!) So glad you enjoyed the recipes!

  • Lillian Hauck wrote:

    I’m going to make the top round roast beef. Since it’s only my husband and I, I’ll have leftover. Instead of dicing up the remaining roast beef for making some kind of stew, I’ll just cut it super thin for this. Easier yet, lightly freeze the leftover to make it easier to thinly slice it. Just about any beef would work….even chicken!

    • Martha wrote:

      Sounds great Lillian!

  • Wendy wrote:

    Hi I was wondering if anyone could tell if it 1/3 cup or 1/8 cup of bourbon for some reason it is blurry on my computer screen. Thank you Wendy

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Wendy – It is 1/8th cup

  • Sharon wrote:

    Can’t wait to try this.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hope you enjoy the recipe Sharon!

  • Michelle wrote:

    Hi there! Do you have a preferred bulkie roll recipe? I live overseas, so I can’t pop over to a New England supermarket anymore, and the recipes I’m finding are only for kaiser rolls. Thanks in advance for any help. We need to celebrate Patriot’s Day with real New England food!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Michelle – We haven’t found a good homemade bulkie roll recipe that is an exact match of the kind you can find at the supermarket (unfortunately). But perhaps this Kaiser Roll recipe from King Arthur Flour (a New England company) will come close: (and it has good reviews!)

  • Kelli wrote:

    I cooked this for the first time last week. It was amazing!! My kids are the pickiest eaters and they loved it!! Had a friend and her daughter over for dinner and they loved it as well. So much that I’m cooking it for dinner again tonight!!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Kelli – Having a picky eater of our own at home I totally appreciate it when we find a recipe that everyone enjoys! I’m glad you all enjoy our recipe!

  • ted wrote:

    this is so good everyone loved it

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Ted!

  • Bibs @ Tasteometer wrote:

    This sounds amazing but I’m not familiar with Shaved Steak, please enlighten me?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Bibs – As you might guess from the name, it’s very thinly sliced beef. Your butcher can typically cut it for you – using a rib eye or sirloin. Some supermarkets sell it pre-packaged as well – sometimes in the frozen food aisle. Hope that helps!

  • keenan reese wrote:

    No bourbon, can I substitute whiskey?

    • Martha wrote:

      Sure – it will give it a different flavor but will definitely work!

  • sandy wrote:

    Looks great! One odd question, husband is allergic to mushrooms. How would you think it would come out without them. Thanks for a great recipe.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Sandy – you can definitely leave out the mushrooms! It will still taste great! Hope you and your husband enjoy the recipe!

  • Jim wrote:

    Looks like a great recipe
    I have eaten steak bombs on Cape Cod in Provincetown and Falmouth. Usually the best are at Mom and Pop pizza and sandwich places. I know there are many variations of recipes but I thought the bombs had tomato/spaghetti sauce on them as well as black olives in addition to the cheese and mushrooms.
    I am anxious to try this recipe

    • Martha wrote:

      Very interesting Jim!! I have to admit that neither of us have seen Steak Bombs with tomato sauce added…just the full boat of veggies (onions, peppers, mushrooms, etc) and the cheese! We’ll have to look for the version you’ve mentioned the next time we’re down in PTown or Falmouth! And totally agree – those Mom & Pop pizza joints have the best food! Hope you enjoy our recipe and thanks for writing to us!

  • sandy wrote:

    What can I substitute for alcohol…This looks amazing.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Sandy – the alcohol will burn off leaving only the flavor. But you can always just omit that step if you prefer! Thanks!

  • Dawn wrote:

    This sounds wonderful. It sounds very similar to a sandwich called a Jalapeno Sirloin Melt that I usually order from a local restaurant when we go out.
    I will definitely be trying this, but adding jalapenos… lol!

    • Martha Pesa wrote:

      Sounds great! My husband Jack especially would love this with jalapeños added!

  • TiffanyMae wrote:

    Quick question. I’m cooking on an electric stove. The alcohol won’t flame up then will it? And then my silly question. It would still be OK for a toddler to eat. Even if it doesn’t flame the alcohol is still cooked off or to where it won’t hurt , correct?

    • Martha Pesa wrote:

      Hi Tiffany! Yes the alcohol will cook off leaving only the flavor…making it safe for your toddler. You could light the alcohol with a long match if you are daring but if not, just boiling it will cook off the alcohol. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  • Marcy wrote:

    My husband made this for the fam last night and WOW was it great!!!! I made the garlic mayo on monday so it set and just got better until Wednesday night… We used a sirlion steak that was about 80% frozen for easy slicing, sweet onions and Crown Royal for the liquor. We were both surprised at how flavorful everything was even with such little seasoning!! Delicious for a mid-week steak craving! I brought the leftover meat to work for a salad!! Thank you for all the great recipes, we’ve loved everything we’ve tried


    • Martha Pesa wrote:

      Thank you so much Marcy!! We’re so glad you are enjoying our recipes! Thank you for visiting our website!

  • Sharon Murphy wrote:

    Hiya, I am from the UK and have been reading your blog lately. Wow – just made a wonderful meal for my family. The Steak Bomb Sandwich is fabulous I served it with Jack’s Potato Salad and Coleslaw – I adjusted the recipes slightly as I am following the Slimming World Plan. The meal was demolished by my husband and two boys (age 5 and 10) they all loved it. Will be trying some more of you great recipes very soon. Thanks

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you so much Sharon! We’re so glad you and your family have enjoyed our recipes! Thanks for writing to us!

  • Jill wrote:

    This is quite possibly the best steak sandwich I have ever had. I used a sweet onion and baby Bella mushrooms. Instead of making the garlic spread, I rubbed roasted garlic cloves on toasted Sara Lee deli rolls then used olive oil mayo.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Jill! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!!!

  • JB & Renee wrote:

    This steak bomb looks incredible! Cheesesteaks are my absolute favorite comfort food and this one looks about as good as any. It’s just the way I like it too – just thinly shaved steak, onions, provolone, and mushrooms on really good bread. The bourbon sounds interesting too. I guess it adds a musky sweetness? Will definitely try this. 🙂

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you!

  • Vicki wrote:

    I made the Steak Bombs, Roasted Garlic Aioli and the Roasted French Style Potatos for dinner tonight. They were all a big hit!! Everyone loved them. All the different flavor combinations were a treat.
    The recipe was very well written and very easy to follow.
    Thank you so much for a wonderful dinner!!!
    Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!

    • Martha wrote:

      Wow. Thank YOU Vicki!! So glad you enjoyed the recipes!! Thanks for letting us know! Martha

  • Cozy wrote:

    Wow, this looks great, but I have to admit I destroy any beef I attempt to cook. However, I’d like to try this for my husband on Father’s day, so one question…when you say. “pull the steak apart,” what does that mean exactly? Will it be in several thin slices cooked in one batch?

    Thank so much!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Cozy – yes – the recipe calls for shaved steak which is basically steak cut into very, very thinly slices. (Sometimes, you can find it at the supermarket, other times you might need to get it at a butcher shop.) As you cook the shaved steak, you will be pulling it apart into smaller, pieces that are easier to bite in the sandwich. Let us know if you have any other questions and I hope your husband enjoys the sandwich! Martha

  • Joyce wrote:

    Ohhhhh, my stars! My coworkers will go totally insane over this sandwich! My manager has given me permission to get a portable electric cooktop to use at work, so this will most definitely be the “inaugural” recipe–and I can hardly wait for the first bite!!!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Joyce! I hope you all enjoy the recipe! Martha

  • Lola wrote:

    Is there another meat cut, such as a roast or loin that would work too! Looking for an idea for my daughter’s graduation party guests.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Lola – We’d recommend a rib-eye roast. You can either have your butcher cut it into very thin slices when you buy it, or before cooking, place the roast in the freezer long enough so the meat is stiff for cutting, but not frozen, and then with a very sharp knife, cut your very thin slices. As you are cutting, if it starts to get too soft, you can put it back in the freezer again. I hope that helps! Thanks for writing us! Martha

      • Jeannette wrote:

        I’m on a limited budget and live in a small town. Will the rib eye roast cost a lot and/or can I used stew beef cubes, since I’m not sure if the store carries rib eye roast (since I’ve never bought it). Also, is this meat tender because, due to a stroke, swallowing is a major issue.; thus, I’ll have it without the bread. Despite my questions, this looks really good. ALL your recipes look really good.
        Thank you.

        • Martha wrote:

          Thanks so much Jeanette! The rib eye is a very tender meat and you could ask your local grocery store butcher to cut it into strips for you to make it easier to eat. If the price is too high for you, a good option inexpensive would be using the pre-packaged shaved steak (fresh or frozen) instead. I hope that helps! Thanks for writing to us! Happy New Year – Martha

          • Jeannette wrote:

            I was finally able to go to the store. The butcher shaved the meat for me. I put it on a baked potato and it was very good. Thank you!

          • Martha wrote:

            We’re so glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Claire @ A Little Claireification wrote:

    Holy cow this looks ahhhh-mazing! Wow. My Husband is from Boston – I’ll have to ask him about Bulkie Rolls! He would be all over this sandwich! Yum. Found you through a Tweet from Crazy For Crust. 🙂
    – Claire

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for stopping by our site Claire!

    • ann wrote:

      I’m from Boston too. Ask your husband if he’s ever heard of spuckie instead of sub.

      • Martha wrote:

        Hi Ann! He does! He remembers Spuckie’s in Dorchester…told me that people got so used to ordering a Spuckie’s sub that the word Spuckie became the word for sub…

        Small world! Thanks for visiting our site! Martha

  • Mushrooms Canada wrote:

    This sandwich is absolutely mouthwatering! Using a brown variety of mushrooms, crimini or portabella, would add some extra meaty textures for the real meat-lovers in the family…Thanks for sharing this recipe and for making me so hungry!!


  • Dee Taylor wrote:

    What kind of steak would you buy for this, even if you had a butcher shave it for you, or if I wanted to do it myself? New york strip, ribeye? I’d appreciate your help, I’d love to make this. It looks so good! Thanks in advance for your reply!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Dee! A rib-eye or sirloin would be your most tender and flavorful options. Let us know if you have any other questions and thanks for stopping by! Martha

      • Dan wrote:

        Would a beef tenderloin work to

        • Martha wrote:

          Hi Dan – Yes – a tenderloin will work! You’ll still want to cut it into fairly thin slices so it’s easier to bite into!

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