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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!
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).
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.
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.
This post originally appeared on A Family Feast in March 2013. We’ve updated the photos.
You may enjoy these other Sandwich recipes:
- Meatball Subs
- Slow Cooker Italian Beef Subs
- Grilled Cheese Club Sandwich
- Grilled Chicken Club with Rosemary Aioli
- Pepper Pig Breakfast Sandwich
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Repeat with one tablespoon of oil and butter and second half of mushrooms.
- 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.
- Once the peppers and onions are cooked, add cooked mushrooms.
- 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.
- Add remaining oil and butter and cook the rest of the beef then add to the other pan.
- 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.
- 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.
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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.
Here are our old photos: