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:

Steak Bomb Sandwich - A Family Feast

Steak Bomb Sandwich

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 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.


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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  • 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: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/kaiser-rolls-recipe (and it has good reviews!)

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