On its own, steak is pretty high up there on the list of foods that make you look like a boss, whether you’re searing or grilling it to a perfect medium rare or just feasting on its flesh and juices. But then there’s the steak sandwich, which demands that you up your game and revert to your most primal instincts. You grab it with your hands and bite directly into your hunk of beef (this isn’t the time for forks and knives), swallowing it all down just like your mighty hunter-gatherer ancestors once did. Pretty gnarly, I’d say.
Not that steak sandwiches are an excuse to act like a caveman at your next picnic or barbecue, but they’re ideal for serving at either occasion. Here are 11 standout steak sandwich recipes that will whet your carnivorous appetites any day of the week.
Sandwiches are a great way to turn last night’s steak into tomorrow’s lunch. If you’ve made our Bourbon Steak for dinner (in which flank steak is marinated in bourbon, Dijon mustard, and Worcestershire before being grilled), just top it with some provolone and peppers for a winning leftovers combo. Get our Bourbon Steak Sandwich recipe.
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The gooey cheese, the sizzling beef—the Philly cheesesteak just one of those things that makes any meat lover weak at the knees. In an ideal world, we’d hustle over to Pat’s or Geno’s whenever a craving strikes. In the meantime, we’ll take a stab at greatness at home with this loaded rendition. Get our Easy Philly Cheesesteaks recipe.
The most expensive steak sandwich in the U.S. can be found at Don Wagyu’s, where they use a super-rare breed of Japanese Kobe beef and charge accordingly ($180 a pop). You can make it for as much as you’re willing to spend on Wagyu or Wagyu-style beef at home—or with regular old USDA Prime, which is still pretty great. Get Don Wagyu’s Katsu Sando recipe.
This one comes courtesy of meal kit company Home Chef, but even without getting all your ingredients pre-measured and mailed to you, it’s a cinch to make. A chile-cumin rub, cilantro, and a hefty dose of tomatoes add layers of flavor and a Tex-Mex twist on a classic steak sandwich. Get the Tex-Mex Steak Sandwich recipe.
For the uninitiated, the chivito is an Uruguayan sandwich that throws in everything and the kitchen sink. All you need to know, however, is that at its core is a layer of seared steak, which is what takes this bad boy from over-the-top to outrageous. Get the Chivito recipe.
Steak is a fantastic meat to plop on a banh mi, especially when it’s tri-tip marinated in a paste of shallots, garlic, mirin, fish sauce, brown sugar, and soy before being grilled. Its deep robustness finds a perfect foil in the usual toppings: lightly pickled veggies, fresh cilantro, and slivers of jalapeño—plus, Sriracha mayo for good meaure. Get the Grilled Beef Banh Mi recipe.
OK, so it might make a Philadelphian (or Seoulite) shudder, but the garlicky flavor of bulgogi seriously meets its match in oozy, melty cheese and a sloppy mess of melty golden onions (add some sauteed peppers too if you like). Get the Korean Bulgogi Cheesesteak recipe.
8. Steak Torta
Steak and beans doesn’t just have to be left to the burritos. With this Mexican-style torta, you get all the fixings on a soft and bready sandwich roll, no wrapping or rolling required. Get the Steak Torta recipe.
There’s nothing wrong with Argentinian chimichurri steak as it is—the combo of meat and fresh herbs puts full focus on the flavor of each ingredient. But somehow, things like these just taste better when you plop it onto a piece of bread and eat it with your hands. Adding avocado to the classic herby sauce makes it creamy and even more delicious. Get the Creamy Avocado Chimichurri Steak Sandwich recipe.
Get out the napkins: this juicy steak bomb of a sandwich revels in finger licking glory. Piled high with heirloom tomatoes, grilled balsamic-marinated steak, blue cheese, lemon-parsley gremolata, and a zingy mustard sauce, this one is everything you want to eat outside on a summer evening. Get the Grilled Balsamic Steak Sandwiches recipe.
This one is for the traditionalists. With caramelized onions, mushrooms, and horseradish mayo on crusty ciabatta, these sandwiches don’t strive to be out there or in your face. They’re just classy and satisfying, like a sandwich should be. Get the Steak Sandwiches With Caramelized Onions and Horseradish Mayo recipe.
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This post was originally published on June 11, 2015 and has been updated with new images, links, and text.