This gourmet Steak Sandwich puts a classy spin on the classic pub-style steak sandwich we all know and love. The grilled steak is tender, the cheese is decadently creamy, and the sweet caramelized onions and fig jam make it one to remember.
Why You’ll Love This Gourmet Sandwich
- Elegant Yet Satisfying. This easy steak sandwich recipe is as elegant as these Fig Goat Cheese Appetizer Bites and as primally satisfying as the best Air Fryer Steak or Grilled Flank Steak. This is one steak sandwich recipe that can rise to any occasion.
- Impressive Flavors. Tender, juicy pieces of medium-rare steak smothered in Brie cheese tucked between crusty artisan bread with fig jam, Dijon caramelized onions, and peppery arugula, its complex blend of flavors that will make you feel like a star chef.
- It Can Be an Appetizer or Main. Sandwiches (like this Meatloaf Sandwich) can be perfect for busy weeknights or your next fancy dinner. These gourmet steak sandwiches can be prepared as a full-size entree or as miniature steak sandwich sliders for a hearty appetizer. (Serve alongside Spinach Puffs for a truly elevated affair.)
What Cut of Meat is Best for Steak Sandwiches?
When selecting steak for sandwiches, look for ones with a nice balance of lean meat and fat. Here are a few of my favorite cuts of steak for sandwiches:
- NY strip steaks
- Hanger steaks
- Sirloin steaks
- Ribeye steaks
- Filet mignon (or beef tenderloin)
- Flank steak or skirt steak—If you go this route, be sure to marinate first to tenderize the meat (try my Flank Steak Marinade or the one in my Steak Salad recipe).
No matter the cut you choose, slice the steak against the grain THINLY (as you do for Beef Fajitas). This will make the steak easier to bite through on the sandwich and give the meat a better mouth feel.
I opted to use a strip steak for my steak sandwiches, but pick any cut of beef above that you enjoy.
5 Star Review
“Made these for my family when they flew out to visit, hands down one of my favorite lunches i’ve made!”— Karlie —
How to Make a Steak Sandwich
- Steaks. Juicy and full of flavor. You know it’s a special night when steak is involved. (If you love steak, don’t miss these Steak Tacos!)
- Salt + Pepper. Salt and pepper bring out the best in steak. Don’t skimp on them!
- Red Onion + Dijon Mustard. For perfect tangy caramelized onions, a bit of Dijon takes these onions to next-level yum and pairs nicely with the fig and Brie. (They also elevate this Blue Cheese Burger.)
- Fig Jam. In lieu of a steak sandwich sauce or a steak sandwich with au jus, I used fig jam for a touch of added elegance and ease. Its sweetness plays well with the savory steak and cheese without overpowering it.
- Arugula. Adds a fresh, peppery element to the sandwiches.
- Brie Cheese. Unbelievably creamy, cheesy goodness that oozes dreamily down the sides of the sandwich. (Leftover Brie? Make a batch of Brie Bites.)
- Bread. Will either make or break your steak sandwiches. For the BEST steak sandwiches, choose a nice, artisan-style bread to toast. Something soft enough to bite easily but hearty enough to hold the weight of the steak will be your best bet. Ciabatta bread or a sliced baguette are great options.
- Season the Steak. This is critical for making perfect steak.
- Caramelize the Onions. Stir in the Dijon once they’re caramelized.
- Sear the Steaks. They can be grilled instead.
- Slice the Steak. Make sure you let it rest first!
- Assemble the Sandwiches. Use a large, oven-safe baking dish.
- Add the Steak and Brie. Almost there!
- Top With the Onions. Spread them evenly over the sandwiches.
- Add Fig Jam to the Top Half of Bread. Lay it over the sandwiches.
- Bake. Bake steak sandwiches for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F. ENJOY!
- To Store. Refrigerate leftover sandwiches in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
- To Reheat. Gently rewarm sandwiches in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F.
Save prep time by doing some of the work in advance. The Dijon onions can be prepared and stored in the refrigerator up to 2 days in advance. Whole sandwiches can be assembled, arranged in the pan, and kept at room temperature for 1 hour in advance. Bake just before serving.
What to Serve with Steak Sandwiches
- Fries. Try Sweet Potato Fries, Air Fryer French Fries, or Sweet Potato Wedges.
- Veggies. A steak sandwich would be delicious with Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Air Fryer Asparagus, or Grilled Potatoes.
- Chips. Air Fryer Potato Chips are a stellar side dish for sandwiches like this one.
- Salad. A salad goes well with a steak sandwich. Pair it with a Burrata Salad, Grilled Corn Salad, or Green Goddess Salad.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Nonstick Pan. The perfect pan for making the caramelized onions and searing the steak. A cast iron skillet also works well.
- Baking Dish. You’ll find yourself constantly reaching for this invaluable kitchen tool.
- Instant Read Thermometer. The best way to make sure your beef is cooked through.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Let the Meat Come to Room Temperature Before Searing. Cold steaks won’t cook uniformly and may become tough.
- Don’t Overcook the Steak. Keep an instant-read thermometer nearby, and make sure you remove your steaks from the heat when they reach an internal temperature of 125 degrees F. The residual heat will continue to cook them a little as they sit. Medium-rare steak should be cooked to about 135 degrees F.
- Wait to Slice the Steak. Once you’ve removed your steak from the skillet, cover it with aluminum foil and wait at least 10 minutes before slicing it into strips. This results in a juicier, better-tasting steak because the juices can reincorporate into the meat.
- Slice THIN and Across the Grain. One of the best ways to tenderize sandwich steak is to ensure you cut it across the grain, which breaks down fibers. Thinner slices also produce more tender steak.
- 1 (16-ounce) 1-inch-thick New York strip boneless beef top loin steak or hangar steak*
- Kosher salt
- Ground black pepper
- 2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
- 2 large red onions thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and divided
- 2 large (or 4 medium) focaccia or ciabatta buns or 1 baguette, or 8 mini-sized French rolls, pretzel buns, or similar soft, but sturdy buns for sliders
- 1 cup baby arugula
- 6 ounces Brie cheese cut into thin slices
- 1/2 cup fig jam
- Remove the steak from the refrigerator and place it on a plate. With paper towels, pat both sides dry and season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Let it come to room temperature while you caramelize the onions.
- For the Dijon onions, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions and 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt. Cook until the onions begin to soften and brown, 5-8 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and let cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 15 additional minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the Dijon mustard to evenly coat the onions. Remove the onions to a plate or bowl, then with a paper towel, carefully wipe the skillet clean.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is very hot and almost smoking, add the seasoned steak. Sear the for 1 minute on each side, then reduce the heat to low and cook the steak for about 7 to 10 minutes, turning once, until very rare in the center and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center reaches 125°F.
- Transfer to a plate and cover with foil. Let rest for 10 minutes, then slice against the grain into strips.
- To assemble the sandwiches, spread some of the melted butter onto the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish, using just enough to coat the pan. Lay the bottom of the buns in a single layer in the baking dish (if using a baguette, split it lengthwise into a top and bottom half, then cut it in half crosswise so you have two shorter sandwiches that fit in your baking dish).
- Top the bread with the arugula.
- Layer on the steak.
- Add some slices of creamy brie.
- Finish with the Dijon red onions.
- Spread the inside of the top buns with jam, then lay the buns on top to complete the sandwiches. Brush the bun tops with the remaining melted butter, then cover the pan with foil.
- Bake for 15 minutes, just until the cheese has melted. Transfer to a serving plate and enjoy warm.
*INGREDIENT NOTE: Feel free to substitute the strip steaks for another cut of beef you enjoy. Ribeye is a great option, though its texture isn’t as consistent throughout, so some pieces will be more marbled than others. For those who enjoy leaner steak, sliced tenderloin would be fantastic.
- TO MAKE AHEAD: The Dijon onion topping can be prepared and stored in the refrigerator up to 2 days in advance. Whole sandwiches can be assembled, arranged in the pan, and kept at room temperature for 1 hour in advance. Bake just before serving.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate leftover sandwiches in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
- TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm sandwiches in a baking dish in the oven at 350°F.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Feel free to be inventive with your toppings because the possibilities are endless. Pub-style steak sandwiches with peppers and onions never go out of style, and steak sandwiches with chimichurri are a fun twist to try too.
No. If you use an instant-read thermometer to pull the steaks from the grill when their internal temp is 125 degrees F, the brief period in the oven to warm them through and melt the cheese should not cook them past medium (at most). Follow the recipe instructions as directed, and the steak will be tender, moist, juicy, and cooked to absolute perfection for sandwiches.
Sure! While I think these sandwiches reheat well in the oven, I’ve also been guilty of snagging a few bites of leftover steak sandwiches cold straight from the fridge. They’re also delish at room temperature too!
For the recipe, I recommend not using any sauce. Between the juices from the steak, fig jam, and caramelized onions, this sandwich has plenty of moisture and flavor without a sauce. If you would still like to use a sauce, feel free to add your favorite one.
While I haven’t tried it myself, I think you could reheat your steak sandwich in the air fryer.
How to reheat a steak sandwich in air fryer: Place your sandwich in the basket of an air fryer and cook at 350 degrees F until the bread is crisp and steak is warmed through.