Portuguese Garlic Nailed Steak Sandwich

This is a popular pub sandwich. The name is derived from the fact that the steak is “nailed” with garlic – the garlic is actually pounded with a mallet into the slices of steak. While the recipe calls for 6 cloves of garlic, feel free to add as much garlic as you like. The garlic-nailed slices of beef are finished in a wine reduction sauce with onions. How often can you say that a sandwich should be served with a nice bottle of wine? Not an expensive French import, but a good, robust Portuguese red such as Casa Ferreirinha’s Vinha Grande 2002. At about $20.00 a bottle, this is a great example of Portuguese reds. It is similar to a Port, with a nice bouquet and fruity blackberry finish. I’m a wine drinker by nature, but I suppose a pub-style sandwich would also be nice with a tall, cold bottle of beer.

The beauty of summer entertaining is that you can have a casual setting, with good company and lively conversation. That’s what summer should be all about – the company and the conversation.

Portuguese Garlic Nailed Steak Sandwich
¾ pound of sirloin steak, cut in ½ inch thick slices, trimmed of any visible fat
½ stick (4 tablespoons butter)
6 cloves garlic (or more if you like) thinly sliced
1 large onion, thinly sliced
½ cup red wine
1 teaspoon coarse salt or to taste
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch chili pepper (optional)
Pinch cumin (optional)
1 to 2 teaspoons tomato paste (optional)

Place the steaks on your work space or cutting board. Lay slices of garlic on one side of the steaks.

Using a tenderizing mallet, “nail” the garlic to the steak by pounding the slices into the meat.

Repeat on the reverse side of the steaks.

Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Fry each steak in the butter for barely two to three minutes, turning once. Transfer to a dish and cover.

Melt the remaining butter in the same skillet. Add the onions and sauté until they are golden.

Transfer the onions to the dish holding the steaks.

Pour the wine into the same skillet. Using the flat edge of a wooden spatula, scrap up the brown coating on the bottom of the pan. Raise the heat to medium-high and reduce the sauce by half.

Return the onions and beef to the sauce and heat through for 1 minute. Serve the beef and onions, drizzled with the wine reduction sauce, on crusty rolls with a salad on the side for a perfect lunch or light supper.

Let’s not forget a nice bottle of wine to round things out and keep it lively.

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