With their midafternoon meal traditionally being the biggest of the day, Spaniards are not known for eating lunch on the go. But the bocadillos served at bars, cafeterias and bakeries around country are the exception to the rule.
They typically are simple sandwiches made on baguette-like bread. The fillings run the gamut from cured meats to seafood to potato omelets. Sometimes, such as in this recipe from our book “Tuesday Nights Mediterranean,” which features weeknight-friendly meals from the region, they can become borderline elegant.
Our hearty flank steak and mushroom version was inspired by a recipe from “Spain: The Cookbook” written by Simone Ortega and first published in Spain in 1972. After the beef is seared, the rest of the filling comes together quickly in a skillet. Butter lends richness, while lemon juice and fresh parsley lift and brighten the flavors.
For extra savoriness, try tucking ribbons of thinly sliced serrano ham or prosciutto into the sandwiches along with the steak.
When slicing the steak, be sure to cut against the grain for the most tender texture. The muscle fibers of flank steak are distinct and run horizontally. If the meat is cut with the grain the slices will be unpalatably chewy and tough.
Start to finish: 35 minutes
1 pound beef flank steak, trimmed and cut in half
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 tablespoon grapeseed or other neutral oil
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
2 medium shallots, halved and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons salted butter, cut into 2 pieces
4 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
¼ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Four 7- to 8-inch sections of baguette, split horizontally
Season the steak on both sides with salt and pepper. In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the neutral oil until barely smoking. Add the steak, reduce to medium and cook until well browned on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook until well browned on the second sides and the centers reach 120°F (for medium-rare), 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a large plate and tent with foil.
In the same skillet over medium, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the mushrooms, shallots and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the moisture released by the mushrooms has almost evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes. Off heat, add the accumulated steak juices, the butter, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and the parsley, then stir until the butter melts. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Cut the steak into thin slices against the grain. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice, then toss. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Divide the mushroom mixture evenly among the bottom halves of each section of baguette, then top with the steak slices. Cover with the top halves of the baguette.
EDITOR’S NOTE: For more recipes, go to Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street at 177milkstreet.com/ap
Christopher Kimball, The Associated Press