Strip Steak Manwich
Okay, so this is really a bit of silliness on my part. Christey and I were watching TV when a Manwich commercial was on and she said she never liked them. I always did, as a kid and as a starving college freshman (oddly, I was mostly vegetarian for the rest of my college career). I told her I bet I could make her a Manwich she'd like, and she told me to go for it.
For those outside the US, a Manwich is Hunts' trademark for their version of a sloppy joe, basically spiced tomato sauce and maybe some minced vegetables mixed with browned hamburger and served on a hamburger bun. It's commonly either a different take for those bored with a hamburger, or a way for a family to stretch a bit of meat a longer way. It's Americana comfort food, especially family comfort food, in the same sense as Kraft macaroni and cheese, Oscar Meyer hot dogs, or bologna and cheese sandwiches.
So, of course I figured I'd take a comfort food classic and elevate it a bit. But, don't take me seriously on this, because I certainly didn't. This was just craziness.
I actually started with garlic, as roasting garlic would take 30-40 minutes. It's simply a head of garlic with the top chopped off, some olive oil and kosher salt, wrapped in foil and put in a 400 degree oven.
While roasting, I trimmed a New York strip steak, and diced into small cubes
I also peeled and finely minced a carrot, sliced and minced a shallot, and seeded and diced two roasted red jalapeños, and diced half a roasted red bell pepper.
I threw a couple tablespoons of butter into a medium-high pan, added the carrots and shallots and sautéed until the carrots were soft and the shallots translucent.
When the carrots and shallots were ready, I added the steak and sautéed quickly until browned.
The garlic was done, so I pulled out the softened, lovely roasted cloves and added all but a couple cloves to the meat and veggies.
I added the peppers, cooked on the higher heat for a few seconds, then added about a cup of tomato sauce (Hunts, of course, for authenticity) and lowered the heat to simmer.
I toasted some hamburger buns under the broiler, then smeared some roasted garlic on the buns for that extra special touch of garlic love.
Plating was simple -- meat on a bun, on a plate, beer close at hand.
Deconstruction -- Christey thought it was good, but thought I probably had one too many jalapeños (the spiciness was probably too much for what it was). Also, the thing that most turned her off about Manwiches was eating a whole sandwich of tomato sauce, and the tomato sauce was definitely still very much in the forefront of my attempt (perhaps I should have reduced it a bit on simmer, but I didn't want the meat to get overdone, and the steak bits were definitely nice and tender).
However, we had two sandwiches worth of meat and sauce left over, and after our manwiches, we both went back for seconds and ate it with a fork, straight with no bun. So it definitely hit the spot. Would I make it again? Probably not, at least not in this form, but it was fun to goof off with this.