Gourmet Camping Recipe: Steak and Arugula Sandwiches with Gorgonzola Spread
Inspiration hit as I was preparing for a scout camp outing this past weekend. I wanted to show the boys that they could make much more than hot dogs over the fire. This incredibly delicious sandwich was the result of it. It rocked their world, and I’m guessing it might yours as well. I’ve since made it at home on my gas grill, and it was still very good, but lacked the awesome smoke flavor the campfire provided. Try it anytime, anywhere, but definitely include this sandwich as part of your next camping trip’s meal plans.
Ingredients to Make Steak and Arugula Sandwiches with Gorgonzola Spread Over a Campfire
- 2 Ciabatta bread loaves
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil, roughly 8 tablespoons
- 1 pound beef bottom round roast, sliced 1/4 inch think (2 slices per sandwich)
- Head of garlic, cloves separated and lightly mashed
- 1/2 onion, quartered at root end
- Gorgonzola Spread (recipe follows)
- 2/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in olive oil
- 1 ounce arugula
- 18 peppadew peppers, cut in half
- kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste
How to Grill Bread Over a Campfire
Prep your campfire by burning a good bed of coals. Once coals are ready, move them to one side of the fire pit ring and move any burning logs to the other side. Place a wire camp cooking rack (or use the built in metal fire pit grate if present) over the coals and grill the ciabatta on it. You’ll know when the temperature of the coals is right when you can hold your hand over the coals at rack level for 2 seconds.
To grill the ciabatta, slice the loaves in half lengthwise, drizzle olive oil over the insides (roughly 1 tablespoon per half), and season with salt and pepper. Place the ciabatta on the grill, olive oil side down first. Grill for a few minutes, or until the bread is toasted a crunchy golden brown. Some black burn marks are OK. You may need to occasionally move the halves around the rack to ensure an even toasting. Once toasted, flip the halves over and toast the other side.
How to Pan Fry Steak Over a Campfire
Now that your bread is toasted, it’s time to cook the steak. Start by placing a cast iron skillet (or a dutch oven) onto the coals to get it very hot. Once hot, remove from the coals and place on the campfire rack. Add the remaining olive oil (or enough to completely cover the pan, about 1/8th of an inch deep). The oil should immediately start to smoke, but if not, heat a little longer until just to the smoking point.
Once your oil is hot, add the onion wedges and the garlic gloves (skin on), and cook until they start to caramelize and brown. This will season the oil to add flavor to the steak.
Move the onions and garlic to the edges of the skillet, and add the steak. Season the steak liberally with salt and pepper and cook to brown. Once browned, turn over and brown the other side of the steak, seasoning again with salt and pepper.
How to Assemble Steak and Arugula Sandwiches with Gorgonzola Spread
Start by first spreading the Gorgonzola Spread over each open half of the ciabatta. There should be just enough spread for all four halves when applied liberally. You’ll want it all….it’s that good.
Second, place the sun-dried tomatoes and their oil on the bottom half of each ciabatta loaf. Spread them out evenly across the bread, but they don’t need to be heavily concentrated. You be the judge.
Third, place the arugula over the sandwiches on top of the sun-dried tomatoes.
Fourth, place two strips of steak on each sandwich. If the steak isn’t quite long enough to fill the sandwich length, cut another strip in pieces (if you have an extra) to fill to the edge with what you need.
Fifth, add the peppadew halves on top of the steak in pairs, then cover with the second half of the ciabatta.
How to Serve the Campfire Sandwiches
Depending upon how hungry your crowd is, cut the sandwiches in half or in thirds. Place each serving on your best metal camp plates. I suppose paper plates would work, but this is no time to go cheap on your camp guests. These sandwiches deserve your best camping serving ware!
Recipe for Gorgonzola Spread
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt (unsweetened)
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
- 2 pinches of kosher salt (1/4 teaspoon)
- 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- juice of 1/2 lemon
Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix together with a spoon. You’ll want to press the gorgonzola pieces against the bowl with the back of the spoon so as to break into small pieces. Think spread, not chunks. Taste to make sure you have enough salt, pepper, and lemon, adding more to taste if necessary.
Recipe by Jothan Yeager, January 2012
The Bald Gourmet loves his camping, and loves making incredible gourmet meals over a campfire even more, like Steak and Arugula Sandwiches with Gorgonzola Spread.