This recipe is a cross between bruschetta and an open-faced sandwich. The meat is seasoned with peppercorns and thyme, then topped with a creamy and piquant shallot-Dijon mustard sauce. Serve with a lettuce and tomato salad.
Steak Sandwiches with Shallot-Thyme Aioli
2 tsp. whole peppercorns
4 tsp. plus 1 Tbs. minced fresh thyme
Coarse kosher salt
1 1/4 lb. (625 g.) top round or flank steak, 1 inch (2.5 cm.) thick
1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml.) mayonnaise
1 large shallot, minced
1 1/2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. sherry vinegar or fresh lemon juice
3/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
Freshly ground pepper
Olive oil for brushing
8-12 slices coarse country white bread
1 bunch watercress
In a spice mill or mortar with pestle, coarsely grind the peppercorns. Mix with the 4 teaspoons thyme and 2 teaspoons salt. Pat the steak dry. Press the spice mixture onto both sides of the meat, and let marinate while preparing the aioli.
In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, shallot, oil, vinegar or lemon juice, mustard, remaining 1 tablespoon thyme, and freshly ground pepper; mix to combine. Set the aioli aside.
In a heavy large frying pan over medium-high heat, brush with olive oil. Add the steak and cook as desired, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to a plate and let rest 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the broiler. Brush one side of each bread slice with a little of the aioli. Arrange, aioli side up, on a baking sheet and broil until brown, watching carefully, about 2 minutes. Place 2-3 bread slices on each of 4 warmed plates. Spread each with aioli, and then top with watercress.
Thinly slice the steak on an angle against the grain. Arrange the meat on top of the watercress and serve right away. Serves 4.
Find more simple, seasonal weeknight recipes in our cookbook Weeknight Fresh + Fast, by Kristine Kidd.