Last week I started working on a new recipe production for Vriendin, the popular Dutch women’s weekly I write for. Steak is the name of the game. How to cook it and how to serve it. One of the recipes I wrote was for the good ol’ American sandwich classic, the Philly cheesesteak. Bread, thinly sliced steak, onions (peppers, sometimes) and melted cheese. When I tested my recipe, not only did we all love it , but hubby also came up with a brilliant idea — why not make a video, and Frenchify the recipe???

So here is what I came up with: baguette slathered with a tangy mustard sauce; slivers of steak seasoned with a touch of thyme, fleur de sel and freshly cracked pepper; soft, sweet shallots; buttery French green beans; and melting Gruyère. Let me tell you, it’s a sandwich that will woo you from the first bite. Serve it with frites, if you’re feeling particularly naughty. What definitely isn’t optional is serving a glass of cabernet sauvignon (or two) to wash it down with. If I were you (and the weather permits) make two sandwiches, wrap those babies up, take a bottle of wine (and someone you really like), head to the nearest park, and — enjoy!

Serves 2-3

  • 2 tbsps mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsps crème fraîche
  • 2 tsps Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 150 g haricot verts, cleaned
  • 6 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsps mild olive oil
  • knob of buttter
  • 400 g beef tenderloin, at room temperature and dried with paper towel, thinly sliced
  • fleur de sel
  • freshly cracked pepper
  •  ¾ thyme
  • 1 baguette, cut in 2-3 pieces and split open
  • Gruyère, sliced

In a small bowl whisk the mayonnaise, crème fraîche, Dijon mustard and red wine vinegar. Bring a pan of water to the boil, add some salt and blanch the French green beans for 3 minutes. Drain, quickly run them over cold water, dry on a clean kitchen towel and set aside. Now thinly slice 6 shallots and saute them in the olive oil until sweet and soft, about 4 minutes. Once the shallots are done, transfer them to a bowl, add a large knob of butter to the pan and stir fry the beans for 2-3 minutes. Take those out of the pan, add a little more oil if necessary and quickly stir fry the steak, seasoning it well with salt, pepper and thyme. To assmeble the sandwich, slice open a piece of French baguette (approximately 16 cm long) and slather both sides with a creamy mustard sauce. Now put the bottom halves on a baking sheet and divide the French beans, meat and shallots over them. Top each portion with sliced Gruyère and place the open sandwiches under a hot grill for a few minutes, just until the cheese melts. The last step is to close the sandwiches and cut them in half at an angle. Frites? Your choice. Cabernet sauvignon, a must.



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