I must give credit, where credit is due. This sandwich came about 17 yrs ago while I was hanging out with some friends at a local Baltimore Pub. The chef, also a friend, decided to see what he could whip up for us out of what was leftover from the dinner crowd the previous night; mostly Greek salad fixings and a lonely flank steak. The result, after some input and encouragement from all of us, was what we christened "The Flankenstein", since it had pieces-parts of what was leftover in the kitchen. It has since been refined (I prefer grass-fed beef, and no marinating), but this recipe stays true to the original. Cheers to you, Brian B. wherever you are!
Also, a special thank you to aargersi for the tomato plants and sampling skills. - zieker —zieker
Test Kitchen Notes
The Flankenstein is really a perfect Greek taverna salad in steak sandwich form. I used the red wine vinegar option in the dressing, but omitted the wine. As I didn't have anchovy paste on hand, I added a splash of fish sauce instead. After a few hours in the refrigerator the flavors in the dressing really meld together. A simple grilled flank steak anchors the zesty dressing and toppings with meaty goodness. A generous portion of meat really balances out the briny olives, salty feta, and fresh vegetables. Make sure to pass out napkins, as this satisfying sandwich is a bit on the messy side. Thanks, zieker (and Brian B) for a delicious recipe. - hardlikearmour —hardlikearmour
Basic Greek Dressing
Juice of one med-lg lemon (about 3-4 T)
white wine or red wine vinegar (more to taste)
Put all ingredients in a tight fitting, lidded jar and shake to blend. Adjust salt, pepper, vinegar and oil to taste.
I make this dressing 1-2 days ahead of time so that the flavors meld, and then adjust to taste if necessary (usually a hint more wine!)
Refrigerate if making ahead of time, but make sure to remove and let come to room temperature before using in the sandwiches. (Olive oil congeals in the fridge.)
The Flankenstein Sandwich
I like to spend the extra money on grass-fed beef and not marinate, so that the flavor of the beef stands on it's own.Generously salt your flank steak on both sides, cover loosely with a paper towel and let come to room temperature; about 30-40 minutes, if it's been in the refrigerator.
If cooking on the stove (A&M had a great video of this method!): Lightly oil and heat a cast iron skillet. Pat the meat dry on both sides with paper towels. Sear meat 3-5 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness and your preferred doneness. (I prefer medium, so mine stays in longer.)
If grilling (gas grill): Pre-heat your grill on high, then turn down to medium when you're ready to put the meat on the grill. Pat the meat dry on both sides. Grill for 3-4 minutes on each side (depending on size and thickness and desired doneness).
Remove meat from pan or grill and let rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing in 1/4" slices. (Always slice against the grain of the meat.)
While your meat is resting, prepare the rest of the ingredients:
1. Wash and dry lettuce leaves.
2. Thinly slice onion and tomatoes.
3. Slice cucumbers length-wise into strips the length of your sandwich.
4. Cut olives in half.
5. Cut bread into sandwich-sized lengths and pull out some of the bread from the inside so that you have room for all the toppings.
The Assembly: this can really be done anyway you want adding or omitting the ingredients to suit your taste.
1. Place pieces of flank steak on the bottom half of the bread.
2. Drizzle with a little dressing.
3. Crumble feta on top of the meat and drizzle with a little more dressing.
4. Broil in the oven for 3-4 minutes.
(I put the top of the bread in the oven, face down, for about a minute to warm it up and get the top crisp)
5. Add olives and onions on top.
6. On top half put tomatoes down, then cucumbers and drizzle with a little more dressing.
7. Add the lettuce to hold that all up and gingerly put the 2 halves together.
Garnish with some pepperoncini's if you like, and serve with cold beer.
*Don't use whole wheat or multi-grain bread. It just doesn't work. I've also found sour dough bread/rolls don't really taste as good as plain, white, crusty on the outside/fluffy on the inside Italian or French loaves. Skip the baguettes also. Too hard to bite through. — With all those fresh veggies inside, who needs the whole grains anyway!