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Harissa Steak Sandwich

1 10-12 oz. New York strip steak or steak of your choice
3 Tb Harissa (Can buy it in the tube at many grocery stores or on line at or )
Salt and pepper
1 Tb olive oil
1/2 C. mayo
1/4 C fresh chopped mint
1/4 C chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic chopped
Pinch of salt
Sandwich rolls or bread of your choice
1 yellow tomato or tomato of your choice
2 C arugula leaves (watercress is good as well, spinach if you want less spice)

Heat up your grill, grill pan or sauté pan to medium high.
Season the steak with salt and pepper. Rub 1 Tb of the harissa on each side of the steak.
Wipe down grill with a little oil. Place steak on grill and cook for about 3 minutes. Flip. Cook 3 more minutes (this will yield MR depending on the thickness of the steak. Adjust for your taste and for the size of the steak).
While the steak is cooking place the mayo in a medium size bowl.
In a small sauté pan over med heat add the olive oil. Once hot add the mint and garlic. Cook for 30 seconds just until you smell the perfume of the garlic and mint. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and a pinch of salt. Turn the heat off and stir. Stir mixture into the mayo. The warm mixture will immediately permeate the mayo with flavor and give it a beautiful color. Stir the remaining 1 Tb of Harissa into the mayo.

Grill the bread if you like. Spread mayo on both sides of the bread.
Slice the steak and lay across the bread.
Top with sliced tomato and arugula.

Makes 2-4 tasty sandwiches depending on how much meat you like!

Notes to insure tastiness!!

*New York, Rib eye or Filet mignon will be a treat and will be very tender. The thicker the steak the better because you can get a nice crust on the steak and still have a MR, juicy center. A thin steak will often over cook by the time you get a crust. You can use a less expensive cut that will also be flavorful but I would recommend cutting it thin before grilling so it is more tender. The key is to not overcook the meat or you will lose the juiciness and tenderness. Also, make sure to let the steak sit for ten minutes before slicing to allow the juices to re-absorb. They will then absorb into your bread instead of being left on the cutting board.

*Don’t let the mint and garlic turn brown unless you like the more toasted flavor. I like to preserve the delicate perfume of the mint and garlic which then permeates the mayo and creates a fresh, bright balance to the deep, spicy richness of the harissa.

*Make sure your grill, grill pan or sauté pan is hot and oiled before you place the meat down or the moisture of the harissa will make the steak stick.

Eat well, enjoy life, be happy.

26 Comments leave one →
  1. June Davis permalink
    August 6, 2009 3:16 pm

    I bought my Harissa yesterday and can’t wait to make this awesome sandwich over the weekend! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.

    June Davis

  2. Vickie & Susan permalink
    August 6, 2009 3:48 pm


    Loved what you did on the show and thought your concept was wonderful. You both need a show! Keep blogging we’re watching.

    We are making the steakk sandwich tonight!

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      August 7, 2009 9:10 am

      Thank you Vickie and Susan, enjoy!

  3. Kelly Morgan permalink
    August 9, 2009 1:28 pm

    Hey Jeffrey, I was a big fan throughout your journey on TNFNS … I am very glad you made the final, and hope to see “The Ingredient Smuggler” in the Spring 2010 lineup. Thank you for posting this recipe! I had looked for it, and will try it out this week.


    Kelly Morgan

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      August 10, 2009 10:14 pm

      Hello Kelly, Thank you! Let me know how it goes!! I appreciate the support! enjoy!
      Jeffrey 🙂

  4. August 17, 2009 3:35 am

    Jeffrey, you inspired my husband to cook!! This sandwich is amazing! My husband wrote a post about making it on my blog
    thank you for sharing your recipe! Best wishes to you!

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      August 17, 2009 9:59 pm

      Awesome Aggie!!!!

  5. CV in Baltimore permalink
    August 17, 2009 3:51 pm

    Jeffrey – I watched the finale and thought you had it in the bag. Congrats on a great effort. As an aside, I like “Cooking Without Borders” over what Alton suggested. Oddly enough, tonight I found some harissa in my refrigerator and put it to work. I forgot that I had picked up a jar of Al Fez harissa a few months back. I look forward to trying the above recipe. Keep on keepin’ on, as they say. I look forward to your next big thing and will check back often!

  6. amulekbird permalink
    August 22, 2009 6:43 pm


    I tried this out this evening and have a few questions. First, I felt like the culinary king going to the meat counter and asking for a 1 1/2″ cut of steak. However, the cooking portion of the steak endeavor did not go so well. At first, I started at medium high heat. The harissa “over-caramelized” long before the steak was even rare. I took the heat down a notch. I started getting a better sear, but still, after several more minutes, I was beyond rare in the middle. Any tips on making the thick steak work or why I seem to have the reverse problem. It almost seems like a thin steak would have been better.

    By the way, I love the Spice Smuggler webisodes! Also, I was at Sun Harvest today and saw a Spice Smuggler brand of spices. Is that yours?

    Thanks for everything!

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      August 26, 2009 8:23 am

      Hello Amulekbird,
      So sorry. That is always frustrating. I think I may have confused you. I agree that with the harissa you don’t want too thick of a steak. I did it for family at a family reunion this week and the steaks were about 1″ thick and it was perfect. The 1 1/2″ beauties are for a nice salt and pepper sear. Sorry about that. Wow a “spcie smuggler” brand!! Looks like I missed the boat! Take care and thank you for your support!!!

  7. Christine permalink
    August 29, 2009 5:12 pm

    Jeffrey, this was absolutely delicious. I made this recipe pretty much step by step, ingredient by ingredient. I used flank steak, focaccia for the bread, and found the Harissa in a tube, after much searching, at a Middle Eastern market on Roosevelt (yes, I am from Hinsdale- your old hometown). My 2 teenagers loved your show and loved your sandwich.

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      August 30, 2009 8:54 am

      Hello Christine, That is great. I am so glad you enjoyed it and thank you for taking the extra effort to find the Harissa. It is worth the search 🙂 Cheers to Hinsdale. Take care,
      Jeffrey 🙂

  8. Tania permalink
    August 30, 2009 5:45 pm

    Hi Jeffrey

    We just watch the show and saw the recipe. Now my Husband is running to the supermarket to try and find the Ingredients for tonights dinner. Hope he does.

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      September 2, 2009 8:50 am

      Thank you Tania!! Enjoy! Let me know how it turns out! 🙂

  9. Miche permalink
    August 31, 2009 9:50 am


    We made your steak sandwiches this past weekend and they were, in a word, FABULOUS!!!

    We used harissa that was flown in from NYC to VAB (as it’s been a bit difficult finding it here)…still looking for a local source :o) Anyway, this harissa was a little different from what you described, partly I’m sure because it was produced in France. This one was mainly red pepper, garlic, sea salt and oil…very delicious nonetheless!

    We used 2 varieties of ciabatta bread; sundried tomato and plain. Both were equally delicious with a heaping side of perfect homemade french fries.

    The flavors in this sandwich were AMAZING and I’m so glad that we had the chance to be exposed to your style of cooking! Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful unique perspective on food! Looking forward to your first cookbook!

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      September 2, 2009 8:49 am

      Thank you Miche! I am so glad you enjoyed it! You are correct. There are two major brands of Harissa out there. One is extra spicy and doesn’t have the carraway that I love.
      Jeffrey 🙂

  10. Ginny permalink
    September 4, 2009 12:17 am

    My children, age 21 and 23, are dying for your Harissa Steak Sandwich, but we’ve been unable to find Harissa. Thanks so much for listing the web site! We were rooting for you to win and hope to see you soon hosting your own network show. You are so creative, innovative and inspirational, and your family is just beautiful. Best of luck and thanks you for sharing your passion for food with all of us!

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      September 4, 2009 9:09 am

      Hello Ginny, I thank you and your children for the support!! I am glad you got the link. It is worth it. Enjoy! Jeffrey

  11. Gwynne permalink
    September 6, 2009 4:45 am

    Your sandwich is so so so wonderful and tasty. I made it for a supper club recently and everyone went wild over it! The flavors just wow-ed everyone!

    I’m a big fan, and was dumbfounded when you weren’t chosen to the NFNS. They’re just plain crazy in my opinion. You’re a star and your style of cooking is not represented anywhere, especially on FN. You would make a fabulous addition to their line-up.

    Best of luck with your career. We’ll be following you wherever your future leads you. You have so many fans who love you!

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      September 9, 2009 6:28 am

      Thank you so much Gwynne! I appreciate the support! I am still at it full speed. We shall see…

  12. Benji permalink
    January 17, 2010 10:01 am

    Jeffrey your sandwich is amazing. You are the best chef ever! Hope to see you on TV soon!

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      January 18, 2010 7:58 pm

      Thank you Benji! I appreciate it. Enjoy and take care! Best, Jeffrey 🙂


  1. Top 5 Favorites of 2009….#1 Harissa Steak Sandwich | Aggie's Kitchen

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