These delicious sandwiches go along with my January story about cooking for a kid who loves to order in. Read it here. And it goes along with Cous Cous Salad with Pickled Onions and Blueberry Crumble Muffins.
I made juicy, flavorful, Middle Eastern-spiced beef sandwiches for dinner recently, and I always think of sandwich dinners as being kind of summer-y, so this was a nice change of pace on a night so dark and cold that even the dog wouldn’t go outside. The beef used here should be a tender cut, because the cooking time is quick. I found sirloin tips at the grocery store and those soaked up the flavor, were plenty juicy and nestled into the bread just right. For the best texture, season the meat and leave it on the counter for 30 minutes. It should all be room temperature before it goes into the pan; this way, it will cook evenly. Now, on to the fun part: The flavor. The spice mixture here is a simple combination of spices traditionally used for the Middle Eastern grill: cumin and black pepper. It gets interesting with a touch of cinnamon—it’s not enough to stand out as really cinnamon-y, but just enough to add a little warmth. Then, there’s Aleppo pepper. Aleppo pepper is not as spicy as chile flakes, and is beloved for its fruity undertones. If you don’t have it, or don’t feel like hunting around for it, no worries. See the recipe notes for substitutes. As Elliot likes to say, it’s all good.
Middle Eastern Spiced Steak WrapsCourse: Entrees + Mains
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper (see note)
2 pounds steak tips, or other tender beef
Pita breads, for serving
Yogurt-tahini sauce, recipe follows
Sesame seeds, for garnish
Thyme leaves, for garnish
- Combine the salt, cumin, black pepper, cinnamon and Aleppo pepper in a small bowl. Stir to combine. Put the beef on a large plate and spread the spice mixture over all sides of the meat. Let rest at room temperature for thirty minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 275 degrees and place the pita breads directly on the oven rack to warm.
- Heat a large skillet over a medium flame. Pour in a few tablespoons olive oil and when the oil is hot (it’ll be shimmery), add the beef to the pan. If your pan is not large enough to hold the beef without crowding, do this in batches.
- Cook, for about 6 minutes total, turning the pieces of meat to evenly cook. Remove from the pan and add more oil if doing more than one batch.
- Divide the beef between four pitas, drizzle with the yogurt-tahini sauce, garnish with sesame seeds and thyme leaves, and serve.
- Yogurt-Tahini Sauce (makes about 3/4 cup): ¼ cup tahini, ⅓ cup plain yogurt, Juice of ½ lemon, 1 tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, Water, as needed. Whisk ingredients together until smooth. Add a bit of water, one tablespoon at a time, to thin so the sauce will drizzle. Keeps covered and refrigerated, for 3 days.
- Note: if you don’t have Aleppo pepper, use 1 ½ teaspoons paprika and ½ teaspoon red chile flakes.