Seared steak and harissa sandwich

Seared steak and harissa sandwich

The Art Of The Larder
Mike Lusmore

Harissa is a blend of chilli, garlic, olive oil and spices. Here I’ve added piquillo peppers to the mix, lending a sweet silkiness to this North African condiment. I often make enough harissa to serve over a good few days; it keeps well in the fridge covered with a little olive oil. It goes well with roasted meat and fish, and added to stews or mixed through with chopped hardboiled egg; it is a delicious seasoning to have to hand in your fridge.


Quantity Ingredient
600g rump steak, cut into 4 thin steaks
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, for frying

For the harissa

Quantity Ingredient
100g fresh red chillies, stems removed, halved lengthways and seeds removed, (wear rubber gloves if you like)
6 jarred piquillo peppers
1 teaspoon cumin, toasted and ground
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon coriander, toasted and ground
1 teaspoon caraway, toasted and ground, (optional)
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 teaspoons tomato puree, or use equivalent amount of sun-dried tomatoes
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar, or more to taste
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the marinade

Quantity Ingredient
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons red wine
3 tablespoons olive oil
freshly ground black pepper

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
6 tablespoons plain yoghurt or mayonnaise
4 large crusty rolls
lettuce leaves, (Little Gem, Cos or rocket)


  1. To make the harissa, put all the ingredients apart from the olive oil into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, then add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a stream until fully combined.
  2. Taste and season with more salt if required. Harissa keeps well in the fridge, covered with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to seal.
  3. Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade, then add the steaks and leave to marinate in the fridge for a few hours (but no longer than 8). Remove the meat from the marinade, strain it, reserving the marinade, and keep everything to one side.
  4. Mix a generous amount of the harissa into the yoghurt or mayonnaise, to taste, to make a dressing. You want it to be quite perky.
  5. Warm the rolls in the oven or under a grill, and cut them in half.
  6. Heat a heavy-based frying pan until very hot, then add the oil and fry the meat very quickly, about 1–2 minutes each side, according to how pink you like it. Remove the meat from the pan and put to one side.
  7. Add the strained onions from the marinade to the still hot pan with a pinch of salt and fry for a minute, then add the marinade juices and let it bubble and reduce a little. Pour the pan juices over the top halves of the bread rolls.
  8. Put the lettuce leaves on the bottom halves of the rolls, add a big dollop of harissa dressing, then slice the meat and add to the rolls. Put the tops on and eat immediately.
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