Ok y’all, prepare yourselves. This is more than just a sandwich. It’s a meaty, bread-y, cheesy MONSTER meal. Intimidating, yes. Delicious, yes. Easy to make, no. Easy to bite into, no. But worth all the trouble, YES.
Essentially a bowl of carbohydrates packed to the brim with protein, this sandwich was originally made for high-class people out on long hunting trips. It was known to travel well because its fillings are totally encased by the crusty bread. And after being squished in a saddle bag for hours, the flavors would meld together and make that signature “shooter sandwich”.
When Jonathan first discovered this king of all sandwiches, he knew it would one day grace our kitchen and our stomachs. He researched his options, planned the details, and was all smiles when he talked about this culinary project for weeks.
He even drew a diagram of the various layers and discussed assembly techniques. (It was confirmation that I’d married the right man!)
Then, shooter sandwich weekend finally arrived. We grocery shopped, cleaned and prepped the food, weaved a mighty-fine bacon blanket, cooked, assembled layers, smashed the sandwich under 60 pounds of weight for 12+ hours, toasted it, and FEASTED.
The whole process is pretty time-consuming, but it was absolutely worth it, if for no other reason than for the experience of making it together. On top of that, it was actually pretty decent tasting.
What You Need
- 1 big bowl-shaped crusty bread loaf
- 1 white onion
- 1 package of mushrooms
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1-2 tbs olive oil or butter
- Whole-grain mustard
- Sliced provolone and Swiss cheese
- 2 NY Strip steaks
- 2 Rib eye steaks
- 1 pack of bacon
- Steak seasoning
Tip: Be careful about the amount of salt you use during prep of each sandwich layer. Ours was a tad too salty because we salted the mushrooms AND the steak.
What You Do
- Hollow out the bread:
Slice off the top of the loaf, scrape out the guts, and then put the hollow bread bowl on a big piece of foil. Lay the top of the bread bowl aside.
Tip: Be sure to leave enough bread on the bottom to the juices don’t soak through it.
- Prep the bacon weave:
Weave the bacon together into a solid sheet of bacon and bake it in the oven.
- Prep the veggies:
Chop the onions and mushrooms and sauté them in olive oil. Add some minced garlic at the end, if you want to.
Tip: Use a paper towel to soak up any extra moisture from the mushrooms in the pan after they’re done cooking. It will make your sandwich soggier if you don’t!
- Mix up the condiments:
Stir the mayonnaise, mustard, and horseradish together in a bowl and set aside.
- Cook the steaks:
Sear the steaks and cook them to barely medium rare (they’ll cook more in the oven later).
- Put it all together:
Assemble the fillings inside the hollow bread bowl.
Tip: Our layers, from bottom to top, were: Bread bowl, mayo mixture, rib eyes, provolone cheese, bacon weave, mushrooms & onions, Swiss cheese, NY strips, mayo mixture, bread top.
- Wrap it up in a lot of foil.
- Smash It:
Balance as much weight as you can figure out how to on top of the sandwich for 5+ hours.
- Bake it at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
- Slice it like a pie and eat it.
Our Final Reviews:
Jonathan: “It was like a Godzilla of culinary greatness. Its sheer massiveness and creation is a spectacle, and it’s exciting and grandiose, but then as you eat it, it is so large and lumbering that it can be pretty awkward to eat. I’d like to try it again except maybe a muffalata version!”
Audrey: “I was skeptical about it from the beginning because I prefer to eat my steak juicy, fresh, and with a knife and fork. But I actually wasn’t totally disappointed with it. It was full of flavor and just really unique. I’m excited to try a different version of it, though, like an Italian shooter sandwich with marinara, Italian sausage, eggplant, and mozzarella!”
♪♬♫♩ “Shot through the heart, and hunger’s to blame.
You give the sandwich… a bad name!” ♫♩♪♬
(Jonathan’s ode to the shooter sandwich)