Footlong Steak Sandwich with Red Wine Sauce and Frites


For those who are not overfamiliar with the delights of the Cape, a Gatsby is a sub-like sandwich that starts off pretty innocently with a bed of lettuce, followed by a generous helping of beef or chicken, topped with tomatoes. The crowning glory of a Gatsby is the layer of slap chips (potato fries) that rests on top of everything else in this indulgent treat. I decided to treat myself to a real Gatsby when I was in Cape Town a couple of months ago and have been craving a round two ever since. So, that got me thinking… if I had to put my own spin on it, what would I get? Taking inspiration from the boeuf bourguignon, I layered a demi-baguette with beef, mushrooms, bacon and a red wine sauce – none of which would have been complete without a garnishing of ultra-thin, crispy frites. It doesn’t come close to the original, of course, but I’ll be back for you, Gatsby. Slap chips and all!


TIME: 1 hour | SERVES: 2



or the red wine sauce

olive oil

½ medium onion, finely chopped

2 rashers streaky bacon, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

125 ml red wine

250 ml beef stock

salt and freshly ground black pepper

for the steak

250 g sirloin steak

coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

30 ml olive oil

for the mushrooms

2 large brown mushrooms

olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

for the crispy bacon

6 rashers streaky bacon

for the chips

2 large potatoes, peeled

500 ml canola oil


to assemble

1 medium size crispy baguette

Dijon mustard

10 g rocket


for the red wine sauce

Drizzle a little olive oil in a saucepan. Add the onion, bacon and garlic. Fry until soft and the bacon is fully cooked. Add the wine and stock, season with salt and pepper and cook uncovered until the sauce has reduced to half its volume. Blend the sauce with a hand blender and cook until it’s thickened.


for the steak

Take the steak out of the fridge ahead of time and pat dry with kitchen towel. Season well with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. When the oil is just about to smoke, place the steak in the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes on a side, then flip and cook for another 3 minutes. You can cook your steak for longer if you prefer it more cooked. Take out of the pan and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing the steak.


for the mushrooms

Slice the mushrooms. Heat a little olive oil in a saucepan and place the mushrooms in the pan. Season with salt and pepper and fry until brown.


for the crispy bacon

Heat the oven to 200 °C. Line a baking tray with baking paper and place the bacon on top. Place in the oven till crispy.

for the chips

Slice the potatoes using a mandolin slicer (or as thin as you can get them). Place the slices on top of each other and slice into long thin chips (julienne). Use a kitchen towel to pat potatoes dry. Pour the oil into a large saucepan. Heat over a medium-high heat until a few of the chips sizzle when dropped into the oil. Fry the chips in 3 batches until golden and crispy. Drain on a kitchen towel and season with salt.

to assemble

Halve the baguette and spread a thin layer of mustard onto the bottom half of the baguette. Arrange the rocket on top. Place the sliced steak on top and spoon the sauce over the steak. Arrange the mushrooms on top and then the crispy bacon. Finish off with the chips and close with the top piece of the baguette.