Harissa steak & red onion pickle sandwiches

by Sabrina Ghayour

Spiced beef skirt with a sweet and easy relish


1kg skirt steaks
4 tbsp rose harissa
Vegetable oil
1–2 baguettes (depending on how much bread you like)
2 handfuls of mixed salad leaves

For the sweet red onion pickle:
2 red onions, halved and thinly sliced into half-moons
4 tbsp rice wine vinegar (or use red or white wine vinegar)
2 tsp pul biber chilli flakes
2 tsp nigella seeds
½ small packet (about 15g) dill, roughly chopped
3 tbsp caster sugar or golden caster sugar


Coat the steaks well in the rose harissa, using your hands to really work the spice into the meat. When evenly coated on both sides, lay out the steaks, stacked on top of each other, on a plate and cover with clingfilm. Leave to marinate for 20 mins.

Combine all the ingredients for the onion pickle in a bowl and mix well, ensuring the pickle dressing has evenly coated all the onions. Set aside.

Drizzle a little oil into a large, heavy-based frying pan and set it over a medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, place as much steak into the pan as you can fry in one go without overcrowding. Cook according to your liking—the length of time depends on the thickness of the steak. The best way to check is to test its firmness by poking the fattest part with your finger; if it is still very bouncy, it will be very rare. The firmer it becomes, the more well done the meat is.

Ideally, you want something lovely and pinkish red on the inside so the cut is at its peak—juicy, tender and cooked to perfection. I find with most skirt steaks that 4-5 mins cooking on each side over a medium-high heat does the trick.

Transfer the cooked steak to a plate, cover with kitchen foil and leave to rest for 5 mins as you continue cooking subsequent batches. Once rested, slice the steak widthways into thin, juicy slivers. Season well with salt and pepper. Pile the slices into as much or as little bread as you like. Stir the pickle once more, then serve with the pickle spooned over the meat and some mixed salad leaves on top.

Recipe: Sabrina Ghayour
Image: Kris Kirkham

From Feasts by Sabrina Ghayour