Dude I’m not even kidding, I may like jibarito sandwiches more than I like burgers.. And I work with a burger chain here in Chicago. I mean dude they are just so flippin good. I’ve always said when things are in their simplest forms they are at their most delicious! I mean it’s essentially a burger but with fried plantains instead of a bun and flank steak, or any other steak even burger meat if you want it, instead of an actual burger patty. That’s it! For some reason though when all of the flavors are married together it’s like an explosion of deliciousness. I will say this however, because of the plantains this thing does take a minute to prep up but don’t let that hold you back because jibaritos, are the new burgers!
Whenever I cook anything I am always about prepping first before anything. There is nothing worse than having to stop and cut or prep something in the middle of cooking because I forgot about it. After years of culinary training and practice I don’t do that too often anymore but it does happen on occasion. The first thing to do is prep up the flank steak for this jibarito sandwich recipe and it’s super easy. Now when it comes to marinades I always say try and let it sit in the fridge overnight before cooking it so if you can do that with this recipe than I highly recommend you do so. If you can’t no problem just marinate it at the beginning of prepping up this recipe, so it’ll sit for about an hour and a half. The flavors are salty with a tad bit of spicy acid, but don’t worry it is very light on the heat. Whisk together some adobo sauce from chipotles, oil (whichever one you prefer), salt, lime juice and sugar. The lime juice and sugar are there to offset the spice from the chipotle but again the heat is very mild so if you do like spicy, load this thing up with more adobo sauce or chipotles. Add the marinade to a plastic bag and add in the flank steak and move it around so that the marinade covers the steak completely and pop it in the fridge until It’s time to cook it or overnight!
The next thing in our prep repertoire is the garlic aioli and the veggies that will go on our jibarito sandwich. The aioli for this sandwich is a basic aioli consisting of mayonnaise, salt, lemon juice and finely minced garlic, that’s it. You could add pepper if you want and if you do want to get super fancy faced go ahead and make a homemade mayonnaise, that would be very extra gangster of you should you do that! The other toppings for the jibarito are your basic burger stuff consisting of sliced tomatoes, green leaf lettuce and thinly sliced onions. You can completely change this up by using roasted tomatoes, heirlooms, iceberg lettuce, red leaf lettuce, sweet onions, I don’t care on this part you pick!
The final and longest part of the prep is the plantains. Now, this is not a hard procedure at all but like I said it will take some time, probably around 30 minutes or so, but once you’re prepped you will fly through making these delicious jibarito sandwiches! Find yourself some nice ripe green plantains, no they are not bananas, and then peel them. Be gentle peeping them because you want to make sure they keep their shape. Cut them in thirds and then slice them in half. It’s hard to imagine at this point but these will act as your buns. Fry these sliced up plantains in some oil that’s about 350° to 375° for 3 to 4 minutes per side. You won’t be able to tell if they are done just by constantly checking, just trust me on the temperature and time! Next, you need to smash these fellas and if you’ve got a tortilla maker then you’re in business because all you need to do is add’em in there and smash’em up! If not no problem, just use the backside of a pan. Don’t worry, these aren’t going to look awesome, they may be a bit hideous and that’s just a part of it. Now refry the flattened plantains for about 2 minutes just to crisp them up a bit more and then it’s time to sear up the flank steak! I like medium-rare flank steak because I think it’s more tender that way so pan sear it up and slice it on a bias and against the grain very thin so that it’s the most tender piece of meat ever! Plate up time! Fried plantain, aioli, American cheese, lettuce, sliced cooked flank steak, sliced tomatoes, sliced onions, aioli and top fried plantain. ENJOY!
Jibarito Sandwich Recipe with Flank Steak and Aioli
For the Flank Steak:
- ¼ cup of adobo sauce
- ½ cup of canola oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons of sea salt
- juice of ½ lime
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 ½ pound flank steak
For the sandwich:
- 1 cup of mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- juice of ½ lemon
- 1 large finely minced clove of garlic
- 4 peeled plantains cut into thirds then sliced in half longways
- 12 slices of American cheese
- 3 thinly sliced vine ripe tomatoes
- 12 leaves of green leaf lettuce
- thinly sliced red onions
Flank Steak: Combine the adobo sauce, oil, salt, lime juice and sugar into a bowl and whisk together and transfer to a plastic bag along with the flank steak. Move the ingredients around so the steak is covered and marinate while prepping the other ingredients or overnight.
Aioli: In a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, salt, lemon juice and garlic until combined and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Add some about 1 ½ cups of oil to a 10” cast iron skillet and heat until it reaches about 350° to 375° and add in ½ of the plantains and cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Place them on a sheet tray lined with paper towels to let drain and cool for few seconds before mashing with the back of a pan or a tortilla shell maker.
Place the smashed plantains back into the fryer and cook for 2 minutes or just until crispy. Set aside and repeat with the other ½ of the plantains.
Once everything is prepped up add the flank steak to a very large sauté pan over medium-high heat and cook until a medium-rare internal temperature is achieved, about 7 minutes per side.
Set aside to rest for 2 minutes and then slice very thin on a bias and against the grain. Keep warm.
To Plate: Later up a fried plantain, American cheese, aioli, sliced flank steak, tomatoes, onions, aioli and fried plantain.