Smoked Steak & Cheddar Panini


  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 4 Tbs. red wine
  • 6 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/4 lb. skirt steak
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 French sandwich rolls
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 5 oz. extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 head butter or Bibb lettuce, leaves separated



  • To make the marinade, in a bowl, stir together the onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, bay leaf, parsley, oregano, wine, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Transfer to a sealable plastic bag, add the skirt steak and refrigerate overnight. Remove the steak from the marinade and place on a platter.
  • Strain the onion from the marinade; reserve the onion and any remaining marinade. In a sauté pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil.
  • Add the reserved onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion and bell pepper are tender, about 15 minutes more.
  • Add the reserved marinade and bring to a simmer.
  • Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.
  • Meanwhile, preheat an electric panini maker on the “sear” setting according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Place the steak on the panini maker, close the lid and cook for 2 to 3 minutes for medium-rare.
  • Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let rest for about 10 minutes.
  • Cut the steak across the grain into slices 1/4 inch thick.
  • Place the steak slices in a single layer in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Fill the chamber of a handheld smoking gun with hickory chips and smoke the steak according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Repeat the smoking with another chamber of chips. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Preheat the panini maker on the “panini” setting.
  • Brush the outside of the rolls with the melted butter.
  • Lay the rolls, buttered side down, on a work surface.
  • Arrange the steak slices on the bottom halves, dividing evenly.