Several weeks ago my friend Ivonne, who has a wonderful blog ( and who co-founded The Daring Kitchen blog asked me if I’d like to review some cookbooks for The Daring Kitchen website. Would I! I love cooking, I love cookbooks and I write for a living, so I replied with a resounding yes.

The first book I received was ’wichcraft, by celebrity chef Tom Colicchio. This cookbook includes recipes and techniques from his chain of ’wichcraft sandwich shops in the U.S. These are gourmet sandwiches, which feature delicious ingredient combinations. But they take time to make. I made four sandwiches from ’wichcraft, and you can read all about it in my review posted at

One of the sandwiches I made combined red wine-braised flank steak with roasted peppers, onions and Gruyère. It was absolutely delicious. But, be forewarned, it took four hours to prepare.

The braised flank steak shredded beautifully

Sandwiches about to go into the oven

To avoid additives and preservatives in this recipe, use red wine with no sulfites added or with a sulfite content of 10 parts per million or less. You should also check the label on the cheese to make sure it does not contain colour.


3 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 pound flank steak

1 medium carrot, cut in large dice

½ white onion, cut in large dice

2 garlic cloves, quartered

2-3 cups red wine

2 large sprigs fresh thyme

2 tsp kosher salt

1 large red onion, sliced crosswise into ¾-in wheels

8 Tbsp roasted red peppers

2 tsp olive oil

½ tsp sherry vinegar

4 ciabatta rolls

8 slice Gruyère cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Choose a heavy-bottom ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven that’s large enough for the flank steak to lie flat but is as snug as possible. Add 2 Tbsp of oil to the skillet over high heat. Once the oil starts to smoke, add the meat and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side, until deep brown in color. Remove meat from the skillet and set the meat aside.

Add the carrot and onion to the skillet, followed by the garlic. Saute the vegetables over medium-high heat until they start to brown but are still firm. Add the red wine–enough to come ¾ of the way up the side of the meat. Add the thyme and 1 tsp of the salt, cover the skillet, and transfer to the oven. Braise the meat for about 2½ hours, until it can be pulled apart with a fork. Transfer to a plate to rest and cool.

Reserve and strain the pan juices and pour into a saucepan. Over medium-low heat, reduce the juices until thickened (it should coat the back of a spoon). With two forks, separate the meat into chunky strings and roughly cut them crosswise into 2-3-inch pieces. Place the meat in the pot with the reduced juices and coat well.

Brush the red onion with the remaining 1 Tbsp vegetable oil. In grill pan or cast-iron skillet over high heat, grill the red onion (without separating into individual rings) until charred on the outside and slightly cooked on the inside. Place in a bowl and separate into rings. Add the peppers, olive oil, sherry vinegar, and remaining 1 tsp of salt and mix well.

Slice the ciabatta rolls in half. Place 1 slice of cheese on the bottom and top halves. Arrange the meat on the bottom halves of the rolls and the onions and peppers on the top halves and place all the roll pieces in the 350-degree over. Remove once the cheese is melted. Close the sandwiches, cut into halves, and serve. Makes 4 sandwiches.

From ’wichcraft, by Tom Colicchio and Sisha Ortúzar