Owyhee Rancher Steak Sandwich

Hi all, it’s Fun Fridays around here and I’m making a sandwich that Tim and I invented and named for one of the most beautiful range areas in Idaho.  It’s the Owyhee Rancher Steak Sandwich!

Owyhee- Pronounced Oh Wah Hee:
Owyhee County has a long history of cattle ranches and wild horses.  You can take a short drive from our house to view the herds of both the wild horses and the roaming cattle.  Most ranchers here prefer to free range their cattle, so we always have to watch where we step, but we love the wide open vistas and the big sky look that hasn’t changed much in the last 150 years.

I’d bet that when you hear “Idaho” you immediately think of potatoes, right?  Oh but Idaho does so many other things well!  Cattle is just one of them.  The steaks here rival any I’ve eaten in Omaha!  And the potatoes are pretty danged good too. 


So Tim and I were sitting around one day trying to think of something yummy for dinner.  We had half a hunk of Bottom Round Roast in the fridge, a pile of onions, a jar of jalepenos, potatoes and the makings for a ranch sauce.  Enter the Owyhee Rancher Steak Sandwich.


The whole dinner was fun to create and fast to make.  I think it took about 20 minutes from cutting board to table.  So come on along with me and see how to make an Owyhee Rancher Steak Sandwich.  Make one tonight!


Ok, so by now you’re probably noticing that I use cheap cuts of beef… a LOT!  I’m weird that way and proud of it.  I can use the money I save to buy myself cool stuff like computer upgrades and the truth is, cheap, tough cuts have more flavor!  Stick around and I’ll teach you how to roast one of these babies till it’s a perfect rare roast beef that melts in your mouth with beefy goodness!

Ahem, sorry I got carried away about my inherent cheapness, I’m Scottish so I have a valid excuse for it!  Forgive me?  I promise to stay on topic for at least the next 3 photo’s.

Once we rustled up all the ingredients, I started prepping the potatoes with a good soak in a salt/sugar brine, then moved on to slicing onions, grating cheese, whipping up the Jalapeno Ranch Sauce and slicing the beef wafer thin.


mmmMMMmmm, who doesn’t love smothered onions?  Anybody?  While the onions were caramelizing in a cast iron skillet I whipped up the Jalapeno Ranch Sauce and put the potatoes into the deep fat fryer to get all golden brown.


By the time that was finished, the onions were ready to come off of the heat.  Here’s a trick for you next time you make smothered onions.  Just before you take them off the heat, stir in 2 teaspoons of Balsamic Vinegar, then stir them around and wait till all the vinegar has evaporated.  It’ll add a deep rich flavor to the onions.



These are some of my favorite kitchen helpers. They're Dang Good and I love 'em!

Once the onions were out of the pan, I buttered some sesame coated hamburger buns and put them into the skillet to lightly toast them over medium heat. While they toasted I dashed back to the cutting board to quickly slice the beef super thin so that it cooked quickly and stayed tender and juicy.


The toasty buns came out of the skillet and I added a tablespoon of butter and olive oil, then turned the heat on high.  As soon as the butter was sizzling, the beef went in.  It literally takes no more than 1 minute per side to cook!  As the pieces brown, push them to the side and keep adding more till you’ve used up all the beef.

And once the last bit of beef has been browned, turn OFF the heat so they don’t over cook and get tough.  Sprinkle on your favorite grated cheese (our choice was extra sharp cheddar) and let it sit for a minute to melt while you assemble the rest of the sandwiches.  Oh and don’t forget to take your french fries out of the fat to drain! 


The last thing to add was the beef, all smothered in melty cheese and then topped with the onions.


Oh my gosh, the bite of the jalapenos in the creamy, cool ranch dressing was the perfect foil for the piping hot tender bits of brown beef and the tang of the cheddar cheese.  And then there were the sweet onions that oozed all over the place.  It’s a little piece of Idaho heaven I tell ya!  Come on, try an Owyhee Rancher Steak Sandwich tonight.  Better yet, make it for your friends and watch them while they try to pronounce Owyhee. 


Owyhee Rancher Steak Sandwich
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My husband and I came up with the idea for this take on a Philly Cheese Steak when we were sitting around the house after a long hike into Owyhee County. It's thin sliced beef, melted cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and a jalapeno ranch sauce on a toasted bun - Yum!
Recipe type: Beef Sandwich
Serves: 4
  • 2 lbs. Bottom Round Steak - sliced very thin
  • 8 oz. Sharp Cheddar Cheese - grated
  • 1 Large Onion - sliced thinly
  • 2 tsp. Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 8 Large Hamburger or Sandwich Buns
  • 1 Recipe for Jalapeno Ranch Sauce
  1. Heat a large cast iron or non stick skillet over high heat. Add 1 tbsp. butter and the thinly sliced onions. Cook till soft and golden brown. Add the Balsamic Vinegar and cook just till it evaporates. Remove the onions from the skillet.
  2. Butter the cut sides of the buns and toast lightly in the skillet over medium high heat. Remove them to a plate.
  3. Turn heat to high again and add 1 tablespoon each of butter and olive oil. When the butter is sizzling, add the beef slices a few at a time. Flip them over after about 1 minutes or when brown. As the second side begins to brown, push them to the side of the pan and continue adding more beef till all of it is browned.
  4. Immediately turn off the heat. Top the beef in the pan with the grated cheddar cheese and allow it to sit while you spread the buns with sauce.
  5. Scoop about 4 ounces of meat and cheese onto each bun, then top with Jalapeno Ranch Sauce, then the top of the buns.

Jalapeno Ranch Sauce
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I like a slightly spicy sauce on burger and sandwiches, so I came up with this jalapeno ranch sauce in order to satisfy my craving for something a not too hot with a cool creamy ranch flavor running all through it.
Recipe type: Sauce
  • 1 Cup Mayonnaise
  • ½ Cup Sour Cream or Buttermilk
  • ¼ Cup Pickled Jalapenos - roughly chopped
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • ¼ tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Powdered Garlic
  • 1 tsp. Crushed Dill Weed
  • 1 tsp. Chives
  • 2 - 3 tbsp. Juice from the Pickled Jalapeno Jar
  1. Stir the mayonnaise in a small bowl till smooth, then add the sour cream or buttermilk. Stir once more.
  2. Add the jalapeno's and spices, then add enough pickled jalapeno juice to thin the sauce for spreading on your sandwich buns.






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