Tipsy Bison Steak Sandwich

From The Last of Us Part II video game...    

I'll admit, I put off playing The Last of Us Part II for a long, long time. I knew the basics of the plot from a friend and I just wasn't ready for... all of that. Luckily, the phenomenal TV series based on the games has renewed my interest and kindled some of the necessary grit to get through the rest of the story. And it's a good thing too, because the Jackson settlement is a fascinating glimpse of the culinary possibilities in a post-apocalyptic world. When walking around town, you can see greenhouses, a butcher, a grocery store... There's even a diner! So, what's in those steak sandwiches Ellie is given by the owner of The Tipsy Bison? Well, they're probably quite palatable, unlike his unsavory remarks... Some observations: There were plenty of onions at the grocery store, along with various breads, baguettes and boules. In Episode 5 of the show, Tommy mentions that they are working on bacon and you do see meat being cured at the butcher and a lot of salt bags scattered around, so I threw it in. I also added some greens that would be easy to forage in the wild or grow in those greenhouses. Also, I suspect folks got right down to making fresh cheese once there were cows and goats available for milk. Finally, there's some bourbon as a nod to the "tipsy" part of Tipsy Bison (and to give it a kick). But it's a "no" on mushrooms, obviously.



  • 1 6-8oz Ribeye Steak (1.5" thick)
  • 2-3 slices Thick Cut Bacon 
  • 1 Red Onion, sliced 
  • 1 tbsp. Bourbon (optional)
  • 1-2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp. Salted Butter
  • 4 large cloves Garlic (unpeeled!) 
  • 1 French Steak Roll (or bread of your choice) 
  • 1/2 cup Dandelion and/or Mustard Greens (or use Arugula)
  • 1 tsp. Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2-3 tbsp. crumbled Goat Cheese or Feta (or to taste, optional) 
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)  



  1. Season the steak with salt and pepper or steak seasoning of your choice. Set aside at room temperature. 
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Use tongs to remove the bacon and set it aside on a paper towel-lined plate. 
  3. Drain all but a tablespoon of the bacon fat from the pan. Turn the heat to very low and add the onions to the skillet with the bacon fat. Add in 1-2 teaspoons of the bourbon and use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. If you don't want to use bourbon, you can use cooking wine or red wine vinegar.
  4. Cook the onions over low heat, stirring every few minutes to prevent burning, for 30-40 minutes until caramelized. If you're comfortable multi-tasking, you can have these going while you complete the rest of the recipe and they should be done around when it's time to assemble the sandwich, just don't forget to stir them every few minutes! Stir in the remaining teaspoon of bourbon when they're about 5 minutes away from being done.
  5. While the onions are cooking, you can start on the steak. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Heat the olive oil in a separate cast iron skillet over high heat. Once the skillet is very hot, add half a tablespoon of butter and let it melt until it starts to bubble. Add the steak to the skillet. It should immediately start sizzling. Sear the steak on each side for 1-2 minutes just until a crust has formed, adding another 1/2 tablespoon of butter before flipping the steak. 
  6. Toss the unpeeled garlic cloves into the skillet and place the skillet in the preheated oven. Let the steak cook for another 5-10 minutes in the oven until the internal temperature reaches 135° Fahrenheit for medium-rare, 145° for medium or 155° for medium-well. Once the steak has reached the desired doneness, remove steak from the skillet and let it rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes. 
  7. Check the garlic cloves, they may need a few more minutes in the oven to become soft inside. So while the steak rests, you can throw them back in the oven for a few more minutes. Once they are buttery soft inside, remove them from the heat and set aside.
  8. Butter each side of the steak roll with the remaining butter. Lightly toast the bread until the butter has melted and it is crisp on the outside but still soft inside. Peel the roasted garlic cloves and spread them onto the bread like the butter, using 2 cloves per side.
  9. Toss the arugula in the red wine vinegar and a dash of olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  10. Slice the (now fully rested) steak against the grain into 3/4 inch slices (or however thick you'd like). 
  11. Layer the slices on top of the bottom half of the steak roll. On top of that, layer the onions, which should now be nicely caramelized. Lay on the bacon slices, followed by the arugula, then sprinkle on the cheese (if using). Finally, add the top piece of the steak roll. If you want to present it like it looks in the game, wrap the sandwich in parchment paper and tie with twine before serving. 


Serves 1-2


*Bonus, I've got a brand new way to introduce myself:

video games 2308241859080787374

Post a Comment Default Comments

  1. Haha, the "bigot sandwich"!! Looks delish!

  2. Could I use venison?

  3. Venison would work! I'd recommend using the striploin cut.



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