1 loaf of white bread (unsliced)
4 rib-eye or fillet steaks, a bit shorter than the loaf
6 Portobello mushrooms
200-300g exotic mushrooms (I used oyster and Shitake)
4 cloves garlic
1 handful fresh herbs (I used marjoram, parsley, thyme)
Salt and pepper
Slice one end off the loaf and hollow out the middle, setting the soft crumb to one side.
Saute the steaks, seasoned with pepper but without salt, for two minutes per side in the olive oil. Remove to a plate. It is important that your steaks are rare so that they give up their moisture to the sandwich when pressed.
Reduce the heat and melt one knob of butter in the pan with the olive oil from the steaks. Saute the Portobello mushrooms with the smashed cloves of garlic until the mushrooms are soft and starting to release their juices. Transfer to the plate with the steaks.
Season the steaks and mushrooms with plenty of salt and some more pepper. Build layers of steak, Portobello mushrooms, wild mushrooms and herbs inside the loaf until you have used everything up – if any cracks appear in the loaf, patch with the crumb you reserved. Pour any juices from the plate into the sandwich with the liquid from the pan. Wipe the cut end of the loaf in any remaining pan juices and put it back on the loaf. Wrap the whole thing in three layers of greaseproof paper and tie up tightly with string.
Place the loaf on a chopping board so the steaks are lying horizontally. Place another chopping board on top of the loaf and weight it down – a plate with 3-4 food cans on top did the trick. Leave the sandwich (no need to refrigerate) for five hours.
Serve the sandwich by simply slicing through the whole stuffed loaf with a breadknife. The steaks will be juicy, the pressed mushrooms silky, and the whole thing full of concentrated flavour.