harissa steak sandwiches with sweet red onion pickle

Here for the harissa steak sandwiches, which are nothing more than the perfect low-syn dinner you deserve? Then you’re in the right place…but first…

I was planning on doing a more general Room 101 type post – and I’ll come back to that a little down the line – but upon writing my notes it struck me the amount of ‘internet pet-peeves’ appeared on my list. So, instead of a wider picture, take my hand as I pull you down a very specific tunnel of anger: e-annoyances.

Actually, first on the list, adding e- to any noun or verb. This isn’t the nineties anymore, Pat Sharp has long since got rid of his mullet and even Jim Bowen has died. Let’s all move on, shall we? We’re not going to e-meet, e-grieve or e-felch.

Next is vaguebooking. If you’re checking in at a hospital it should be the law that you have to give everyone every scintillating detail of what you’re in for. You want people to know you’re there, so don’t leave them hanging – even if you’re having a team of doctors giving you a smear test using a block and tackle and a diving helmet it doesn’t matter, put pictures up. Or: shut the fuck up about it. This is compounded by those imbeciles who check in and then don’t respond to the countless ‘is everything alright’ posts that invariably trickle in. There’s a special place reserved in Hell for you: I can only hope the doctor doesn’t warm his hands beforehand.

Along similar lines, anyone posting ‘karma will get you’ or ‘omg can’t believe what I’ve heard’ or any other vague statement designed to make them look faintly interesting whilst revealing their own crushing existential crisis, they can go jump in the sea. This seems to be common amongst those who believe shaving off their eyebrows and reapplying them using a highlighter pen is a good look.

Normally synonymous alongside the above is use of the word haters. There ought to be a reality check button on facebook to clarify that no, you’re not actually important enough to have haters. No-one is, unless you’re someone like professional shitgibbon Katie Hopkins, and look what happened to her. Why would you imagine that people are actively going out of their way to ‘hate’ you when most people simply pass you by? It’s exhausting: and, let’s say for the sake of argument that you do have haters, are you really ‘showing the haters’ by finally beating level 344 of Candy Crush? Haway.

They’re the same folks who usually upload jpeg images of Marilyn Monroe with the (incorrectly attributed) quote “but if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best” scrawled across it in Mistral. To compound things, the jpeg is usually accompanied with eight levels of tray-icons from being screenshotted from every mobile device known to man – I swear I’ve seen Marilyn Monroe (as viewed through a potato) with Super Mario Land playing in the background. This particular quote makes my teeth itch whenever you see it stretched badly over some canvas in B&M, nevermind seeing it on facebook too.

Whilst we’re here, if you’re having to put something like ‘Only God can judge me‘ on your facebook wall, then chances are you should be judged as you’re having to pre-empt people calling you out. I wish I was God: I wouldn’t hesitate on slurring the word biiiiiiiiiiiiitch out as you tried to put on your shoes.

Curveball time: if you’re writing ‘kitteh‘ or ‘doggo‘ or anything other than the actual name of the animal, and you’ve mastered not shitting your pants and solid food, then you deserve nothing more than everlasting shame and I hope your life is full of always thinking you’ve left something switched on at home. There’s simply no need for it. Cats and dogs are cute as they are without adding some ridiculously asinine mispronunciation on top of it.

Shall we cover leaving speeches? We see it ever so often in our facebook group – people flouncing out but having to put a big speech in just before they do to explain their departure. Why? Do they imagine all 70,000 of us are sitting there ashen-faced, looking at each other with pleading eyes, all desperate to know why Shelly Mamov5 McGee has forsaken us? It’s always done with altogether too many emojis and hysteria to be taken as constructive criticism anyway.

And finally, why the joint profile names, people? Surely it’s quicker just to upload a brief statement explaining who cheated who? #awkward, right?

RIGHT. That’s quite enough of all that, my blood pressure can’t take it anymore. Let’s do the harissa steak sandwiches!

harissa steak sandwiches

harissa steak sandwiches

harissa steak sandwiches with sweet onion pickle




Yield 2 sandwiches

Now, for these harissa steak sandwiches, you have a choice: you can serve it up in your normal bread bun or, if you are feeling fancy, you can pop it in a ciabatta - you can have a Schar Gluten Free White Ciabatta Roll as a healthy extra, after all!

But here's the thing. Gluten free food is expensive and it can be a proper pain in the arse to find if you are following a gluten-free diet. That's annoying when you want to cook with it, but what if gluten free was the only bread you could have and you had to do without because some div on Slimming World was too frightened about just having a breadbun? Before you pick it off the shelf, have a think.

Before anyone tells us off, first of all: how dare you. We used a bog standard ciabatta for this. No regrets.


  • a couple of thin skirt steaks - or whatever steak you want to use, but skirt steak is super cheap
  • 3 tbsp of harissa paste (you can buy it in most supermarkets, and it's 1/2 syn per tablespoon)
  • whatever breadbun you want to use (a Schar Gluten Free White Ciabatta Roll is your HEB, but so is a bog-standard brown breadbun)
  • a bag of mixed salad leaves
  • fresh ground pepper and salt
  • two red onions
  • 4 tablespoons of white wine vinegar (or use normal white vinegar, if you don't have it to hand)
  • pinch of chilli flakes
  • tsp of honey (1 syn)


  • make the pickle - dead easy, slice the onion into thin half moons, pop in a bowl with the vinegar, chilli and honey - and leave to soak for thirty minutes or so
  • rub the harissa paste into the steak and lie flat on a plate, leave for an hour or so to marinate
  • next bit is dead easy - cook your steaks however you like - we like it still mooing, as you can see - and grill your ciabatta / breadbun
  • thinly slice your cooked steak
  • make up your sandwich - hot meat, pickled onion and green salad - yum!

It's as easy as that!


Courses sandwiches

Loved the sound of our harissa steak sandwiches and now want more sandwiches? Of course you do!



droptober recipe #5: egg, pastrami and cheese loaded sandwich

Yesterday it was a portion of pie, today an egg, pastrami and cheese loaded sandwich- if you’re sitting there with an itchy gunt and slaver on your lips thinking it’s going to be diet-friendly chocolate ice-cream with added cake tomorrow…you’ll be disappointed. But I must say, I’m somewhat enjoying these more ‘naughty’ recipes – are you? But mind, before we get to the egg, pastrami and cheese loaded sandwich, you know what’s coming…more of my words poured into your ear like the sweetest of all the honey. Let’s wrap up Glasgow.

There’s not an awful amount to say – not because it wasn’t useful (it was) or lovely (of course) but because my week consisted of me going to my temporary work, learning lots, coming back, eating lots, sleeping. Even I’d struggle to eke 1000 words out of that, but hey, that’s never stopped me before! Some random thoughts then.

When I checked in I was offered a room with a view of the river – sounds great, right? I immediately snapped it up only to be told it cost an extra £25 a night for this view. I did enquire as to whether there was going to be a flotilla of rare boats I could gaze at or perhaps a Scottish take on the Oxford/Cambridge rowing, but no – which is a shame, as I love nothing more than watching cox thrusting away – it was just a letterbox window view of the Squinty Bridge. I’m ashamed to say I took it anyway despite the extra charge and actually managed to sweet-talk the charge off my bill later in the week.

Glasgow seems surprisingly amazed by the Squinty Bridge. I mean, it’s nice, for a slightly-vagina shaped bit of metal, but I’ll see your Squinty Bridge and, quite literally, raise you our Millennium Bridge:


Our bridge moves! I gazed out of the window for ages thinking that your bridge moved, but alas, it never did. Plus, I only spotted fifteen bodies floating down the river during the five days I was there – Taggart lies. Our bridge lifts up to allow ships to enter (it seems fitting for Newcastle, actually: a giant, hard beast that opens up to allow easy access for seamen) and is ever so fancy.

The room itself was nothing to write home about, which was lucky because who wants to receive a letter stating ‘bed clearly damaged by too many people rutting on it’ and ‘bathroom tiny but fine, who knew being able to shower and shit at the same time would be such a luxury’. Weirdly, there was no main light, meaning every moment before bed was spent turning off about 100 lamps and drawing the curtains against the glow of the lights outside.  Just what you need before bed, a fucking bleep test. I missed Paul most of all when I was sleeping. I just can’t get a relaxing night’s sleep unless I’m sleeping with half an ear cocked for him finally being drowned by his own neck-fat. Ah well.

Is there a more fraught, tense feeling in life than having a white hire car and not taking out the damage insurance that covers scratches and dents? I swear I spent a good two hours a day gingerly driving my car a foot in various directions, terrified that if I parked next to another car their careless owner would come back and scrape their denim-clad arse all down the side of my car, leaving me with a ridiculous bill to pay. I’ve never felt such stress behind the wheel – I had to go for a colonoscopy just to calm down. There will be footage in some tedious collection somewhere of me trying to park perfectly within the lines of a bay in a perpetually empty car-park. Worse, I had to move my car at one point as I’d parked it directly under the Finnieston Crane and, being ever the worrier, I had visions of dead seagulls plummeting from on high and cracking the window. You know what makes this just the worst though? Anyone watching would automatically assume I was a braying arsehole who didn’t want his precious Audi scratched – to be clear, it was all fuelled by me being a tight-arse.

Speaking of being a tight-arse, after one particularly taxing day, I made my way back to the hotel and stopped by their gaily-named little pantry for a snack. I snaffled a Crunchie and a can of coke and the lady behind the desk charged me £2.90. I was conflicted. As a fat bastard, I wanted the Crunchie. As a sarcastic sod, I wanted to ask whether she was confused and perhaps she thought I was asking her to accompany me up to chew the Crunchie and share the coke. As a Geordie I wanted to be outraged, bellow something about rip-off Britain and stot it off her noggin. Naturally, my elegant, fat, British side won out, and I took my Crunchie and coke and grumbled about it to myself all the way back to the room.

Weirdly, that’s about the only things I have to say on the trip – as it was for business rather than pleasure there wasn’t a lot of shenanigans to be had! I used Deliveroo for all of my evening meals. For those that ‘div nat knaa’, as it were, this is a service which picks up delicious food from local restauarants and cycles it round straight to your location. It’s a great idea in principle and, judging by the sheer amount of hipsters who almost run me over every time I cross a street in Newcastle, seems to be doing well. My limit for each evening meal was £25 and I found a voucher for £10, meaning, because I like to get the value from these things, I ordered £35 every night. Mahaha. I know, it’s shocking, but see it meant I could keep some for breakfast (though dolmades at 7am is a tough call) and stock up on drinks, so there was method in the madness. I did have to make a ‘oh my other half is starving’ crack every time the Deliveroo driver turned up to try and justify the huge bag of food he was bringing. He knew though. He knew.

And that’s that! Let’s get to the recipe for egg, pastrami and cheese loaded sandwich before bake-off starts, eh? It’s four syns per sandwich. The photo below shows one half of the sandwich as we’ve cut it in two for the picture. Dur.


to make egg, pastrami and cheese loaded sandwich you will need:

  • 2 slices of your Healthy Extra B choice bread
  • 2 tsp mustard (1 syn) (use the mild mustard, the bright yellow stuff, as opposed to anything too hot, unless you want a steaming hoop later)
  • 3 slices of gherkins
  • 5 slices pastrami
  • 1 egg
  • 15ml skimmed milk (½ syn)
  • half a 25g bag of light baked crisps (2½ syns) (this adds a nice crunch)
  • 2 slices of light cheese (1x HeA)
  • 1 tomato, sliced

to make egg, pastrami and cheese loaded sandwich you should:

  • toast the bread to however you like it and once the toast is done, put mustard on
  • scramble the eggs by whisking with the milk, and cooking in a small saucepan over a medium heat (don’t stir too often!)
  • layer everything
  • add the top slice of toast and enjoy

I hope this fills your hole but if you’re looking for some more inspiration, just click on one of the buttons below!

beefsmall   breakfastsmallsnackssmall tastersmallnaughtyfood

Thanks all!