My favorite childhood snack is…. scratch that. My all time favorite snack is my mommy’s bifteak or bufteak. This is Egypt’s version of chicken fried steak. My mommy always makes this for us when we are travelling, arriving from travel, or a quick late night snack. Basically, she makes it all the time. Usually she intends for it to make it to the dinner table, but with all of us back and forth into her kitchen, the plate never quite makes it there.
My sister and I used to take the bifteak, put ketchup on it, slice up a dill pickle and put it in a pita pocket. My mother used to cringe at the sight of the ketchup with the beloved bifteak. Nowadays, with our adult palettes, we no longer reach for the ketchup. Instead, I make these into nice sandwiches with a slather of labne (Lebanese strained yogurt), sliced cucumbers and tomato. Much more of an “adult” sandwich!
Also, most people make bifteak with veal (Heba’s version) . We always opt for using the already thin sliced beef that is sold at the stores. It requires minimal tenderizing, and is pretty dirt cheap. It is always best to marinate the beef for as long as you can (overnight is ideal), but in a quick fix, a 15 minute marinade while you prepare the ingredients will do just fine. I also found that panko crumbs keep the crust crispy, although any traditional bread crumbs will work as well (they just may get soggy quicker).