Saturday, August 1, 2009

Philly Cheesesteak

This is one of the most delicious hot sandwiches I have ever eaten. It’s substantial enough to serve for a meal and is especially good served with a robust green salad on the side…although most people seem to prefer it with French fries (which I, personally, find to be a bit of carb/fat/fried food overkill).

To be perfectly clear, I’ve never been to Philadelphia, so I make no claims of authenticity here. I was introduced to the cheese steak sandwich at Sir John’s in Sunnyvale, California and found it fabulous. The internet provided me with some background information and I was delighted to find enough information to replicate and even improve on Sir John’s version of this classic American dish. Here is what I came up with:

Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich

2 soft crust French rolls about 6 to 8 inches long (Amoroso rolls if you can get them)
Soft butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 lean rib-eye steaks, half frozen
1 onion, cut into thin slices
1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into narrow strips or 1” chunks (optional)
½ cup mushroom slices (optional)
1 tsp garlic oil (optional)
1 cup Provolone cheese, roughly grated (must be Provolone)
Salt and black pepper to taste

Prepare rolls:
Split rolls lengthwise, open and butter. If you have a toaster oven, put rolls in oven, buttered side up, and toast until slightly browned. Then remove rolls to plates. If you don’t have a toaster oven, heat a skillet or flat griddle and place rolls on hot surface, buttered side down, and heat until slightly browned. Then remove rolls to plates.

Prepare filling:
The meat is easiest to slice if it is partially frozen. Using a sharp knife, slice as thin as possible, ¼” or less. Trim off excess fat and discard.

Heat large skillet or griddle and coat with olive oil. Add meat, onions, bell pepper, mushrooms and garlic oil. Keep moving on griddle, so nothing sticks or burns. You can chop the steak strips into smaller pieces if you like, but I keep mine whole. Cook until onions are limp and meat is browned. (If using green peppers and/or mushrooms, make sure they are soft as well). Add salt and pepper to taste.

Assemble sandwich:
Remove filling and divide equally between the rolls. Spread the cheese over the top of the meat and place the top half of the roll on each sandwich. Microwave briefly if necessary to get the cheese to fully melt.

Comments with your additions/variations are welcome!

Photo by bertosolo, Flickr


IndigoWrath said...

Damn, that sounds nice. I wonder if I can buy provolone locally?

*tummy rumbles*

The Baxteria said...

This is cruel. You are making me hungry :( Hahaha I will keep your recipe in case party calls for this ;)

avideogameplayer said...

Nice recipe. But I have NEVER heard of any place in Philly throwing green peppers on a cheesesteak. At least not on a regular one. I don't even think Gino's did that.

But good going otherwise...

Melinda said...

I *love* Philly cheesesteaks. I went to grad school in PA and used to eat PCS's all the time. I completely agree on the french fries--that's WAY too many carbs/fat for me!


Alan said...

oh, that sounds yummy. i've never been to Philadelphia either (though I passed through it on the train countless times and just by co-incidence my blog is physically hosted in that city) but I love these sandwiches and your recipe tells me exactly how to recreate this favorite at home. Bravo!

Sweet Violet said...

@avidvideogamer: Personally, I prefer the sandwich without green peppers, but the place where I first discovered the Cheesesteak offered them.

Deray said...

I do like green peppers in mine :-D
There is a place in Tucson, that claims to have original PCS's and they actually offer 3 different kinds of cheese and none of them is Provolone, jajajaja.

Sweet Violet said...

I've researched this on the internet and the original PCS used ribeye steak and Provolone cheese. You can now get them in Philly using CheezeWhiz (ew!), so I suppose different cheeses are allowed. But if you want the authentic taste, the way the sandwich originated in Philly in the 1930s, it's got to be ribeye and Provolone!