I happen to love Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches but Michael is not much of a fan. Could be due to the presence of “green things.”
I have probably never had an authentic Philly Cheesesteak in my life since I have never been to Philly. They seem simple enough, but I am sure there are little nuances perfected over decades in Philly that I cannot even touch. But, that didn’t stop me from trying, two days in a row.
Yesterday’s version had the meat too finely chopped and lacking seasoning. Today’s version made up for it. I left the meat thinly sliced and didn’t chop it. I added a lot more salt and pepper to the meat and a little to the veggies as well. I swapped out the cheese sauce I made yesterday for good old slices of white American cheese, melted onto the bun under the broiler. Night and day I tell ya, the difference was night and day!
Here are my tips for making really good Philly Cheesesteaks:
1.) Buy meat with good marbling like thick rib eye steaks. Don’t even think about using sliced roast beef from the deli. Don’t even think about it.
2.) Slice the meat as thin as you can get it, across the grain.
3.) To make the meat easier to slice thin, put it in the freezer for 45-60 minutes.
4.) Use a very sharp, good quality knife. I could not have gotten the thin slices I got today without my new Wusthof chef’s knife. (Not a paid endorsement, just my opinion)
5.) Season the meat well with salt and pepper. There are no other flavorings on the meat so you need it.
6.) Use a good quality Italian roll. Yesterday I used homemade baguettes but today I had to use store-bought. I splurged on San Francisco brand rolls.
7.) Cook the peppers separate from the onions in case you have a picky eater. Some people add sautéed mushrooms too.
8.) I know Cheese Whiz is classic, but I don’t recommend it. I may change my mind if I ever get to Philly to try one with Cheese Whiz, but for now I am recommending real sliced cheese.
9.) Spread a little butter on the rolls and toast in the broiler. Add the cheese and let it melt before adding the meat and veggies.
10.) After assembling, wrap the sandwiches in aluminum foil and place in a 300 degree oven for about 7-10 minutes. This step allows to meat juices to soak into the bread and crisps the crust up a bit. This really makes a difference.
- 4 hoagie rolls, sliced and lightly buttered
- 1 small green pepper, sliced
- 1 large sweet yellow onion, cut in half and sliced thin
- 1.5 pounds beef ribeye steaks (sliced thinly across the grain)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 8 slices white American Cheese
- Preheat the broiler to high.
- Slice the hoagie rolls, lightly butter them and broil on a sheet pan until golden brown. Place two slices of cheese on each roll, slightly overlapping the edge of bun. Place back under the broiler until the cheese melts. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet or griddle on medium high. Add 1 tablespoon butter. Add the onions and cook 5-8 minutes until onions are translucent. Remove and place onions on a plate. Set aside. Add another tablespoon butter and cook the green peppers until soft. Put on a plate. (You can cook these together if everyone likes them both!)
- Add 1 tablespoon butter and turn the heat to high. Season steak with salt & pepper and add to the hot skillet. Reduce to medium and cook for 2-4 minutes. Do not over-cook. Move the meat around as it cooks. Remove from heat.
- Assemble the cooked meat and veggies atop the hoagie rolls. Place each sandwich on a separate square of foil and wrap loosely to close. Place in the oven for 7-10 minutes. Eat piping hot as soon as they come out of the oven.