The Best Damn Philly Cheesesteak You'll Ever Eat
Philly cheesesteak wars are a constant event between Pat’s and Geno’s in South Philly. (See a bit of history about this rivalry in the video below.) If I still lived there, they’d have to go up against me. And I’d win!
How’s that for confidence?
No Cheeze Whiz Here!
I was raised by a born-and-bred Philly dude. When we lived in Philly, I don’t think Cheeze Whiz had been invented, yet that’s what they put on them now. Yuck! Who wants plastic cheese on their food? Not me. Not then and not now.
If you have a hankerin’ for the best damn Philly cheesesteak on the planet, you’ve got the tools in your hand with this recipe. I made lunch for my mom and dad when I brought my son home from the birthing center (at the tender age of 10 hours old!), and Dad swears it was the best cheesesteak he’s ever had. Everyone I’ve made it for since says the same thing. I’m now passing my secret on to you. You’ll be a hit when you lay this on your comrades. That’s a promise!
This sandwich is best made in a cast iron skillet. The brand of sandwich meat I recommend is Philly Gourmet (what else?). It’s 100% beef with no crap added. It’s very thinly sliced and is made to be cooked frozen. You don’t need to add fat to the pan because there’s already some in the meat.
- 2 hoagie rolls, multi-grain if available, sliced lengthwise (keep them intact—do not slice all the way through)
- 1 (9-ounce) package Philly-Gourmet Steaks for Sandwiches (1 package is enough for two sandwiches)
- 1/2 sweet onion, sliced (Vidalia is preferred when in season)
- 1 tablespoon butter (to fry onions)
- 3 to 4 ounces mushrooms, baby portabella, sliced and quartered or halved
- 4 to 5 slices American cheese, deli-sliced (don't buy the packaged stuff)
- 6 slices provolone cheese, deli-sliced
- salt and pepper to taste (sea salt and freshly ground pepper is best)
- 1 skillet, 10-inch
- 1 slotted spoon
- 1 baking sheet
- Melt the butter over medium heat and add the sliced onions, separating them into rings. Cook until slightly limp and brown. You want them to have a bit of a crunch to them.
- Remove onions with a fork and place in the well of the hoagie rolls.
- Place onion stuffed hoagie rolls on a baking sheet.
- Add mushrooms to the pan and sauté until they reduce and you can smell them. Remove ‘shrooms to a bowl and set aside.
- Remove the steak pads from the package. Add one pad (they’re separated by parchment paper for easy removal) to your pan. Poke the meat all over with a fork. With two forks, use a criss-cross motion to break the meat into small pieces. Shove them off to the side of the pan and repeat until all the meat is cooked. Note: it will still be pink at this point. Don’t overcook—you’re not done yet!)
- When all the meat is cooked, spread it out in the skillet.
- Add the mushrooms back to the pan and mix with the meat using your slotted spoon.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook, stirring with the slotted spoon until meat is no longer pink.
- Tear American cheese slices into small pieces, one or two at a time. Mix well with the meat until incorporated. Continue adding cheese until the mixture is kinda gooey and a light brown color.
- Remove pan from the heat and spoon the meat/cheese mixture into the hoagie rolls. Be sure to use the slotted spoon so you can leave any excess grease behind. Stuff the hoagie rolls nice and full. A sandwich isn’t a sandwich if there’s more bread than stuff!
- Place 3 pieces Provolone cheese on each hoagie roll. Overlap them and stuff the sides inside the roll(s).
- Bake in a 350°F oven until the Provolone is melted (about 5 minutes).
- Remove from oven and let rest on baking sheet for a minute or two.
- Squeeze the sandwiches closed, plate, serve, and enjoy!
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Calorie Content per Sandwich
Calories From Fat
Philly-Gourmet Steak meat
Multi-grain hoagie roll
Why My Philly Cheesesteaks Are Better Than Pat's or Geno's
- Breaking the meat into small, scrambled pieces makes it tender and easy to eat. You won’t find slabs of meat pulling from the hoagie roll each time you take a bite.
- Placing the onions on the bottom of the roll (as opposed to slapping them on top of the meat) adds texture and a bit of a crunch.
- Incorporating mushrooms and American cheese into the meat adds flavor without resulting in gloppy layers that sit on top of each other.
- I use real cheese, not jarred crap that has god-knows-what in it.
- My Philly cheesesteak recipe has a higher meat-to-bread ratio.
- Adding Provolone cheese to the top and baking the cheesesteaks for a few minutes adds a bit more decadence to the sandwich. It also allows the hoagie rolls to crisp a little on the outside while staying soft on the inside. Besides, why put hot sandwich fixins’ in a room temperature roll?
Once you try this recipe, you’ll agree that it’s the best damn Philly cheesesteak you’ll ever eat. A word of caution: This is not something you’ll want to eat often, as it is pretty fattening. However, when you get a hankerin’ for a decadent, mouthwatering, mm-mm-good hot sandwich, my Philly cheesesteak recipe is the one you’ll reach for. You may even get two meals out of one sandwich; I usually do.
For you meat-eaters, I hope you try this recipe. Maybe together we can resolve the Philly cheesesteak war once and for all.
Bring it on, Pat’s and Geno’s!
P.S. Please rate this recipe. Thanks!
What Say You?
Do you think you'll try your hand at making the best damn Philly Cheesesteak you ever ate?
© 2015 Shauna L Bowling