by Mary Cokenour
Sometimes I have a craving for a particular type of sandwich; not a sandwich really, but a sub.
The Philly Cheesesteak Sub – a massive amount of meat, onions and melted cheese crammed into a crusty sub (hero, grinder, hoagie – depending on your area) roll.
Sometimes with sautéed sweet and/or green bell peppers, hot peppers, mushrooms... it depends on who is making it.
Same thing for the cheese – maybe provolone or an orange cheese sauce called “Cheez Whiz”. Me? I use good old American cheese slices, 12 slices for every pound of meat.
The meat is normally thinly sliced Ribeye with just the right amount of fat and meat to keep it moist and tender.
You can have it sliced by the butcher, do it yourself, or find it already sliced and packaged in the frozen food section. The frozen Ribeye looks like small steaks, but when cooking, they break apart easily.
Stopping someplace local for lunch and seeing Philly Cheesesteak on the menu, why I get a bit excited thinking about that tender meat smothered in cheese, onions and peppers.
Then the actual item is placed in front of me... warmed slices of roast beef (maybe), raw onions, lettuce, tomatoes, and a slice of American cheese on a roll.
“Excuse me, but what is this?” I ask in confusion. “That’s our Philly Cheesesteak!”
I look at the waitress, look at the sandwich, look back at the waitress and say, “No hun, this is a roast beef sandwich, and if I wanted a roast beef sandwich, I would have ordered one. Has your cook ever even been to Philadelphia?”
Away she walks, mumbling under her breath about dumb customers. You know, if you took the ingredients out, placed it between fry bread, well I guess you’ve got a Sheepherder sandwich. Guess what, it’s still not a Philly Cheesesteak.
According to Visit Philadephia.com (http://www.visitphilly.com/), “Often imitated around the world, the cheesesteak is rarely duplicated successfully outside of Philadelphia.”
Even in Philly, shop owners compete for who makes the best cheesesteak. At the Reading Market, lines form down the aisles from the cheesesteak counter. This is a big deal!
So here’s what I am gonna do for you (sorry, just slipped into Brooklyn accent). I’m going to tell you how to make an authentic Philly Cheesesteak. Cold meat, raw onions, lettuce, tomatoes….get outta here!
Philly Cheesesteak Sub
Ingredients: 1 lb. thinly sliced Ribeye steak, 1 medium onion, cut into strips, 1 medium bell pepper, cut into strips (sweet, green or hot; your choice and optional), 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper, 1 Tbsp. minced garlic, 12 slices American cheese, 3 (6”) sub rolls (can’t find crusty rolls, toast them at 350F for 5 minutes)
In a large skillet, medium-high heat, brown the steak; it will be tender enough to break apart in the skillet while browning. When removing meat to plate, drain all excess grease except two tablespoons.
Put the onions, bell pepper, black pepper and garlic into the skillet; sauté’ until the vegetables begin to soften and brown on the edges. Add back the steak; add the cheese, use two spatulas to break apart the cheese and mix with the meat and vegetables thoroughly. Turn off heat.
Pack each sub roll with the mixture. Makes three subs.
Now that’s an authentic Philly Cheesesteak!