Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich
 
 
rec.food.cooking 
s...@astro.ocis.temple.edu 
stan horwitz at temple university, academic compute 
 
this is an old posting which someone just requested of my privately. here 
it is again: 
 
as i promised on rec.food.restaurants, i am posting a recipe for a real 
philadelphia cheese steak sandwhich. before i get down with the nitty 
gritty of the recipe, i am going to explain my "qualifications" for 
knowing what a real phily cheese steak is. 
 
i am a 32 year old male who lived in philadelphia for 32 years; ever since 
my parents gave birth to me. i enjoy cooking, especially cheese steaks 
because they're easy and cheap to make. i also rarely make them, 
unfortunately, because they are one of the most fattening foods i know of. 
unfortunately, i also got fat in large part due to cheese steaks since i 
all but lived off them when i was working on my undergraduate degree some 
years ago. 
 
note that i am also not claiming my rendition of a cheese steak is as good 
as places such as pat's, geno's, and jim's where the act of cooking phily 
cheese steaks has become an art form. mine, however, are taste good given 
the fact that my ingrendients are probably not nearly as fresh as the 
pros'. 
 
so here's the recipe for one philadelphia cheese steak sandwhich: 
 
one hoagie roll (as fresh as possible) sliced the long way, but not split. 
 
some very thin sliced beef. sirloin is preferred. this is often called 
minute steak. the amount depends on how hungry and big your roll is. i use 
1/2 pound. since the beef is so thin, you can cook it froozen or thawed, 
but of course, fresh is best and this is what the cheese steak pros use. 
 
a little bit of vegetable or olive oil. 
 
some optional topics such as fried or steamed mushrooms (my favorite), 
fried onions, hot or mild peppers, and tomato sauce. some things you 
should never put on a cheese steak (for reasons of tradition) are pickles, 
slice tomatos, lettuce, bacon, sausage, salad oil, and some other things 
which escape me. my opinion is that most non-philadelphians botch up their 
version of phily cheese steaks for no other reason that they put these 
"unwelcome" ingredients on their cheese steaks in an effort to be fancy or 
innovative. don't do it! some provalone cheese or cheese whiz. i like 
provalone. cheese whiz is very popular, but i don't like it because it has 
very little "cheese" taste and it tends to just run off the sandwhich 
anyway. the amount of the cheese to use depends on how much cheese you 
like. about 2 or 3 slices is fine, at least according to my taste and 
since you need to make room in the roll for the meat anyway. 
 
okay, so now take a large frying pan (non-stick is best unless you enjoy 
scrubbing grungy cookware) and let it get real hot on your range. if your 
pan starts smoking, its too hot. 
 
when the pan's hot, turn down the flame to a medium setting and coat the 
cooking surface of the pan with olive oil or non-stick spray if you're 
calorie conscious. make sure the whole pan's surface is coated because 
this thin beef sticks real easy. 
 
now that you have the pan coated with oil, put it back on the flame and 
put in the meat. if you want to be really authentic, as the meet cooks, 
tear it up with the sharp end of a plastic or wooden spatula. you don't 
need a metal spatula to do this because the meat's thin enough to be 
pulled apart by the blunt end of a non-metal spatula and you don't want to 
harm the pan. i hope you read this carefully before you start because be 
warned, the meet cooks very rapidly. it will only take a minute or two. 
when the meat is still slightly pink, gather it into a pile that's small 
enough to fit under a pot lid that's smaller than the pan in which the 
meat's cooking. add the cheese, and cover the meat with the lid so the 
heat gets trapped in around the meat. let the stuff cook a few seconds (10 
maybe) and then stir up the meat so the melting cheese gets blended in 
with the meat. put the lid back on and let it cook a few seconds more. the 
cheese should be thoroughly melted throughout the meat. you're done with 
the cooking part now. oh, if you are adding any onions or mushrooms or 
other ingredients, you can add them at the point you add the cheese, 
however, many places that cook these for a living add the optional stuff 
(except the mushrooms and onions) in the next step. mushrooms and onions 
are best added during the cheese phase for some reason, but other 
ingredients are normally added later. 
 
a variation on this method is to remove the meat before you add the cheese 
to let the excess oil and fat drain off. you can do this by placing the 
meat on a few paper towels so the oil drains out. put the meat back in the 
pan and continue where you left off. if you don't do this, you're going to 
get a lot of grease in your sandwhich. some people like that, actually, 
most people like that, but not me. i am posting this touch separately 
since its not quite authentic to let the liquid drain from the meat first. 
 
grab the roll and put the meat and cheese mixture in it. do so in such a 
way that the good stuff is evenly distributed along the length of the 
roll. now put this in a plate and serve it. service this with french 
fries, or maybe potato chips, for a real hearty meal. sliced pickles or 
pickle spears are fine too. whatever you do, don't put the pickles in the 
sandwhich as that's not authentic, imho. don't serve this with a salad or 
any other healthy side dish. no one eats a cheese steak from philadelphia 
with a salad and this is also something i have noticed some 
non-philaelphians fail to recognize. 
 
here's another cooking variation: 
 
cook the meat as described above, however, do not add the cheese at all. 
you should not, however, cook the meat all the way through. let it be 
slightly pink on the inside region of the pile of meat. put this meat in 
the hoagie roll, but make sure the pink portion of the meat is on the top 
of the roll so you can see it. add the cheese, and tomato sauce, and any 
stuff. slide the sandwhich under a hot broiler. let it sit under the 
broiler long enough so the cheese thoroughly melts. unfortunately, i don't 
have a broiler that would serve this purpose so i have never used this 
variation of cooking method. you will have to experiment with your broiler 
so you get it hot enough to do the cheese melting and toast the roll, but 
not hot enough to burn the roll. this is what philadelphians call a pizza 
steak sandwhich. its also the kind of thing (thanks to the broiler) that 
is best made by a pro. 
 
also realize that like any rendition of a recipe, different restaurants 
use slightly different variations on the recipe. philadelphia cheese steak 
emporiums are no exception. we folks in philadelphia sometimes enter into 
debates as to which cheese steak emporium has the best cheese steak. i 
like the steaks at many places in philadelphia, but for some reason, i 
don't like pat's steaks or geno's (across the street from pat's) either. 
my favorite cheese steak is made by the american pizza company in 
northeast philadelphia however, there are lots of other great cheese 
steaks to be found here. 
 
enjoy and get some exercise because this sandwhich is mega fattening. 
-- 
my name is stan horwitz and my e-mail address is 
s...@astro.ocis.temple.edu 
my opinions are all mine. they do not reflect those of my employer. 
 
 
-- 
(ID: 8913) Mirror: rec.food.recipes: Sat, Jan 31, 2004


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