What’s not to like about a Philly Cheesesteak? Sweet, caramelized sautéed peppers and onions; silky, nutty melted provolone cheese; and, of course, finely cut caramelized beef put into a sandwich.
I’ve upped the ante here by transforming the buns into a garlic loaf, adding beef’s favorite condiment horseradish, and incorporating an absolutely decadent melted black truffle infused cheddar before topping with a bit of mild American mustard for added sweetness to a deliciously rich sandwich.
You don’t have to replicate my Philly cheesesteak recipe precisely; I’ll show you how to make this delectable sandwich your own.
- Why is it called a “Philly Cheesesteak”?
- Gear that will help with this recipe
- What type of steak to use for a Philly cheesesteak?
- What type of cheese to use on a Philly cheesesteak?
- Preparing your steak and capsicum
- Light your grill
- Cooking your fillings
- Assembling your Philly Cheesesteak sandwich
- What is the secret to a good Philly cheesesteak?
- What is in a proper Philly cheesesteak?
- What’s the best cheese for Philly cheesesteak?
- What cut of meat is best for Philly cheesesteak?
- What was the original Philly cheesesteak ingredients?
- Do real Philly cheesesteak have peppers?
- What is the standard cheese for Philly cheesesteak?
- What is the default cheese on cheesesteak?
- What are 2 famous cheesesteak in Philly?
- Does Philly cheesesteak have sauce?
Why is it called a “Philly Cheesesteak”?
Every delicious sandwich has a legendary backstory, and the Philly Cheesesteak is no exception.
According to legend, the cheesesteak sandwich first appeared in 1930 at what is today Pats King Of Steaks in Philadelphia.
Pat Olivieri had a hot dog stand, and employees would queue up every day for them. He’d offer them hot dogs from his modest street cart. Pat became bored with hot dogs and decided to try something new for lunch.
So he instructed his brother to go down to the butcher and get some meat scraps. Pat fried it on the flatplate and served it on a hot dog sandwich with cheese when he returned.
A taxi driver spotted the sandwich, thought it looked wonderful, and requested for one as well. Pat informed him that he only had enough meat for one sandwich, so they divided it. The taxi driver gushed about it and advised Pat to quit selling hot dogs and instead sell this.
or onions, although the original was precisely as the name suggests.That was the birth of the steak sandwich. Some restaurants now serve it with grilled peppers, mushrooms, and onions.
Gear that will help with this recipe
- A barbecue that can cook both directly and indirectly, such as a Weber Kettle
- A cast-iron skillet or BBQ plate
- Your choice of charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal
- A chunk of your favorite smoking wood
- A chimney starter (not essential)
- A burger flipper or metal spatula
- Handle the skillet with heat-resistant gloves or a tea towel.
What type of steak to use for a Philly cheesesteak?
The finest beef for a Philly cheesesteak is one that can withstand a hot, quick grill.
I used thinly sliced ribeye and flank steak for this dish since I wanted a variety of tastes. You can use either one or both, but you could also use skirt steak, new york strip, or porterhouse.
If you do use one of the latter, be careful to trim the fat around the outer border first.
Anything with a little marbling is ideal, since we’ll be heating up a griddle to create some great caramelization on the thinly sliced steak.
What type of cheese to use on a Philly cheesesteak?
Provolone cheese is normally used, but I chose a mild nutty Swiss-style cheese instead. Any mild white American cheese would suffice.
Its best to buy pre-sliced.
Preparing your steak and capsicum
Your steak pieces should be very browned with beautiful tiny edges.
To do this, we must thinly slice our steak. I suggest freezing your steak for 30-40 minutes before slicing it to help you obtain these lovely thin slices.
After your steak has been frozen for a bit, take it out and, working quickly so that it does not defrost too much, use a very sharp knife to slice it extremely thin about thick. It is critical not to allow your steak to defrost too much, since this will make it harder to slice as thinly.
Ready to grill, cut your onion and peppers into pieces.
For my cheesesteak sandwich, I use a little garlic loaf, although hoagie bread may also be used.
Now is the time to prepare your garlic butter if you followed my instructions precisely. Finely cut your garlic, combine it with a pinch of salt, and ground it into a paste using the back of a knife.
Combine this with your butter and spread it on both sides of your split hoagie roll. Bake at 390°F for approximately 5 minutes, or until gently toasted.
Keep an eye on it since various sized rolls will cook differently! Alternatively, you may broil it or, better yet, use your BBQ to toast it over indirect fire at the same temperature, finishing face side down to crisp up beautifully.
Light your grill
If you don’t have a grill, you can cook your steak and filling on a griddle pan, but the taste of grilling over charcoal is unrivaled.
To bring my BBQ up to a flaming hot temperature, I use a complete chimney of charcoal and then some more lump charcoal. If you’re using a gas grill, turn on all of the burners underneath your hotplate and shut the cover to make it as hot as possible. Use a secondary burner and a cast iron skillet instead.
When your coals are white hot (or your hotplate is screaming hot), set your cast iron skillet right over the coals and let it to heat up as hot as you can (if you’re using a gas grill with a hotplate, you can skip this step).
Cooking your fillings
When your pan or hotplate is hot, drizzle with oil and add your peppers and onions.
You want to cook them until they are tender. Don’t be concerned if the edges begin to burn little; this will add to the taste!
Once the vegetables have softened (approximately 5-6 minutes), take them from the pan or plate and place them in a dish, covered with foil to keep warm.
Then it’s time for the main attraction, the steak! Put your thinly sliced steak in a bowl with a drizzle of oil and liberal seasoning of salt and pepper.
Return your pan to the fire and heat it until it is smoking hot. Remember, we want to cook this very hard and fast to get some lovely Maillard reaction tastes going.
If your cooking surface is hot enough, toss the steak mixture into the pan or onto your hotplate; it should sizzle loudly!
Spread your sliced steak out with tongs so that as much surface area as possible comes into contact with the hot cooking surface, and continue to move it about until it’s thoroughly charred and caramelized.
Return the peppers and onion to the steak to warm before mixing everything together.
If you’re using charcoal, you may switch your griddle to indirect heat at this stage, add a piece of cherry or your preferred smoking wood, and cover for 5 minutes to smoke.
After that, divide your fillings into as many piles as you have sandwiches to prepare.
The materials mentioned will make two generous-sized rolls, but I use an extra-long roll and then cut it in half.
It’s time to add your cheese once you’ve sorted into heaps. Remove from the heat and top each mound of wonderful steak and peppers with a couple of pieces of cheese.
Assembling your Philly Cheesesteak sandwich
peppers.cheeseWhile your cheese is melting, put some horseradish cream on the bottom of the hoagie bun, which you should be able to acquire from any respectable supermarket or deli, and then top with a large pile of your meat.
I find it simplest to take from the pan with a spatula and put directly on the toasted bread.
I then topped it with some grated truffle-infused cheddar, but if you can’t locate it, a dab of black truffle oil from your local deli would do for a lovely, rich finish. To finish, a spray of American mustard, then the top of your roll, and dig in!
This is a hearty sandwich, so pair it with a crisp, clean, easy-drinking beer.