When my big brother lived in Philly he would bring us home the real deal when he came back to visit…cheesesteaks that were absolutely positively out of this world. Now I will tell you, this brother of mine has taught me a lot about a lot over the years…sort of the jack of all trades. But I must admit even greater than my appreciation for him teaching me about business and music and oh so much more (like being one of the worlds largest smart asses) is my gratitude for him teaching me about the philly cheesesteak. I can’t even tell you how I drool at the thought of them; and I’ve never even had a fresh one, just the reheated in the oven version but my goodness they tasted exactly what I picture everything to taste like in heaven. Thanks to you, Dan, I have sleepless nights trying to figure out how I can get my hands on just one more of these. Would you mind moving back there so that you could go back to delivering them?
Now while I truly do believe nothing I ever attempt will compare to the authentic cheesesteak from Philly..these are the at home version we have been making for quite some time now and they are wonderful. Tasty enough to hit the cheesesteak spot without having to hop on a plane en route to the city of brotherly love. They are so fast, so simple, and healthier than the classic version but you still get that gooey, cheesy, savory filling piled on top of the soft yet slightly crusty bread. I could go for about 20 of these right now. If you plan to make these tonight…give me a call.
At Home Cheesesteaks
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated March/April 2012
Note: Now I have a feeling I am going to get lectured by my brother for topping them with peppers and onions because thats not the authentic way of doing it. This addition is purely optional people. It adds crunch and color and vitamins and minerals but we love to eat the sandwiches both with and without them…you pick.
2 Pounds Skirt Steak, trimmed and sliced into 3 inch strips
3 Whole Grain Rolls, sliced and slightly toasted
2 Tablespoons Peanut Oil
3/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/8 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan
10 Slices Provolone Cheese
Freeze the steak slices in a single layer on a plate or baking sheet for 30 minutes, or until very firm (this will make shaving thin easier). With a very sharp knife, shave the steak pieces as thinly as possible against the grain.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil over hight heat in a nonstick skillet until it begins to smoke. Add half of the meat in an even layer and cook, without stirring, until browned, about 3 minutes. Stir the meat and cook until it is cooked through, about 2 additional minutes. Transfer the meat to a colander and repeat the process with the remaining oil and meat.
Return the same skillet to medium heat and place all of the meat back in the skillet. Add salt and pepper and cook until meat is heated through, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to low, sprinkle with parmesan and lay the provolone slices over the meat. Allow the cheese to melt and then fold the cheese into the meat. Distribute evenly on top of the bread and serve open faced. Top with peppers and onions, if using. Serves 6.