Well I was a bit nervous. I was charged with making Philly Cheese Steaks for a guy from Philly for the Eagles season opener. We discussed the whole canned cheese wiz thing and I couldn’t bring myself to buy it. So I did my research and came up with my own version. These were really, really good. And the Philly kid himself said they match up with the best of them. So, I’m feeling pretty good about it 🙂
- 2 lbs shaved rib eye
- 2 onions
- 3 green peppers
- Mushrooms (optional and not traditional but I like them)
- Cheese Wiz
- 4 fresh Italian grinders with sesame seeds is my top pick. You want a good crust and soft insides so it can hold the sandwich but you’re not fighting to eat it. The bread is one of the most important elements to creating the perfect sandwich.
Cheese Wiz: Essentially this is a roux you would make with mac n cheese. You could pour the below over pasta and it would be pretty darn delicious.
- About 1/3 lb sharp white cheddar
- About 1/4 lb white american
- Lots of fresh cracked black pepper
- 2-3 dashes cayenne pepper
- 1 smashed garlic clove
- 1-2 tbsp flour
- 2-3 tbsp of butter
- Milk (you can lighten it up with chicken broth which I did but who are we kidding. I didn’t have milk so I used some half & half and chicken broth instead. Traditionally a roux is made with milk)
Sorry my measurements are bad on the wiz. I was winging it so I’ll describe better in the instructions below.
Get the easy part out of the way first: saute your veggies. This can be done in advance the day of and set aside. They are easy to reheat right before you put on the sandwich. I saute the onions first and let them get nice and blackened in the pan and then add the peppers. I like the peppers to maintain a slight bite so they aren’t mush.
Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
For the cheese sauce:
Start with butter and garlic in the pan. When you start to smell the garlic add in the flour and combine to start the the roux.
Then add in your liquid. Lower the heat and whisk to combine as your sauce begins to thicken. Season with tons of fresh cracked black pepper and cayenne pepper. You just want to make sure the ratio to broth and cheese works so you’re sauce isn’t overly thick or overly liquid. You can get more specific instructions from Bobby Flay’s provolone sauce here.
Then remove from heat and add in your cheese. Keep stirring until everything combines and you have a nice thick sauce.
For the steak: dry it with paper towels to get rid of the moisture. You want the steak to sear and not steam. Season it well with kosher salt, black pepper (and garlic powder is optional.)
Heat your cast iron pan on high with some oil and working in batches put in the steak. You don’t want to over crowd the pan as it will steam.
I did it one sandwich at a time so I only put in enough steak for one grinder and then put the peppers and onions in to reheat them as well.
Build your sandwich: steak, then cheese sauce, the veggies, then more cheese sauce.
And here’s my brother-in-law, the happy Philly fan. Kona managed to sneak a few ears into the photo too.
Nosh n mangia… can’t beat this sandwich. I want to eat it again.