The secret to a great Philly Cheesesteak is choosing the right cut, and the perfect ratio of tender and crispy bits.
I’ve never been to Philadelphia. I hear they have a cool old bell. Apparently they also put Cheez Whiz on their cheesesteaks. Not sure how I feel about that. My point is, I don’t think you have to actually GO to Philly or enjoy plastique cheese to make a kickass Philly Cheesesteak. This recipe may not be authentic but, as the title suggests, it’s seriously good.
Pick the right cut of meat
Usually the first question most folks have is ‘what cut of meat do I use for a cheesesteak’? The answer is, you can technically use any beef steak cut you want. Some folks use ribeye, but I think the steaks found in the hind quarter are just perfect for this. Try top sirloin or top/eye of round. Yes, they tend to be a little less marbled and slightly tougher than their ribeye counterparts, but here’s where you can game the system: use wagyu! Wagyu cattle are highly marbled, so all their cuts are luxuriously tender and flavorful. I used Top Sirloin steaks for this one.
Prepare your beef in advance
It’s imperative that your beef be sliced thinly. Particularly if you are using a cheaper cut. Most of us don’t have a deli slicer on hand, but there’s an easy trick that can help. Place your beef steaks in the freezer for an hour prior to slicing. This will firm them up dramatically without freezing them completely, making it easier to shave off super thin slices.
Use the right equipment
A single portion sandwich can be handled in a skillet, but if you want to make any more than one at a time, you’ll need a flat top. This might be as simple as a cast iron griddle that fits over your stove burners, a flat piece of metal over a fire, or a flat cast iron grill plate. Having this large flat top surface means you can cook your meats and your pepper/onion mix in one go. A one-surface recipe. The flat top will also help achieve the “crispy bits at the bottom, melty cheese on top” factor.
Don’t skimp on the cheese
Please do not take this warning lightly. Placing merely a conservative slice or two will get you a dry steak. Go in with three to four overlapped slices per “meat pile”. At least.
Double wrap if feeding a crowd
Alas, the cheese does not remain melty for very long when exposed to the elements. A great way to maintain soft bread, hot steak and melty cheese is to wrap your sandwiches. Use a layer of greaseproof or parchment paper, then a layer of foil and wrap ’em up tight. The greaseproof paper layer helps to keep the bread from getting soggy-fied.Print