100% not authentic. 100% delicious. Check out the venison version of this beloved cheesy meatwhich.
Invest in a meat slicer – it’s worth the tenderness.
For this recipe, it’s imperative the meat is sliced thinly for two reasons. First, it helps the meat cook very quickly. But as a bonus, thinly shaving the venison also serves to offset any toughness. Toughness is generally measured by how much force we need to use to bite down on food – the thinner the piece of meat, the less work we need to do EVEN if that meat was tough to start with. So, thinly slicing meats is a GREAT way to offset toughness that can often be an issue with game meats like venison. I use and recommend this this slicer from LEM (but they have others starting at under $100!). It also comes in handy for other recipes like this French Dip and is fantastic for roast beef and sandwich-friendly slices of home-smoked turkey too.
The cut of venison you use is important.
The above is all true. Thinly slicing will help combat toughness. BUT, it’s not a magic cure-all. So for the best results on this quick-cook sandwich, I recommend using backstrap or top round muscles. Both these muscles are more tender than most others on the animal, but are also large enough to give you nicely sized slices instead of lots of little choppy pieces.
Sorry Philly, but browned meat is better than steamed meat.
I’m going to let you in on a little dirty secret of internet recipes. And it’s something I spot ALL the time. It starts when people google for a recipe they want to try, and get presented with a TON of different options. Generally, the more appealing the photo of the food, the more likely you are to choose THAT particular recipe over the others. So a lot of folks will cheat their photos via editing to look more crisp, more golden or more “done” than what you’ll actually end up with if you follow the recipe instructions. In this case – you may have clicked on this recipe because the meat is lovely and browned on the surface. And because you know that browning and searing on the meat tastes so delicious, it probably appealed to you even more. The good news is – in this case the browning is REAL!
The browning of meat (meat nerds call it the Maillard Reaction) also adds a ton of bonus flavor as new taste, smell and flavor compounds are formed. In short – browning meat is not just visual, it actually creates new flavors. BUT – it’s important to note that most traditional cheesesteaks are semi-steamed on the griddle, which makes them very soft to eat but does NOT allow any browning to occur. It’s also the reason many cheesesteaks may not look particularly appetizing in pictures, because the meat seems greyed, not browned. So, my version has more of a fajita-style sear for a bonus oomph of taste. So – don’t expect these to be melt in mouth steam-tender.
Use a skillet, griddle or flat top.
You have some flexibility on where and how to cook these cheesesteaks. The best results will come from a cast iron skillet or griddle, or a well seasoned-flat top. You can use this outdoors on top of a grill, or inside on your stove. The bigger the cooking surface, the easier it is to double the recipe and feed more folks at once.Print