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Jul 11, 2001 12:03 PM

Philly Cheese Steak

  • s

I am truly intrigued by this appalling dish which looks like grunge but when I had one in Chicago in June tasted fantastic.

can someone please tell me

a) what cut of dead cow is best
b) which manner of american plastic cheese I need to get
c) what kind of bread
d) What, if any , ketchup, I should put on top

I have gotsta have another of these and since I am not back Stateside for a few weeks, I need to figure it out blighty fashion


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  1. 1) Sliced Ribeye or other inexpensive cut
    2) Cheez Whiz. However velveeta and kraft singles will do in a pinch.
    3) Italian "Hero" Rolls.
    4) Heinz Ketchup.
    5) Dont forget the sauteed caramelized onions.

    Be sure to invite the queen.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Jason Perlow
      Simon Majumdar

      Sounds truly disgusting but delicious

      In return I may just mail you all my recipe for mushy peas. Again delicious but one of the UK's many crimes against humanity



      1. re: Simon Majumdar

        A recipe for mushy peas? I thought they came from a tin? How do you get that fluorescent green?

        Simon- I seem to remember reading an anecdote about one of the third way, "New Labour" Blairite MPs visiting his constituents up norf. He was offered some mushy peas to taste and reportedly had a comment about what good guacamole it was! One has to love the sincerity of politicians. Do you know who this was?

        Joe Moryl

        1. re: Joe Moryl
          Simon Majumdar

          Proper mushy peas are a delight but one that it takes time to develop.

          You can make it by placing lots of marrowfat peas in a pot with a little water and a handful of mint. Cook it over a low flame for about six hours making sure it does not dry out. It is so good with pies, chops and of course the Fish N Chip supper

          The politician was Mr "Satan's representative on Earth" Peter Mandelson. You only had to see his Nuremberg like speech after he won his seat at the last election to know that the man is not right in the head or "touched by angels" as my granny used to say

          Thanks for the Cheese steak hints

          1. re: Simon Majumdar

            Ah, Peter Mandelson. Why am I not surprised?

            Joe Moryl

    2. Check out for inspiration on how to prepare these things as well.

      the best way it seams to prepare these is to mix the chopped up steak and par-cooked onions (peppers and mushrooms too if you arent a purist) onto a griddle (I use a cast iron pan), heat it up nice and then arrange it on top of a hero roll which has a layer of cheez whiz on it. However I personally like the variation of using provolone cheese, melting it on top of a rectangular pile of the steak/onion/shroon/pepper mixture and then laying it on top of a lightly toasted roll.



      1. As for the dead cow, there is a product out there (though I can't certify that it's 100% cow) called "Steak-Ums" which is perfect for the home cheesesteak chef. They're phyllo-dough-thin slices of meat frozen between layers of paper. Fry them up on the griddle for a few seconds after your onions (and possible green peppers) are done. I've usually had cheesesteaks that had the americanized plastic version of provolone. And of course, the Heinz ketchup is a MUST!

        1. It has always been my opinion that ketchup has no place on a quality cheesesteak. Which is not to say I have not enjoyed the topping, and on a sub-par number, it is almost a requirement. I'm not from philly or even a purist (I like an occasional chicken cheese-steak for the sake of variety), but I am curious if we have any consensus among the local Philly chowhounds in regards to use of ketchup atop the sandwich. I also wonder about cheez-whiz... I don't recall anything but white american cheese and provolone when I have gone to the allegedly authentic places in Philly.

          -Mike Z

          4 Replies
          1. re: Mike Zurer

            No, cheez whiz is THE authentic cheese to be used. Genos for example, which is the picture I posted, uses it. Provolone and american cheese are actualy variations, quality variations nevertheless.

            1. re: Jason Perlow

              Gee, maybe we can upgrade that to Velveeta.

              1. re: ironmom

                Velveta won't work. Has to be CheezeWiz. It's the synergy in the pairing of the grease from the meat and the grease that cooks out of the cheezeWiz that makes the cheese steak a truly great cheese steak.

                I switch back and forth between sliced beef and CheeseWiz and chopped beef and provolone though the guilt is there when I opt for provolone.

                Holly Moore


            2. re: Mike Zurer
              Caitlin Wheeler

              No ketchup, though I have to say that a less than optimal cheesesteak can be improved immensely by A1 steak sauce.

            3. In the town where I live, S. Orange, NJ, the local pizzaria makes pretty decent subs including a cheesesteak. If you order this as "cheesesteak with everything" you get: grilled thin cut steak (probably rib eye, not as thin as steak-umms), grilled onions and bell peppers, cubed potatoes resembling home fries and catsup. When I asked about the potatoes and catsup I was told that this was a "North Jersey" cheesesteak. Not a bad combination actually. Anyone else ever hear of this?

              Joe Moryl

              1 Reply