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The best Cheese Steak Recipe

I've been enjoying the discussion amongst Philly locals about the best cheese steak joints in Philly. The debate has touched on a nerve for me, which relates to the cheese. Many people think classic cheese steaks should use "Cheese Whiz", although most of the cheese steak connoisseurs claim they would never touch the stuff. I've seen a lot of claims for provolone, or american, but few supporters for the whiz. In a recent Throw Down with Bobby Flay, he took on a local restaurant in a cheese steak competition. They were making the traditional steak and whiz for the multitudes, but once they realized Flay was there for a challenge, they phoned in to the restaurant for the really good stuff, and totally changed their recipe in order to compete with Flay on taste.

I love cheese steaks, and would rather make then at home rather than eat the mediocre sandwhiches in my area. I know the basic ingredients are a good hard roll, thin sliced steak, and cheese....but the variations and techniques can be endless. I'd love to hear how some of you 'hounds make killer cheese steaks. In particular, what kind of meat, and how do you prepare it?

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  1. That Throwdown episode was with Tony Luke. This site has all their sandwiches on the menu. Maybe you can get some ideas:

    http://www.tonylukes.com/

    1. I grab a few ribeye steaks from the meat section of the grocery store, then find someone behind the meat counter and ask them to put it on their slicing machine and slice it very thin. They usually don't mind, or at least don't act like they do.

      Throw meat in a hot skillet and pull apart with two small spatulas, while flipping it around. Season with a little salt and a lot of ground black pepper. Pile meat into a rough "sub" shape, throw a few slices of American (or provolone) cheese on top, add sliced roll upside-down and let sit in hot pan for about 30 seconds. Scoop up with spatula, flip the whole mess over and eat. Mmmmmmmmm...

      6 Replies
      1. re: QueenB

        Thanks QueenB. I've got my Rib eye sliced and am anxious to make some cheese steak sandwhiches for dinner tomorrow. I'm sure they will be AWESOME!

        1. re: egbluesuede

          Good luck! And let us know how your cheesesteak turns out!

          BTW, you can also throw some sauteed onion on top if you like. I'm a steak and cheese only girl most of the time!

          1. re: QueenB

            Oooooh they were AWESOME. Rib eye steak, chip steak peppers, sauteed onions, and a little portabella mushroom topped with Provalone! Thanks for all of the suggestions every one! I will never be able to order out again!

            1. re: egbluesuede

              i used to live in south jersey at the shore and i think the thing i miss the most is the cheese steaks and the cheese fries on every corner.

              i loved mine with provolone, sauteed mushrooms and onions and heinz ketchup!!! it was heaven!!!!

        2. re: QueenB

          I would add to this suggestion that, arguably, one of the secrets is to put a metal bowl upside down over the meat when the cheese is on top, trapping some of the moisture in so that the cheese-melting time doesn't dry out the meat, and, in fact, traps in the moisture almost like a pressure-cooker.

          1. re: joypirate

            That's what the rollis for. Get the meat et.al in the right shape, place the cheese on to and Instead of the metal bowl, slice the roll and tent it. Two effects. As you said traps some steam to melt the cheese, PLUS steam the roll so it is extra good.

        3. Well, I grew up with cheesesteaks and made many while growing up (family owned local fast food place in NJ). No whiz for me! *Shudder* Now cheesesteak is a fast food, ya gotta admit that, so certain criteria matters. The roll is prime! Great rest of it on a bad roll, will not work. I personally like Steak-Ums. yeah, them..I like processed american cheese, Great Lakes, in fact. Ya can't make a non-processed White Castle. Ya can't make a non-processed chessesteak.

          1. I would like to second QueenB on both meat and technique- I used to make cheesesteaks in South Jersey, and that's how you do it!
            If I was making it at home, I would use provolone. When I order one now, I order it with American. If I was eating one at 2am like I used to in my college days, I always went with wiz. I think the alchohol made you immune to the stuff.

            1 Reply
            1. re: JCap

              and there was ALWAYS a place to get a cheese steak at 2am on the way home from a party!!! what was up with that? i can barely find a hospital open at 2am these days!!!

              dang. how i miss jersey!!!

            2. I freeze the meat, then shave it as it defrosts. The thinner the better.