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Jan 30, 2009 05:30 AM

Philly steak meat

I grew up near Philly and never realized how good the steak sammiches were until I left. While I know how to make them, I never bothered to ask exactly what type of meat is used. Does anybody know the specific nomenclature for the meat in a real Philly steak sandwich?

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  1. From someone born, raised and living in Philly, normally it's chip steak for a cheesesteaks.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Den

      Is that the same as round steak or eye of the round??


    2. Some use a shaved well-trimmed rib eye. At home, put the meat in the freezer for an hour before slicing as thin as possible. It cooks in a minute.

      1. If you want to make them at home and don't feel like preparing the meat yourself, you can buy a pretty good quality frozen shaved steak called "Steak-ums" . Naturally, preparing the meat yourself is better, but it's an awful lot of work. Once you add your fried onion & cheese whiz..(and I like pizza sauce too)..It will be pretty much a draw as far as the meat is concerned.

        1. The problem with chip steak is that they're cut too thick and it's difficult to break them up via the 2 spatula method. Steak-Umms are to steak sandwiches like McNuggets are to chicken. I had tried rib eye but it's too expensive for what should be a cheap-eats meal. I had a small round tip roast the other night (roasted, not in sandwich form) and I'm thinking that might be the way to go.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JohnE O

            If you want to duplicate a "genuine" So. Philly Cheesesteak...*don't skimp on quality*. I would never use a product like "Steak-Umms" from the freezer section of the super market. That product is inferior to the meats used at those two famous Philadelphia places that specialize in cheesesteaks. Steak-Umms would just not taste the same. Use top of the round or ribeye. Tell the butcher what you want to use the meat for and he will give you the proper cut and slice it as thinly as you like. I find that 3/4 pound is more than enough for 2 people with even some left over.

            Go to an Italian food market with an Italian butcher!


          2. If you live near a Trader Joe's, they have a philly cheesesteak mix (rib eye and I think skirt steak), finely sliced. It's quick and easy, and good.